Alex turned nine on Saturday and I'm not sure I can even talk about it without crying. It's funny, I used to think my mom always loved my older brother more than she loved me (which may or may not be true), but now I think it was just as likely that he was simply her first born. It's probably universal, that nostalgia bump you get from the kid who first made you a parent, especially, as in my case, if being a mom is sometimes the only thing that reminds you you're not a child yourself.
Nine years later and I still have those, "HOLY SHIT, WE MADE A PERSON!" moments on a regular basis.
Especially because the person we made is just so spec-fucking-tacular.
Alex has more enthusiasm in his pinky toe than most people have in their whole bodies. He is passionate and explosive and smart and hilarious and more full of love and forgiveness than any nine-year-old boy should ever be. The older he gets, the less worthy I feel of being his mother. Because he's a boy, he and I don't have as much in common as Genoa and I do. He and his father can talk for hours - about guns and video games and tires and airsoft guns - and I'm grateful that they are so close. But just as often as not, I feel melancholy and inadequate. We haven't found our THING yet and I desperately want us to have one.
Which is why I got this on his birthday, in his handwriting, lest I ever forget:
Age nine, captured forever on my wrist! A spot I chose specifically to remind myself that nothing is more important than listening. And there's no one more important for me to listen to than Alex and Genoa.
I know it seems weird to go get a tattoo on my kid's birthday, but I offered it up as a suggestion and he loved the idea. As long as we got voodoo doughnuts first.
I love how Alex is always blurry in photos because he can't even sit still long enough for the shutter to close. He loved being there watching my wrist get tortured. I realize I'm probably a terrible influence, but he thought it was a pretty cool thing to do on his birthday.
I thought it hurt like a motherfucker. Perhaps even worse than his birth.
LISTEN, BITCH! Trust me when I say this isn't a word I'll soon forget.
Instead of a big party, Alex just wanted to have a sleepover with his closest friends, so they all came over and played beyblades until the wee hours.
I'd like to think he had a memorable birthday. I'd also like to think that whatever it is our "THING" is going to be, that's it's right around the corner. I'll just keep listening until we find it.