Today is your birthday. Your tenth birthday, to be exact. Which means that I have spent the last ten years of my life as something so much bigger and better than just being myself, being your Mommy. It has been a decade since you came wailing into my life, changing the world forever with your presence. Ten years. It seems both impossible and certain that it has been that long, but here we are.
I just returned from your school where I dropped off your ten mylar balloons. I should be tidying the house or decorating for your party, but I cannot stop thinking about you. Your face, your clear blue eyes, your rosy cheeks. The fact that you are the tallest child in your class, but also the sweetest. I cannot help but look for the baby that you used to be in the child that is before me. I find myself wondering at the emerging man in you as well. I see you. It takes all my will power not to cry, because I see you.
You are wonderful. You are amazing. My son, you are so full of life and goodness and courage that I am astounded. In all the world, I could never ask for a better boy to love. I am so thankful that you are mine. That I get to be the one you call Mommy. You are my greatest joy. You are smart and brave. You are kind and funny. You are strong and honest. And you are wanted. Not because you are perfect or virtuous, just because you are you. You are worth loving. And I do. So much.
My son, I see you. It is as if you are standing on an invisible precipice between baby and adult. Only now, you have crossed an unseen line closer to college than home. In the eighteen years that I get you here, you are suddenly closer to leaving than staying. And I am torn. I want to hold you and squish you and make you little again, but I also want you to experience life. And, I want life to experience you.
I truly believe that you were born for a reason. That you came to this earth to change it in a way that only you can. You are special, in only the best of ways. You were created for greatness.
Last night I watched from your doorway as you slept under a picture that says “Whatever you are, be a good one.” I want you to know that whatever you do, I will love you. Wherever you go, I will believe in you. Whatever you become, I will support you. And I will try to teach you to do those things for yourself, so that you will want me instead of always needing me. So you will want others, instead of always needing them. My hope is that you will always know how loved you are. That you will use that foundation to build the life you imagine, and to build up those around you.
My Jonah, you are so good at so many things. You have the heart of a poet and the mind of an artist. You have the ability to change the things that need changing. If you find the world to be ill fitting, paint it a different color. You have it in you. I have seen it. I know it to be true. And I am so proud of you.
So, today you are ten. My little boy, closer to becoming a man. But still, only ten. For now. I am so thankful for the time I have had with you. Grateful that I have so much more. I wish you the very happiest of birthdays. May all of your dreams come true. May this be the year that you see yourself as amazing as I do.
With all of me,