Thursday, February 04, 2016

Dear Jorge, at 9

Oh, Jorge.

Last week was your ninth birthday.  We celebrated a little at home on the day and then had a bigger celebration (and bigger cake) on the weekend.  As always happens, everyone was sick/snowed-in/busy so the celebration ended up with Aunt Judy as the only additional person but we do quality over quantity.

You're nine now!  Third grade, assertive, ambitious. You want so much to be treated as a mature, responsible kid without any actual expectations of maturity or responsibility. You're still solidly in the habit of throwing screaming fits for hours when your emotions just completely overwhelm you which can happen for anything as simple as saying there's no dessert this evening or that you have to put your clean laundry away sometime this afternoon. But when you're in control of yourself, you're a pretty great kid to be around.  You like to build and cook--anything that requires a lot of steps to get an impressive result is appealing to you as long as you have the patience not to rush through it.  You are a great big brother to August and you spend hours and hours with Katie.

You love to swim and ice skate and snorkel and bike and really anything that involves movement.  You also love to read and draw and write stories and research space and history.  Anything Star Wars, GI Joe, or Lego is top notch.

You're a good student when you take your time but you are nearly always focused on "finish" and "next" instead of "doing" and "now".  This leads to endless frustration for you as you have to re-do sloppy work, fix silly mistakes, or be reigned in from tearing the house down.  We are constantly reminding you to slow down, do it carefully, check your work, and focus on the task at hand.  We could save ourselves a lot of time if we just put those on a repeating loop.

But you're you, and you are great.  You have strong commitment to your beliefs and you work hard to help anyone you see that needs help. Just, please, slow down and enjoy the days, buddy.  The weeks and months go so fast; there's no need to rush them. Be nine. Stop wishing the days and weeks and months away until you're the age Katie is today so that you can have whatever it is you think your life is missing, or you'll actually miss your own life.  When you remember this and just live in the moment, your joy for life is incredible.  And that's all I want for you.


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