Tween: in between.
That is exactly what Joey is feeling lately.
Today Joey turns 11 years old. Just yesterday he told me that he doesn't want to get any older. When I prodded him he confessed that he liked where he is right now in this moment. He worries that when he gets even a few years older he will no longer like the things he does now. When he is 14 will he still want to be a fighter pilot or a LEGO engineer? He likes playing with his brothers and sister, building LEGOS, making snow forts, watching cartoons, snuggling with his mum. He doesn't want to get older and feel like he has to leave that behind.
It kind of floored me.
I can remember being a kid and constantly wanting to be older. I felt like the older I got the better life would be. Maybe that is the curse of being the youngest. Constantly wanting to jump to the next phase of life.
But not Joey. He wants to stay here. Right now. In this time. And hearing him say that made my heart explode. He is happy. Right now. In this time. I couldn't ask for more.
Yet even as I am explaining to Joey that he can do all the same things at 15 that he does now my heart aches a bit knowing that he probably won't. My 15 year old Joey will probably not pile onto the recliner with me for a snuggle. Things will change. He will grow up and grow through phases. As he should.
But for now. We will enjoy Joey at 11 years old. There is so much to enjoy.
I can see it. I can see how hard you are trying to be a good boy. To do the right thing. It is a visible, tangible thing. This sudden maturity. This strength. This care. It is impressive. I know I've told you many, many times this year, but I will say it again. Your dad and I see how much you are trying. We see it. We appreciate it. And we are so proud of you.
My heart is full with thoughts of you. My big/little man. My first born. My 11 year old. My son. My Joey.
Happy Birthday, Joseph. I love you more than you'll ever know.