This morning you woke up and you were ten. TEN! Double digits from now on, dude.
Momma remembers so clearly when you were born. And then those first few years when you were our only child. All our waking attention was focused on you, and only you.
But when brothers #2 and #3 came along, you responded brilliantly. Being the best Big Brother ever. The Leader. The Protector. The Boss.
And today, you are all those things and MORE in our family.
(If I could keep you this age forever, trust me, I would. Free from raging hormones. And body odor. And hair in funny places. And zits. And girls.)
You've learned a lot this year, buddy. You learned to win, and lose, graciously. You learned some hard lessons about not following the crowd, and always being kind to others. You learned that hot dogs taste better with chili, and that it's okay to not be a fan of roller coasters. You learned that "pleasant" is spelled with "-ant" and not "-ent" at the end and that when Daddy coaches you, he's going to expect even more of you than of your teammates.
So here's 10 of my favorite pictures of you on this, your 10th birthday:
1. The consummate Big Brother
2. Never EVER without some sort of sporting paraphernalia on your body at all times (and apparently encouraging your baby brother to do the same)
3. I love that you're rocking your cousin's shoes in this
4. First trip to Fenway!
5. Here, Momma!
6. Growing in leaps and bounds (please stop!)
7. With Uncle Dan, your best buddy
8. A rare pic of just the 3 of us
9. You always make that face when you're concentrating
10. My all time favorite pic of you and Daddy
So in this tenth year of your life, bud, just keep on doing what you're doing. Being a good boy. Setting a good example for your brothers. Being conscientious about your schoolwork. Playing hard. Being a good teammate. Growing. Learning. Becoming.
Momma loves you.
(And I really really love that you still always hold my hand. Even if we're in public. Never stop doing that, m'kay?)