Juden turned 10; an entire decade of life with this son of my heart. I must admit at some point that day I read Billy Collins' poem, On Turning Ten, and got a lump in my throat. It's been said a thousand times but I really get a little sucker punched every now and then with how quickly he is changing. Suddenly tall and all limbs and with a soul ever waking to bigger ideas. I write and photograph them on their birthday just to mark this time and to remember. We had a small family birthday party this year with one friend Lulu, who has been like family since birth. We paused for a few moments for people to offer prayers of blessing on his life and my heart hurt with gratitude for his life and joy. He went climbing at a climbing gym and had a date with me which turned out a little rainy but still included beating me at air hockey, an adorable dance in the rain, and yummy desserts. He was celebrated in true fashion and pretty much smothered in little sibling and cousin love.
The other night I decided to put daddy's little tent that housed him all through Europe in your room. You LOVE to read, which to this book loving mama, makes my heart giddy. You would read for hours at night if I let you. When I come in to kiss you before I go to sleep sometimes it's hard to find you because you have this habit of surrounding your whole self with pillows and blankets like you are in a nest. You've told me more than once that you wish your name was Sparrow. You looked so cozy in there with your stack of books, comics and flashlight that I grabbed my book and climbed in the tent with you. We took turns reading our books to each other and chatting in between. You love being the big brother and I love watching you grow in this role. I have to be careful to remind Ella that she doesn't have to do everything you tell her to. You seem to enjoy the fact that she would pretty much follow you anywhere. Naya, on the other hand, gives you a run for your money and doesn't really want anyone to be her boss. I don't know what you guys would all do without each other. I decided to ask you some questions most of which I already know the answer to but here it is so you can remember your newly ten year old self.
Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Juden: An author, and artist and a cartoonist.
Me: Where would you most like to go and why?
Juden: I think Europe because it just looks beautiful and I could have adventures.
Me: Who are your favorite authors?
Juden: C.S. Lewis, Charles Dickens and Tolkien
Me: What is your favorite music?
Juden: Infradig, The Distribution, Josh Garrels and Bombay Dub Orchestra
Me: Who are your heroes?
Juden: C. S. Lewis, and dad and you.
Me: What would a really good day look like to you?
Juden: Going to Mckay bookstore and drawing and going outside.
I love how you think. You are pretty high energy at times your mind and body going a mile a minute but you are also really sensitive and think about things deeply. You love playing with Harper and you wind him up like a little puppy. Your sketch books can hardly contain all your drawings which are comic-inspired a lot lately. You love building things, whittling, riding your bike, soccer, and you love being with friends.
As I reflect on this last decade, to the time that I was ushered into motherhood with the presence of your tiny wailing self. It was terrifying and unadulterated love all at once. You have been one of the deepest sources of joy in all my life. And oh how we have grown together. We have been through so many firsts, so many phases, trains, planes, pirates, Star Wars, Narnia, Lord of the Rings. You are a passionate little person, head strong, stubborn, sweet and hilarious. You are in love with life and God and family. So many prayers I have stormed heaven with on your behalf from before you were even born that I know will echo through heaven for eternity. I can't wait to see the plans our God has for you. I reflect on the time you fell when you were two, and the time daddy and I stood by with tears and worry when you were eight and having bleeding that we couldn't figure out. So many reminders that you are not really ours but God's, entrusted to us. I wonder about this next decade. What things it may hold for you. It's overwhelming sometimes navigating being your mama, knowing that I will fail you and hurt you and trusting God with the challenges of knowing how to help you become a man of honor. I am thankful that the God who parents me and daddy is holding you and is merciful. I pray you will continue to grow with such vibrancy and joy and that you will follow hard after your maker. I love you so fiercely my precious son.
I feel like where ever you are is my favorite stage because it's so fun watching you become, but every once in awhile I miss this little guy too.