I can hardly believe this was ten years ago.
As of March 193rd, in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty, Silas is officially in double digits. I’m grateful; this decade has been wild and wonderful. Silas is really growing into himself, and out of a lot of things that used to slow him down. He did OT this year and got over some road blocks with sensory and motor skills stuff. He’s finally (more or less) able to ride a bike and swim. He has lots of friends and even in the pandemic, he’s finding ways to connect, through video calls, pod playdates, even the occasional letter. He’s learned to manage his own screen time because (bad parents) we at one point let him get way too much for a week or so.
It’s been a wild and rough year, in a lot of ways. Both in the big, obvious ways that have boggled all of us, but also in other, personal, growing-up sort of ways.
Just under a year ago, he had his official last piggyback ride.
He started a podcast, which has a small but loyal following.
He went on his first international trip.
And then in March, well. You know.
He’s taken it all in stride, mostly. Like everyone else, he’s been bored and anxious, but he’s great at channeling all of that into his creative projects. He’s always writing new books and RPG adventures. I’m seeing him developing leadership skills when he DMs and when he has to negotiate in playing with Petra and other friends. I wonder what he’ll remember about this time, when he grows up. I hope he remembers that we tried to make it fun, devising random things to do to set the week’s rhythm and have as much novelty as possible, in this strange and redundant time.
This year, he and Petra are turning EVEN numbers, so on our patented even/odd system, it’s Petra’s year for a party. Silas instead got a special dinner (“It’s raining tacos“), cake (chocolate with chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles), presents, and a “special family activity.”
We honestly didn’t know what to get Silas. When we asked him, he said, “Notebooks.”
JC got him “Ogres and Oubliettes,” a game that the characters on My Little Pony play. Sort of a D&D knock off?
After getting his ukulele last year, he’s finally decided to take lessons. He had his first one last week. My mom got him a book of ukulele music for Disney songs, Heather sent a book of Christmas songs….and Dad found this Black Sabbath book, which we initially thought must be a joke.
Silas has been having a hard time sleeping lately. He’s struggled off and on throughout his entire life with sleeping, and recently, he’s been in a bad patch with it. I’m learning all over how empathic he is, and how he picks up on everyone’s anxiety. I’m the same way; we’re working on it together, in particular, learning how not to create a feedback loop with each other. One thing that is easier this time than every other time is that he and I can look at this as a challenge to face together, rather than it being just my problem to get him to sleep. We can even joke about it with each other, which is wonderful.
One thing we thought would help with the sleeping is if he could have a way to take a kitten to bed. He often falls ALMOST asleep on the couch, cuddling a kitten during bedtime stories, and then has to rouse himself to go to actual bed. The problem is that his bed is a loft, and we were concerned about kittens getting stuck up there. So his “big gift” this year was a cat tree, tall enough for them to climb up to snuggle, and back down again.
This might have been a bad move. At about 11 pm on his birthday, he presented JC with the following note:
Maybe we’re suckers. Maybe there’s so little joy in 2020 that denying him what chance of happiness he might have feels churlish. Maybe it’s just impossible to say no to a kid who practically never asks for anything.
In any case, we have a new cat.
Hairy Pawter seems fine with it. Lyra is still unsure.
For Silas’ special birthday family activity, we all went horseback riding at Fort Valley Ranch. We had a great time. The horses were gentle, the guides were friendly and experienced, and the trail was beautiful. Silas hadn’t ridden a horse since he was probably three, and that was just a little thing at a fair. I was worried that he’d be scared when he got up high on the horse, but if he was, he managed it admirably. We had a fantastic time. This was a great activity to do for a special event.
Here’s to ten great years! I can hardly wait to see what he is like in another ten.