You turned 10 on Easter Friday and you chose a beach holiday over a birthday party because you realised that it would probably be the last chance for you to visit the beautiful beaches in this part of the world.
We spent the long Easter weekend at a popular tourist destination 3 hours from where we live. It was cloudy and windy, but it didn’t stop you from having a blast at the beach. You raced with the tides and crashing waves. White sand beach and emerald green water made you so happy.
We spent hours building sand castles at the beach and you were determined to build the best sand castle. It was good to see you so focused and determined to do something well.
Later in the evening, we went to a local seafood place for your birthday dinner. It was a little restaurant that sat on stilts and stretched into the sea. A little run down, no frills, nothing extravagant or fanciful. You loved it and I was happy you did because the last thing we want is for you to grow up with a sense of entitlement especially on this special day.
Before we left for the beach holiday, you had a great time celebrating your birthday with your friends and teachers in school though. The minecraft birthday cake I baked made you so happy. Before that, you’ve been telling me that I needn’t have to because you knew how much effort it took. You can be muddle headed but once in a while you surprised me with your thoughtfulness.
It was also the same day, when your “favouritest” librarian, Mr Martin told you that you had broken the school reading record and were on your way to setting a new record for the school. His beard was still there though. I think you must have made him ‘work’ very hard to keep his beard this year!
Frankly, I was the excited parent while you were nonchalant. To you, it didn’t matter whether there was a reading test or if there was a target to hit. It didn’t matter whether you came first or last. You read because it was fun. Period.
Even though you had hit your reading target, you picked up your first Harry Potter books and devoured 2 books over the weekend. You think that the next best reader in your class did well despite the fact that his score was only a fraction of yours and you weren’t particularly eager to announce your score to the class. You remember what we said about being smart. That it matters more to put in effort and to have a positive attitude. And that nothing is quite impossible when you put your heart to it.
I am proud of you in so many ways. I am proud that you are humble and that you are kind and sensitive to your friends’ feelings.
I am happy that you seem to understand that the only person you really need to compete against is yourself. Most of all, I am happy that you are driven not by recognition and fame but by a genuine love and passion.
You may be just 10 but sometimes I feel you already have the answers to some of the big questions in life.
It is my wish and hope that you will never lose sight of the really important stuff as you grow up in this competitive, materialistic and mostly imperfect world.