Ten. In most cases I'd consider that an incomplete sentence, but that was before our youngest child turned ten. At times it doesn't feel like ten years since we began to wonder if he'd ever sleep through the night, or if the crazy nightmares he seemed to suffer with through the toddler years would ever end, or attempting to navigate the waters of a child with food intolerances, but then there are times where it seems an eternity ago. Yet, here we are, right now. Celebrating his 10th birthday. Where on earth did the time go?
I apparently blanked out somewhere between the time he threw himself out of his crib to climb in bed with his brother & now. You know, when your kids are suppose to be sound asleep & the light hanging from the ceiling shakes when you hear the loudest thud ever you really do chuck the phone across the room & run for it. He did it a second time, so we left him sleeping in the floor. He was always our daring child until he ended up with stitches, then things seemed to finally slow down a bit.
After all, this was the child who permitted his brother to tie him to a skateboard & shove him down a tiered hill. Oh to have been able to video tape that escapade! These days he's a little less daring in his leaps of craziness, but a whole lot more outgoing. Long gone are the days when I had a permanent bruise on my chest from him quickly slamming his head into it to hide. Now he takes his replica rifle out front to practice standing guard at the front gate. I've given up worrying about what the neighbors think, all though they still seem to give us a pretty wide girth.
Ten is when the birthday traditions seem to start in our home. On one side of the family a watch is the gift of choice, while on the other it's the year they get their first pocket knife. Jayden has been heavily stressed about the pocket knife tradition, he's questions & questioned about it. "Are you sure I'll get a pocket knife?" "You won't buy it will you, it will really be from Poppy won't it?" These questions started at the first of the year. While we did buy Morgan's first pocket knife, Dad had really wanted to do that & was happy to replace it when the first one was lost.
Jayden wanted Poppy to buy his knife, he wanted his knife to be as special. Little did he know that if we hadn't had the "ten rule" in place Poppy would have bought him that pocket knife a couple of years ago. But we do have the "ten rule" & a "sixteen rule" & a "thirty five rule" & I think an "eighty rule" too.
None of those really bother Jayden. He wasn't keen on anything but his pocket knife. So we did the only thing we could think of. We obtained the knife for him & I wrote him a note. I told him that he wasn't forgotten, that he was well loved. That there was a knife for him but that Mom & Dad had that dreadful "ten rule" & so they'd had to save the knife until he was old enough to have it. I suppose, without meaning to, we implied we had the knife in our hands all this time. I hadn't actually meant to do that.
So now, when he shows off his brilliant new "ten rule" pocket knife, he tells everyone how his grandpa in America bought it for him & his parents kept it until he was ten. Will I change his story? No, & even if I did he would tell the version he tells now. After all, this is the child who tells everyone he was born on a toilet where he jumped out of Mom's belly button, skateboarded across the bathroom, & jumped into Dad's arms so he could cut his belly button. Never a dull moment with this child.