Today you turn nine years old, and just like every other year, I’m shocked. It’s your last year in single digits, which I reminded of you yesterday, and you thought was so cool. Parenting has gotten more complicated. I laugh now at parents who think the toddler years are so, so hard. They are, yes, but parenting an older kid brings a whole new set of worries.
But you, Riley, you’re a dream of a child. You’re magic. If I could have 5 more of you, I would. Though I’m sure I’d have a constant headache because you’re a pretty loud kid who is constantly singing, humming, talking or yelling.
I can’t mind too much. You love to be around your family. You still love to cuddle us and sit on my lap. You sometimes interrupt me just to tell me you love me. These are not things parents are allowed to complain about.
Your 8th year of life was a big one. We moved from the only house and friends you’ve known to a new house and a new school. You were so brave through it all. You appreciate that we have a bigger house, with more space to run around. If you were overly sad about us moving, you never showed it.
You have a genuine appreciation for us as parents, which I did not expect to find in an 8-year old. Today, you told me I didn’t have to get you a cake to enjoy on your actual birthday because I “do enough” for you. Who says that? What 9-year-old boy notices and understands how much their parents do?
And that’s reason 1,276,899 why I love you so, so much. To infinity and beyond.