You’re in bed now, though you’re probably still awake reading. It’s become part of my evening routine to go in and turn out your reading light after you’ve fallen asleep — and make sure there’s a bookmark securely between the pages of your latest Harry Potter. It makes me smile.
Today was your birthday. Again. Somehow another year has flown through this house and we spent today smiling about last year and dreaming about the next. You never sit still for long and that adventurous spirit and curiosity is my favorite thing about you.
I’m proud of our birthday traditions and that we’ve kept this day to ourselves over the years. Years ago I prepared myself for the year you’d ask for a big party with your friends, and it may still happen. But each year, we make plans to spend our family day together as three — just like the first June 18 we ever spent together. That day we mostly stared at you in disbelief that you were actually here and we actually had to figure out what to do next — these days we eat cake and play outside and take our annual family photo in the backyard. But it’s special.
I joked today that 9 years makes it halftime. Ready for the back nine. This parenting experiment we’re conducting is halfway over. And of course, it isn’t. This parenting experiment is a lifetime gig. But 9 years does have gravity to it other birthdays haven’t. We’re sniffing 10 and THAT just sounds BIG!
Don’t mind me, Buddy. You take these years one at a time. You keep learning and keep growing and keep asking 12,000 questions. Keep being kind and funny and stubborn. And keep reaching for my hand when we’re in a parking lot. Just a little bit longer.
I love you, Buddy. From your freckled cheeks to your stinky feet. Happy Birthday.