April 30, 2014

Double Digits

A few weeks ago, my son, D, turned 10.

Double digits.  The big 1-0.  A decade old.

While it doesn't seem possible that I've now been a mother for a decade, there it is.  I've written about D so much before....too many posts to link to, in fact, so I won't link to any. For the fun of it, I just clicked on the "My Boys" tab at the top of my blog and saw post after post that I have written about D....full of pride, bittersweet at how fast he's growing up, always with love.

Last weekend we were on our way to a play.  We saw "Shrek: The Musical" at the San Diego Junior Theatre. D and I have been going to see plays and musicals and this theater for a few years now, and finally this year bought season tickets since we see all the shows anyway.  We've been branching out to other theaters in San Diego, not just the Junior Theatre, and have been having fun exploring new theaters and seeing new plays.

But I digress.

We were on our way to the play, when he said to me, "Mama, we do so many things together.".  When I asked him to name some, here's what he came up with:
  • see plays and musicals together
  • read together (I've been reading to him almost nightly all his life.  We're currently on the second book in Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles, "The Throne of Fire")
  • do puzzles together (we're in the middle of our first 1000 piece puzzle, this awesome rock 'n' roll one)
  • run together (we've run countless 5ks together and I hope to do a 10k with him next year)
  • bike together (he just got a new bike, in fact, and is slowly increasing his distance)
  • play guitar together (well, although I play a little, he is pretty darned good, and I enjoy sometimes singing to his playing)
  • watch shows together (we just started watching "Survivor" together for the first time)
  • play golf together
In short, he's become someone fun for me to do things with, not just my little boy.  As much as I wish he'd stay small forever, I am thoroughly enjoying the young man he is becoming.  He's FUN!  He marches to the beat of his own drum---he doesn't really care what others think.  He's brilliant, interesting and comes up with ideas and theories that blow me away.

He's also tenacious.  This weekend he'll be doing this first triathlon.  That's right--a triathlon!  This weekend is the Spring Sprint (a race that I myself did in 2011). My BFF is doing his first triathlon that day too---and D is doing the kids version, called the Itsy Bitsy Triathlon, for kids 7-10 years old.  It's a 100 yard swim, 3 mile bike, and 3/4 mile run. 

A few weeks ago he got an awesome new bike from my daddy and step-mother---a sweet 21-speed mountain bike, which is a huge upgrade from the 1 speed used BMX he'd been riding.  On his actual birthday, he told me he wanted to ride 10 miles for his 10th birthday.  Of course, the endurance athlete in me was so happy!  To date, his longest bike ride had been 5 miles, which is the distance around a local lake we like to bike. 

We got to the lake, and did one lap.  At the end of the lap, he was exhausted and wanted to go back to the car. I told him we could, but his goal had been 10 miles, not 5. I would do whatever he wanted to do, but wanted him to think things through.  He decided to go for 10. As we biked the second loop, I told him about the triathlon saying "suck it up, buttercup", and that he was my little buttercup for sucking it up and continuing.  At the end, he was so proud of himself for completing both the 10 miles and his goal.

The next day he showed even more tenacity.  I had signed us up for a local 5k, the Peace Love Run (race recap still pending!).  We got there bright and early, which was no easy feat since he was up late the night before at his birthday party.  As we watched the half marathon start, and then the 10k, suddenly D got a stomach ache, and told me he wanted to go home.  I knew he must not have been feeling well (too much cake and ice cream the night before!) as he loves to run and race, and told him if he didn't feel well we could go home. Or, he could try to walk it. Or, he could try to run it and stop if he needed.  I was prepared to leave, when he said he would try to run. I'm glad he did, because not only did he run the whole thing, but he came in a full 2 minutes ahead of me!  My little buttercup, sucking it up.

Right after the 5k, we drove to the other side of Mission Bay for his first open-water swim practice, in preparation for his triathlon.  We met my best friend and Steve.  The water was c-c-c-c-cold!  And poor D, who is little and has NO body fat, was freezing. He was crying, saying he made a big mistake in signing up for the tri.  But in the end, he dunked in the water and swam a bit.  Once again, sucking it up.

In short, in a 24 hour period, he "sucked it up, buttercup" with running, biking and swimming.

That's my boy. I posted about his bike ride on Dailymile, and got great responses, especially this one from my friend Rose:  "The fact that he wanted to do this for his birthday is such a great tribute to you! Your enjoyment both of being active and achieving goals has rubbed off, congratulations."

I could go on and on about D---but it all boils down to this:  I love him. I can't believe it's been a decade already, and at the same time I can't believe it's only been 10 years. I feel like I've always known him. He's one of the lights of my life, and I'm so incredibly lucky and grateful that I get to be his mommy.