Happy 9th birthday! I am more than a bunch of days late, but that is because I've been thinking about what I want to share with you about the last year of your life. It's not easy to boil everything down to one blog post. And honestly, because your personality has been so strong and clear from an early age, I know I might come across as repetitive - and I don't want it to seem like you haven't grown over the past year, because indeed, you have!
So as you might expect, you continue to be an emotionally smart, kind and funny kid who is a voracious collector of stories in both the film, written and spoken version. That will never change. I could just copy this paragraph and paste it for every year that you continue to grow.
As for the differences, from seven to eight years old, you had a year of positive growth, an easy happy year. This past year has been a bit different. It will for sure all be positive in the long run, but while you and I are in it together, it could better be described as a year of growing pains. You changed from a kid who sourced all your confidence from you family who knows better and adores you wholeheartedly to needing validation from the outside world, which can often be cold and mean.
Yes, it was a hard year of feeling not good enough: not good enough in school, not good enough in friendship, not good enough at sports. And none of it really factually true, but if that is what you were feeling, then it might as well be. What I realized about you is that there is much inside you that is exactly like me (you poor boy!) in your need to excel and in your absolute fear of doing anything or trying anything new where you will not immediately be the best at that thing.
You have indeed come out on the other side of this year, still reeling and a bit dizzy, but definitely in a happier place. I know that you will always strive for perfection and that will continue to carry a ball of stress and anxiety inside of you. But with this drive, you will also reach higher and be more remarkable than you ever could have imagined. And the people around will only see the amazing results of your reaching for perfection, not the imaginary stress ball that you carry around with you. So please always remember to revel in that and know that although all the literature states that I am not supposed to encourage your "comparative need for best", that you are more often than not, the best and that you, my love, my first born, my boy who made me a mother, ROCK.
I love you,