1.0. I cannot believe you are ten years old. Double digits. This is a huge milestone for you. And me. The fact that I have a child that is TEN is enough to give me heart palpitations. But let’s not make this about me. You, my love, are growing up so fast before my eyes. The moments are slipping through my finger tips. And as this happens I see it all flashing so fast before me, and I am trying so desperately to enjoy each and every moment. To savor the time that you are not taller than me, yet. Your interests amaze me daily. You are still hopelessly obsessed with football. As I sit folding laundry and watch a game with you, you like to narrate each play. Sometimes you pause and rewind to make sure I understand what just happened. You talk about their lineup and what that means. If I have a sports related question, you are the first person I go to. Your brother and your sister look up to you so much. Sawyer will begin talking out of nowhere and start with “Gunnar, Gunnar”. Even if you aren’t here. I have to tell him, “Sawyer, your brother is still at school", or “Sawyer, he’s outside”. And I hear a sigh and an effort to find you or find out when you will return.

Books are a favorite pastime for you, and it makes me smile inside and out. When we go on vacation you make sure to bring at least 2 novels. You stay awake with the light on to finish just. one. more. chapter. In fact, we have similar tastes in books. And at the moment we are sharing books back and forth. I just read The Giver by Lois Lowry and I know you will just love it. And you finished Divergent and cannot wait for me to read it. And then we can discuss and sit and talk about the characters and the plot lines. I love this time right now. I love your age. I love how observant you are. You get stuff now that just flies over the heads of your siblings. Your sense of humor is such a gift. Your laughter an even bigger gift. I know I am in for some trouble in the next few years. I feel like I have a teenager already on my hands. Sometimes you get angry, quiet, you shut your door. Hard. You don’t want to talk about stuff until you have time to calm down. But you always come to me later and you always communicate what’s on your mind. And I will take all the anger, all the door slams, all the frustration for that to never change.

Thank goodness you have no interest in girls yet. No romantic interest I should say. You have no problem acknowledging a girl is cute or pretty. But you will have no talk of who is who’s girlfriend or boyfriend at school. And you surround yourself with good kids who are not caught up in the raging boy/girl craziness of it all. I am in your class and I see what goes on, and the giggles and the sideways glances, and I absolutely love that you could care less about it all. There will be plenty of time for that in your life. And deep down I think you realize that. That’s it’s just complicated and nonsense at the moment. And I hope that we make it through the next 5-10 years with that same outlook. I will cross all my fingers and toes, because I know the girls have noticed you. How can you not. Sweetie, you are stunning. And I don’t think confidence is going to be something you ever struggle with. But just in case you are looking back years from now and reading this, I doubt you will have an awkward phase. Correct me if I’m wrong.

You are a star student, outstanding in math and language arts. You love history at the moment. Part of me was kind of sad that you are at an age to read about all the wars and horrible things this world has experienced. But I know you are at an age and sophistication to appreciate it and see it for what it is. You are working on a report right now on World War II and it did sadden me that I couldn’t shield you somehow from the anguish of what happened, but I know it’s for your own good to read about those atrocities. I wish the world was a better place than what it is right now. I wish somehow you didn’t have to experience all that you have and all that you are going to experience. But I know that somehow it will help mold you into the amazing man that I see you becoming.

I am so very proud of you and the person you are. You are a soul that is good and kind, gentle and caring, funny and honest. I cannot wait to spend another year being your mother. Welcome to ten.