I write letters to my children on their birthdays. Here is last year’s letter to Aaron.
Happy 9th birthday, Aaron!
Um, hold on…you’re halfway to 18. I need to pause and take a breath, because that fact is blowing my mind. It wasn’t very long ago when you were born and made me a mommy. And now you’re halfway to 18.
You wanted to celebrate your birthday with pizza, mint ice cream, and a trip to the beach. So that’s what we did.
This year you conquered the 3rd grade. You really love math, to the point of asking us if you can learn more advanced algebra. That love and skill with math comes solely from your dad, by the way. You’re transitioning to a different school next year, and though that means starting over in a new learning environment, you seem up for the challenge.
Your favorite things to do include playing soccer, running in the waves at the beach, reading Minecraft books, folding origami, and watching Survivor. For a long time you didn’t seem interested in learning how to ride a bike. Then one day this year, you suddenly got motivated, and just started zooming down the street with no help at all. Another new thing this year was getting a family dog. Every day you wake up and feed the dog, and each night you give him a big hug before going to bed.
You make me laugh all the time with your clever insights and wordplay. Here’s my favorite joke of yours:
Q: What’s the difference between a coyote and a flea?
A: One howls on the prairie. The other prowls on the hairy.
You are becoming resourceful and independent. You can now do your own laundry (hooray!), make your own eggs for breakfast, and once made dessert for our family.
There are so many reasons to celebrate you, Aaron. You are kind and curious. You are content and go with the flow. You’re patient and gracious with me as I learn this whole parenting thing. You are a joy to have as a son.
I love you and am grateful for you.