A Decade of Duncan

To My Dear Son,

You have been reminding me for weeks that your 10th birthday is fast approaching. I have brushed off thinking about that because it’s just another reminder of the swift passage of time. A lot has happened since you arrived in my life and when I do think about it, though, it is a wonderful story.

Now that you have reached the ten year milestone, this is what your life looks like: baseball, video games, pizza and root beer, ill-fitting shirts, and dumpy, busted, stinky shoes. Your room is a mess of dirty clothes, toys, random papers, sports posters and candy wrappers. Your school backpack contains a storm of crumpled assignments with excellent grades. You are a fast-moving, noisy, bright-eyed ball of energy with a big smile and an even bigger heart.

You are exceptionally good with your money. Saving your allowances is a deliberate act and not just the result of forgetfulness. I am proud of your discipline and often embarrassed when you call me out for not having your cash allowance ready on time.

After a summer of baseball games and the first few weeks of a new indoor practice regimen, your baseball skills have increased dramatically. I have to keep telling you to back up before you throw to me because those fastballs are coming in hot now. A few have ricocheted off of my feet and shins because your accuracy isn’t at the same level as your velocity.

You were happy to return to in-person class again, to be a part of the chaos of elementary school. You are excelling at every subject, just on the edge of being bored with the work. A leader in the classroom, a friend to all of the kids and teachers in school.

During these ten years together there are still some parts of you that have remained the same. You are still my buddy who likes to help me with my tasks around the house especially if it involves something in the garage. We continue to have our talks at night if there is something on your mind, and share reading time before bed. That’s a ritual I hope you continue if you become a father some day.

You have consistently been kind and generous with your time and always supportive of your friends and family. Recently you have taught me that the best medicine for a broken heart is to share your root beer and offer up a good game of catch. This awareness of others will help build strong friendships for you throughout your life.

Here is my birthday message to you: at this age you have a kind of freedom you can’t possibly comprehend. Holidays are magical and the distances between them seem vast. Summers are full of play time and sodas and trips to new places. The colder days have games and art and fun with classmates. Your life is packed with friends and action. The hardest things you have to do at home are washing the dishes and putting up with your sister’s constant badgering. I wish you could have the awareness necessary to understand just how good you have it right now. You are right in the wheelhouse of being a kid and I hope you take full advantage of this time.

Today is the day we celebrate you, my bright and handsome son, for it is your birthday and you are 10 years old. Our decade together has been a blessing. You are a sweet and kind, considerate and loving son. Every day with you is the best day.

Happy birthday to you, my little Monkey Man, my Duncan Philip.

November 21, 2021 at 1:09 pm Leave a comment

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