Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Dear Noah :: 10 years old

Dear Noah,
I remember ten. It was a big deal. Double digits and all. But you're taking it all in stride. You are excited to be ten ... but also relish being a kid and don't want to be a teenager (or grownup). You love your life and don't want it to change.

Your favorite favorite thing is playing video games. Hands down. No competition. Minecraft, roblox, pokemon Go!. That's your life. But there isn't enough video game time in a day, in your opinion. We totally feel that unschooling makes sense - and that leads to whole-life "unschooling. We've read, you'll self regulate - food, video games, sleeping ... Not true! You will (and have) play(ed) all day, every day. Video games are very very important to you. If you're not playing ... you're watching youtube videos of someone else playing.
So we talk about how even if you wanted to eat green beans for every meal, we wouldn't let you - because your body needs a variety in your diet. In the same way, your body needs a variety in your choice of activity. So we play board games, read books, go swimming, watch movies.... But all that time, you're thinking about video games, applying life experiences to video games, and scheming about video games. I think this is also that you're ten.

We recently went on a nature walk with a biologist from Paul Smith's and you were less than enthused. When he asked if you liked Minecraft, your head snapped up and you were all of a sudden very interested in talking about dragonflies and pitcher plants and the depth of a bog ....
You were amazed that he guessed you liked minecraft. But he confessed that it's not that hard to guess when he meets a ten year old boy.

You're lately having times of frustration and increased anger. My easy-going boy is not always so easy going. This is all new and confusing for both of us at times - but also a relief. It's great to see you be self aware enough to realize you have opinions, attempt to articulate those opinions, and feel strongly enough about them to get angry if you feel it's needed. And usually it's needed for your sister. The older of the two. You're not always the best with words, and sometimes your actions have been coming out before your words. But we realized, that those actions are ones you learned from Del ... she just isn't as strong and you're feelings (and body) don't become as hurt, so we don't react as strongly as perhaps should - you included! But we're learning to co-exist as we enter into teenagehood.

Yep. I said it. It feels unreal that you're ten. You're a breath away from being as tall as I am and you weigh as much as I do. And you're 10. Which is close to 11, 12, and 13. It's unreal to imagine the baby you were is the big kid you are, and the teen you're becoming. When I tell you: "I think you might be feeling that what I'm saying doesn't make sense and that I don't understand and you'll be feeling that way more and more as you ge-..." and I notice you looking at me in disbelief. You are shocked that I get it. You say that you already feel this way a lot. And I laugh. Not at you. At the situation. That this is a pattern that happens in families all over the place every day. I try to be more patient and remember what it was like when I too was frustrated that my parents didn't understand and their rules and expectations seemed silly or too demanding or both.

But you're also quick to say that you appreciate that your life is pretty blissful. Your responsibilities are minimal. We've recently started talking more about how you do pitch in and help when asked, usually without fuss, but you need to notice when things need doing - and just do them. If given the choice, you prefer inside tasks to outside ones (too buggy, too hot). You prefer solitary tasks as opposed to joint jobs - because it's hard not to feel that you're doing the larger load of the job.

But you're initiating conversation more (with a heavy emphasis on video game talk). It's like it always is with you - from walking, to talking, to reading... you want to feel that you have a pretty strong ability to accomplish the task at hand before attempting it. You don't want to fail.

You love swimming. You resist showers. And changing your clothes. Or wearing socks. Ever. Or pants. We live in the Adirondacks - just a reminder. No matter. Crocs and basketball-shorts and tshirts are your wardrobe ... and occasionally a winter coat or vest.
I tell people you're the poster child for "Homeschool Kid" - except that you would be this way if you were homeschooled or not. I know this because I know your dad.

We're so thankful for you - even if we are still kind of surprised that we've been parenting for a decade - and you're the one who has taught us how to be parents.
Thanks for making it easy on us.
Can't wait to see what the next ten years brings.
Love you always,

No comments: