Right as this post goes up, at 11:11pm tonight, One will officially be ELEVEN YEARS OLD. For once I'm not surprised or shocked, or really thinking about "where has all the time gone?" He's just so, eleven already, that it doesn't surprise me that I'm the mother of a boy who in four short months will shake the elementary school dust off his feet and take on the title "middle schooler", who needs braces, who has the glimmerings of a mustache, and who tells me things like "when I even think about talking to a girl I start blushing, even before I open my mouth."
He's growing up.
He's growing up, and it's so much fun to watch sometimes I can't believe it's real. As I was falling asleep the other night I had a picture in my head of One and his brother, and all I could think of was that it was as if two stars had fallen to earth and been placed in our care. They shine so bright, they work so hard, they dream so big. Right now One is at a place in his life where everything is possible; what he sees off in the distance - glimmering ahead in the future - is whatever he wants it to be. He knows he has challenges, but he doesn't see them as limitations. He know he has hard work ahead, but he's done hard work before, and he's ready to put everything he has into what's coming. In some ways he's at this perfect time in life, where he sees nothing ahead but dreams of how he wants things to be. He hasn't been knocked around by life, hasn't been stepped on, kicked aside, left behind by it yet. He's still so innocent: a treasure in someone his age, even in the over-protective modern coccoon in which we live.
Instead of terrifying me, his bright dreams of the future, his innocence, somehow convince me that he is right. That the dreams are there, shining out in the future just beyond where we can see. When I look ahead through his eyes, I believe it too.
Dear child who made me a mother on this day eleven years ago: Work hard, dream big and never quit. I know you can do it - whatever "it" is that life is leading us to. How do I know? I'm your mom, silly One, and I know you almost as well as you know yourself.
Happy Birthday, my sweet child.