“Ten years old, huh? A decade, double digits, the big ONE-oh!“*
It’s official. Tyler has reached “double digits”, heralding the beginning of a whole new stage called the “preteen” years. That stage has been fun so far with Ethan, and I’m expecting nothing less with Tyler.
Tyler was beyond excited to go to bed last night as a 9-year-old, and wake up this morning as a big 10-year-old. Surprisingly, I’m feeling rather okay about it as well. I thought I would be a weepy mess just thinking about him reaching this huge milestone, but I’m not (yet). While the past decade has gone quickly in some ways, it has gone slowly in others. Tyler hasn’t always been an ‘easy’ child to parent, but as he has gotten older, things have changed. He struggled with low self-esteem from the age of 4 (I know) but we have worked through that, and over the past few years his confidence has soared in so many areas. He has settled into himself, both physically and mentally. I know that sounds funny, but it’s the best way to describe what’s happened to him. He’s always had a cheeky, playful, fiery, stubborn, determined, adventurous personality, and still does. He’s always felt things very deeply and worn his heart on his sleeve, even from a very young age. When he was younger he struggled to control and understand some of the emotions he felt and some of the thoughts he had (e.g. “I’m no good at anything”), but he is learning to do that now. So I am actually really excited about this next stage for him. I think he’ll thrive and relish the opportunities that will come his way. And hopefully his anxiety issues won’t come back to bother him during his teenage years.
Just like his older brother did 2 1/2 years ago, Tyler decided to celebrate his 10th birthday by going to Parakai Hot Pools for the day with his family and four of his best mates. He has always loved the water and Parakai is one of our favourite places to go! We woke up on Saturday morning to the sound of thunderstorms, and were hoping and praying that the weather would improve. Sure, the hot pools are an okay place to be on a rainy day, but we wanted to have a picnic lunch as well. Thankfully, the weather cleared and we had beautiful sunny skies for the rest of the day … until about 30 minutes before we headed home. Perfect!
The boys had such a great time at the pools, and the slides were particularly popular! I think they spent the best part of about 3 hours on them, and we had to practically drag them away for cake! Three of Tyler’s friends hadn’t been to Parakai before, and they loved the slides so much. To be honest, they didn’t spend much time in the pools at all! I enjoyed a nice soak in the big spa pool though, and gave the slides a miss this time (I wasn’t feeling 100%).
Tyler had written a list of requested party food, and all items were dutifully provided! The bacon & egg pie was made by Nana, who makes the “best” bacon & egg pie around! We did our cocktail sausage trick (cook them at home and put them in a thermos — they stay piping hot).
Since Tyler loves the water SO much, he decided on a pool cake (which then became a beach cake after we found a fun idea on Pinterest). Tiny Teddy swimmers and sunbathers, sour ring floaties, cookie crumb sand, fruit roll ups for the towels, a cocktail umbrella and some plastic palm trees. Easy! Unfortunately it was so windy that we couldn’t do candles, but Tyler didn’t mind.
This morning Tyler asked me to take a few photos of him before school (he’s obviously learned that that’s just what happens on your birthday, so there’s no point fighting it). He requested a few photos with his brother, too.
On the boys’ birthdays, we always have a family dinner at our place with my parents and sister. The birthday boy gets to chose the menu, and for tonight Tyler has chosen burgers and wedges, followed by cake (this time with candles!) and ice cream.
When Ethan turned 10, the family chipped in to buy him an iPod Touch. So Tyler wanted the same thing for his 10th birthday. We’ll be giving him that tonight, and he is very excited! He was really good about not getting any presents this morning, and happy to wait until tonight to get his ONLY gift from us (and most of the family). I know he will love it, and I will enjoy not having to share my iPad with him! He LOVES music, so although having games on there is a huge drawcard, I know he will really enjoy being able to listen to his favourite songs. He’s got an old, crappy CD player in his room and I burn CDs for him, but having the iPod will be so much better. We did give Tyler his cards this morning, and what Ethan had written inside his one made my eyes go a bit watery:
I wish you a great birthday and hope you enjoy your special day. I know sometimes it might not seem like it, but I really do love you. My life would be like a pen with no ink without you. You are the closest and most precious thing to my heart. Have a great birthday and have lots of fun with your iPod!
Love Ethan xo
Today Tyler will enjoy a lunch order from the school canteen (the boys only order their lunches on their birthdays) and he can’t wait for his special dinner with the family tonight. Unfortunately I’m home sick today (and typing this blog post from my bed) but the silver lining is that I get to see more of my birthday day, as I will be here when he gets home from school (yay). I am loving this age, I really am. And I LOVE my boy, he is just the most incredible kid. Definitely not perfect, but definitely all kinds of awesome. I am really proud of the person he is becoming, and I can’t imagine my life without him in it.
Happy 10th Birthday, Tyler Robson! I love you! x
* Marty to Alex, in Madagascar (Mada-who-har?) of course!