Thursday, August 8, 2013

Coming of Age

“The years went by, and Mary Alice and I grew up, Slower than we wanted to, faster than we realized.”
― Richard Peck

Thing 2 is actually The Thing in this Halloween photo of old.
Tomorrow, Thing 2 will celebrate his 11th birthday.  I bought him his first cell phone for his birthday and he's thrilled.  I think it would be a safe bet if I said he is the biggest extrovert in our family.  I gave it to him last night and I think he's already called more people than Thing 1 has called in the last year with HIS cell phone. Heck, he may have called more people than I have called in the last year.

His dad mentioned that he might have this phone number forever since area codes don't mean anything anymore and he can just transfer the number along the way to new carriers during new phases of life.  That was a little mind-blowing to consider.  Your phone number might as well be the equivalent of your social security number in today's world.  As long as he doesn't gain a stalker some point along the way, he's probably got this number for life.

He has a phone now.  He's growing up so fast.

Man, I love this kid.  

Thing 2, here are my birthday wishes for you:

  1. Keep that smile.  It's a zillion-megawatt smile.  It suits you.  It makes me happy...happier than anything I've ever seen or done or read or experienced in my life.  Your smile is IT for me.
  2. Stay kind.  You're the kid who stands up for other people.  You're the kind of kid whose heart is about five times the size of your own body.  Keep that kindness.  Don't let the world make you hard.
  3. Love your brother.  You are two very different people.  But he's the one who'll be there for you when the chips are down.  What do I always, always tell you?  Brothers love each other.  Love him...actively...even when you think he might not deserve it.  That's when we need love the most.
  4. Remember your awesomeness.  You don't need anyone to tell you that you're smart or hilarious or fun to hang around.  You wear your awesomeness like you wear your skin.  Don't change that.
  5. Practice.  You're figuring out the benefits of practice in baseball, in guitar playing and in juggling.  Practicing things makes you better.  But I want you to remember the other things that people forget about:  practice communicating, sharing your feelings and being present in the moment.  You don't understand why I tell you this now...but someday it will come in handy.  I promise.
  6. Keep telling the truth.  I love it when you tell me the truth even when you know you're in trouble for it.  Your heart is good, kid. The truth matters.  Even when it hurts.
  7. Do your best.  Sometimes you slack off because you can get away with it.  Stop doing that.  You're only hurting yourself when you don't put forth your best effort.  Trust me, your best will make you shine.
  8. Love can wait.  Little girls are often drawn to you.  You have a zest for life and, like I said, that big giant smile that lights up the room.  Don't get started on all that madness yet.  Learn about you.  Live your life first.  Crushes and drama and love can all wait until you're ready for it.  I know, I know. You're totally rolling your eyes at me right now.
  9. Live a life of learning.  You love to learn right now.  At some point, a lot of people become complacent and they stop challenging their minds.  Don't do that.  Keep reaching for new ideas and new experiences.  It will keep you young.
  10. Remember where home is.  You're my hugger.  You're the softie with the big giant heart.  I will always be the place you can come to rest when the world seems too big or too cold or too hard.  Your home and your safe place will always be in my heart.
Happy birthday, son.

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