I can’t believe you’re ten. I know, what a cliché to come from a mom’s mouth. But it’s true. I can recount so many details of this past decade with you. Honestly, I think I’ve grown up with you. I thought I knew things when we welcomed you into our family, but, goodness, I’ve learned and grown so much since then — and much of that is because of you.
Sometimes I get caught up in how different we are. You’re loud and like repetitive noises. You’re a morning person, but at least you still like to cuddle. You’re messy and disorganized. And you’re definitely not into the pictures I always want to take! (I convinced you to pose in front of the 9 3/4 platform sign at Universal’s Hogwarts Express because that was about your age then!)
But then I am reminded when I am my best self, I’m a lot like you. We like adventures and road trips and being with our people. We like roller coasters and eating chicken wings.
This year has been hard for me as a person and that’s certainly spilled over into motherhood. While I’ve been processing grief and trying to improve myself for you and your sisters, you’ve been growing in your own ways. Your pants keep getting shorter, your mind is quicker and more aware, and your emotions are at the forefront. We’ve had some hard conversations, meaningful moments, and fun adventures. I’m thankful you’ve been near this year. And I’m thankful I’ve gotten to be near you as you walk through some emotional, physical, and social changes of your own that haven’t exactly been easy.
We are better people together.
After spending every winter of your little life going to college basketball games, watching Ja Morant get drafted after his sophomore year at Murray State and having a stellar beginning to the Grizzlies season is what it took to make you into a true fan this year. You follow the teams more closely now and want to know scores and stats. We’re celebrating with a basketball-themed party this weekend. You’re getting ready to begin your second year of playing basketball of your own at our sweet, small school. You’re still into running club and soccer too.
Thankfully, you’ve found ways to love your big sister, who definitely loves and feels loved in different ways from you. Your little sister loves to laugh with (and at) you when y’all aren’t wrestling. You’re meant to be sandwiched between them and I love being reminded God built our family in ways I couldn’t have predicted.
You’re loyal and brave. You’re fun and funny. You’re curious and kind. And I’m certainly thankful you’re my son.
Happy birthday, Ben! Here’s to the second decade of your life and all the ways I’m sure you’ll surprise me.