Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Dear Noah :: 11 years old

Dear Noah,
You're now taller than me. It's been pretty much a lifetime goal of yours, and you have arrived! You're thrilled. And like to re-measure yourself against me regularly ... just to be sure.
I love our life together and I'm so thankful for our relationship. You are quick to stand up for me when you think someone has said or done something hurtful. You are all about hugs. You'll ask for hugs from everyone in our family. Some are more excited to oblige (your grandparents) than others (your sister). But you are not discouraged from asking.

If you had to pick one thing to do for the rest of your life, and only one thing, it would be video games. You're into roblox these days. And I'm definitely the mom who is like "so about this reebox" or some other cluelessness. But really, it's your total passion.

When you're compelled to extract yourself from video-game playing, you really enjoy riding your bike, swimming, and reading. You're always up for a road trip - to visit friends or family.

You are not interested in the least in any birds/bees/growing up/relationship conversation or story or anything. If we're listening to a podcast or I'm reading a story and there's any mention of kissing or liking someone or anything ... you insist on turning it off or walking away. You're very resistant to the idea of growing up ... for lots of reasons. Recently you said it's because you're nervous about getting a job. But usually you answer: "it's too hard to explain" when I ask what worries you about getting older. When I point out that five years ago, you weren't worried about being taller, reading chapter books, or having longer hair - you point out that growing up wasn't even a consideration for you five years ago.

Strangers often mistake you for a girl. It's funny to me, because you're so Noah. I don't think of you as "son" or "male" as much as just you. But when someone refers to you as "she", I'm still taken aback and obviously I'm not when someone refers to you in male terms. I'm so proud of you, every time, because you just laugh it off and don't make a big deal out of it. I wonder if we've done what I hoped we'd do in parenting - show that gender doesn't reflect your value. There would be no negative in being mistaken for a girl. I know it's shocking to you, but much of the world doesn't have the same belief. And you have awesome hair. Too bad much of the world doesn't allow for boys with awesome hair to grow it to whatever length they want.

You recently switched from crocs (your shoe of choice since you could articulate an opinion) to flip flops. Your uniform of sweat pants and a tshirt may change soon too. You asked for shorts that aren't basketball shorts this year and maybe you'd like some jeans. I tried not to do a happy dance outside of my head. You say the wardrobe change is because it goes better with your new flip flops, which you love.

I love seeing you interact with the world. You love your sisters and spend a fair amount of time interacting with Del .... often this is her mad at you, but it's also just talking about books or video games. You wind Del up, often unintentionally, but also with a twinkle in your eyes at times. Rye enjoys riding on your shoulders and you enjoy getting her to giggle ... but you refuse to read her a book because you don't like to read out loud. Lately you've been getting up with her in the mornings when we're out doing chores, and watching a movie with her in Nina and Poobah's room. It actually ends up being parts of several different movies, apparently, because 20 minutes into one, she'll be over it and insisting on a different one. You oblige.

You are still very much drawn to Uncle Josh. He can talk computers and programming with you but is also game for any rough housing or video game chat.

You're going to Florida with Grammy and Del this summer to visit Nina and Poobah who are there for the summer to be with your new cousin, Wally, and Tante A, David, Michelle, and Hailey. You are very excited to fly on an airplane.

You're sensitive and sweet. Compassionate and thoughtful. You are also often in your own world and still appreciate "thinking time", so it's not uncommon for you to say: "huh?" in confusion as you check back in with your surroundings - whether because you've been reading, playing a video game, watching a movie, or just thinking. (I couldn't tell you what you're thinking about because "it's too hard to explain".) You will often recount memories and fill in details about how you were feeling back then (at 4yrs old or 6yrs old) - feelings you couldn't explain then. It's always eye opening.

So so thankful for you and the life we've had so far. I can't believe you're now closer to being 20yrs old than being a newborn. But here we are. And it's just so fun to see you mature and become more you, every single day.
Love you always,

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