Shortly after Jonah’s tenth birthday I hit a bit of a wall. I felt very out of sorts and couldn’t explain it. My sister pointed out that I haven’t been writing much at all over the past year, and perhaps that was keeping me from processing things in a way that’s healthy for me. I’m not sure I had fully worked through the magnitude of this birthday in my mind.
I’ve been reluctant to acknowledge this milestone for ages. Jonah has enjoyed teasing me by reminding me that he would be in the double digits on his next birthday for roughly a year.
Looking back at his birthday from a different mental space now I’m able to see that it was wonderful. He wanted to visit City Museum in St. Louis, so we booked a long weekend trip and filled it with things that made him happy: that magical museum, the aquarium, favorite foods, the ropes course, a mirror maze, family game time. And a birthday cake decorated with a spider of his choice. It was just right. He declared St. Louis his new favorite city.
He woke up this morning and asked if he could look something up on the computer. He wanted to know how a typewriter works. Shortly thereafter he began a long monologue about Greek mythology in incredible detail, I don’t even know how we got there, but the transition made sense at the time. He’s constantly looking things up, wanting to know more. He fell in love with Greek mythology this year and learned everything he could. Read all of the Percy Jackson books and spin offs after devouring a book of all of the original stories. We can hardly keep him in books, but that’s been true for years. One of his birthday gifts was a new book he’d been waiting for nearly a year ahead of its release (Stellarlune by Shannon Messenger), a book of over 700 pages and he finished it in just a few days.
We learned some fascinating things about his wonder of a brain this fall and are still in the process of puzzling out our parenting needs to line up with the way he processes things in order to find harmony. My desire for efficiency has always been a place of tension, so I’m trying to figure out how to slow down and meet him where he is.
There are moments with him when I can’t do anything right, and other moments when we are so connected and truly enjoy talking and being together. He’s expressive with his love and his gratitude, and he likes spending time with his family and I’m so thankful for that.
He still loves LEGO and robotics and probably always will. He’s still pursuing karate and while I wouldn’t call it a passion per se, he’s continuing it with intention. He earned his green belt right around Christmas. He still loves all things purple, unicorns, and spiders. His closest friend is the same one he’s had since he was four and I hope they’re friends forever. He’s so tall now, but still feels like my baby. He still climbs into my lap every once in awhile and gives the biggest, tightest hugs, especially when he notices that I truly need one. I love the complicated, brilliant person that he is.