Happy Birthday: Ten!

O’s birthday fell during my Lenten blog-fast, but rest assured, the celebration happened in February. Here are a few photos of the TEN crazy events that Sam designed for the Pokémon party. (I think we only had time for 7 or 8 of them, but no one was complaining.)

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The party was a blast. I love that he doesn’t seem to categorize his friends in any way. He invited three year-olds and fourteen year-olds, and as far as I can tell, all of them had a good time. Girls and boys. Ever since he was little, O has taken everyone very much as they are. In fact, when SweetP was born, he was the only one of my children who really seemed to take her seriously as a person. (He still does. I love that about him.)

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At ten, O is more verbal about his preferences: which books he likes (or doesn’t), what he likes for breakfast, swimming and volleyball over pretty much everything else. He doesn’t want a lot of photos of himself on my blog. Okay, can do. (But birthday photos don’t count, right?)

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During the fall volleyball season, he was one of the only two boys in our league.  I was in the bleachers at one of the tournaments, and a dad from another team sat next to me for one of the games. After one of O’s serves, he turned to me and said, “What’s with the boy on the girls’ volleyball team?” Every bit as irate as my parents’ were in the 70’s when someone asked them about why a girl [I] was on a boys’ soccer team, I turned to him and said, “Title Nine.”

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Several years ago, O decided he wasn’t going to ski any more; he was going to snowboard. He had watched the Olympics; snowboarding was cool. But frustrating, especially to an eight-year old who didn’t skateboard. He gave it multiple tries over the past three seasons, but never really got it. This winter, he told me he was going to “give it up forever.” We had a good talk, and he decided he might try skiing one last time before he made his [irrevocable, permanent, forever] decision. At ten.

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So last month, he did a day of ski school. Midday, Sam and I popped into the restaurant where the ski school classes were eating lunch. He had a big smile on his face and gave us a thumbs-up. That afternoon, his teacher advanced him to the next level. Next day, O skied again and was moved up to level three. Don’t get me wrong. he’s not going to be Phil Maher. But he worked hard and surmounted a lot of self-doubt and trepidation to make it happen. And now we can ski as a family. Oh, ten is turning out to be a great age.

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