Ten years ago my life changed in an instant. For the better. It all started when I became your mama.
You made motherhood seem so effortless and glorious. You were the easiest, most pleasant baby boy on earth. I commented so many times on how easy this mothering thing was and how I didn't understand why people thought it was hard. You were that easy. You were so fabulous that you tricked us into immediately having more kids.
Being your mother has always been an absolute pleasure. You are:
You are everyone's friend. Everyone wants to be around you. You are not swayed to follow what is popular or cool. You like what you like whether people agree with you or not. You are so sure of yourself that others become convinced that whatever it is you like (penguins, airplanes, goofy faces) is cool. You are a self professed (and teacher admitted) class clown, but you would never tease or make fun of anyone else. You have a good heart and are concerned for others. You want to make people happy and make them laugh, but never at the expense of someone else. You truly are an original.
I wish you weren't so hard on yourself. You expect to be fabulous at everything right away (I can't imagine who you got this from...hmm...thinking, thinking). When you are not immediately perfect you don't even want to keep trying. You do not like to fail. But here is a little secret (and I've told you many times before), sometimes we learn and grow the most from failure. Failure can be a gift, and not something to fear. It is far worse to not even try than to try your best and fail. When you release your fear of failure you can and will accomplish anything you want. And I can't wait to see you do it. I know great things are waiting for you in this life. You have so much to offer.
In honor of Joe's 10th birthday I conducted a little interview:
Me: Hey, Joe. How is your day going so far?
Joey: Uh, it's going great!
Me: Do you feel any older?
Joey: Umm... no I don't feel any older. No.
Me: What's your favorite thing about your birthday?
Joey: Everything! I gotta say everything.
Me: What do you want to be when you are bigger?
Joey: Well I kinda wanna be a air force combat flier. Or an Olympic swimmer.
Me: What is your favorite color?
Me: What is your favorite class in school?
Joey: Favorite class. That is a hard one. I'm gonna have to say music because we get to play recorders now.
Me: What is your favorite game to play?
Joey: Angry Birds Star Wars or Jet Pack Joy Ride, it's on Cassie's (his cousin) iPad.
Me: If you could be any animal what would you be?
Joey: Chinstrap penguin- they can swim fast.
Me: What is your favorite sport?
Joey: My favorite sport is baseball.
Me: What is your favorite animal?
Joey: Dogs- Pugs!
Me: If you could go anywhere for vacation where would you go?
Joey: Wisconsin Dells
Me: What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
Joey: Go up to the cabin. Going fishing. Skiing.
Me: What is your favorite season. Why?
Joey: Winter. Because (singing) "it's the most wonderful time of the year". Because there is snow.
Me: What are you really good at?
Me: If you could make one birthday wish what would it be?
Joey: To fly in a B29 Superfortress and never get killed. And destroy all the bad guys. Is that it? Anymore questions?
Me: Do you want to be done?
Joey: No. I love this.
Me: What's your favorite ice cream?
Joey: Sherbet! (pause) I'm just gonna go now. Can I be done?
Always my baby.
I am so proud of the baby you were, the boy you are, and the young man you are becoming. It is an honor to be your mama. I love you, my Joey. Happy 10th Birthday!