To Canton as You Turn 10

Dear Canton,

T-E-N! How on earth did that happen? I know I say it every year, but this one seems particularly significant.

In job interviews one is often asked “Where do you see yourself ten years from now?” Well, when you were born I certainly didn’t seem myself in Williamsburg staying home with three kids, but I cannot imagine it any other way. Often, life will throw curveballs your way, your life will be on a different path than you imagined, it is difficult to work through a lot of these, but luckily, sometimes the other side is something beautiful. In your next ten years you will be well on your way to your own life, outside of our house, and on the road to changing the world.

How did I get so lucky to have such a beautiful soul in my life? You are brilliant, empathetic, funny, and loving. You have changed so much in your short time! I remember back to the little boy splashing dump trucks in muddy puddles in Floyd and now I watch you act your heart out on stage.  See, it’s one of those paths I didn’t anticipate, but boy I sure am glad we are here now.

You changed so much this past year! You worked so hard and swam a 50 and then more and learned a few other strokes along the way. You were reluctant but you tried tap and jazz and learned a lesson of persistence. Most things come so easily to you, but swimming and tap did not, but you kept going. There were some tears along the way, but you kept moving forward and kept improving. May you always be open to trying new things and stretching your comfort zone.

You continue to be a kind brother, one who is a great role model and caretaker of his sisters. You sewed an owl for Liberty for her birthday all on your own. You always make sure to spend time with “your twin” Adleigh. As you get older I hope they remain a big part of your life. Your siblings are the only ones that will ever know how you grew up, take care of that bond. May you always look out for them and be an example of what a good man is in this challenging world.

Music has become a big part of your life. Mary Poppins soundtrack generally plays on loop and you belt out “The Cover is Not the Book” or hone your cockney accent with “Trip a Little Light Fantastic”. You learned the recorder, the first one in your class to get the “black belt” and you have helped several others when they were struggling. The best thing you can ever be is kind, and I’m so proud of the kind and empathetic person you are. You also preformed several musical numbers on stage with your acting class, you continue to wow us with your skill. You were in Wizard of Oz at school and “monkeyed around” the stage. You have even taken up piano.  Although you have only started in April, you played “You are My Sunshine” on Mother’s Day for me as tears streamed down my face. It was the perfect gift. May you always carry a tune in your soul.

To celebrate your big 1-0 you and dad took at trip to see NYC! Our house is generally full of box forts, skyscraper models, and show tunes, so NYC was a perfect place for you. You loved seeing all the buildings and the Broadway tour. It takes a lot to impress you and you certainly were in awe of the city. May you continue to travel and see that there is whole big world out there.

Your mind is constantly moving. You light up every room you enter. You see life in color in all that you do. The next ten years will be hard. You will be off to middle school, high school, and college (UVA?), you will vote, get a job, and you will gain friends and you will lose friends. You will make your imprint on your community. The world needs your brain, your humor, your empathy.  May you continue to create, laugh, and love.

At age ten you will begin for form the adult you are going to be.  It takes years to find all the pieces of yourself, but the road ahead is paved with some magical adventures my son, twists and turns, accidents and shortcuts, but just keep going, I promise that I will gently move from being the hand on your wheel to just a guard rail along your journey, I know you are ready to fly.

Just remember:

“When life is getting scary

Be your own illuminary

Who can shine the light for all the world to see”

I love you sunshine!



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