I love you, my happy Beltane Boy. Happy birthday! I asked you on the morning of your birthday last week if you feel any different and you said no, but I can see a kind of relief in your face. You’ve finally made it here. All but one of your classmates are older than you and you’ve finally caught up.
We celebrated in our usual way, with a special breakfast, flowers, your old birthday crown, which you gamely wore for a few moments. We gave you a few gifts in the morning and then sent you off to school.
By your report, it was a great day!
And in the evening, we had a special dinner: you requested fettuccine Alfredo, Brussels sprouts, Caesar salad, and a very chocolatey birthday cake.
There were a few more gifts, including this Magic The Gathering set. In fact, it was pretty much all Magic this year. It’s what you’re most interested in, most fascinated by.
On Saturday, we had a bunch of your buddies over for a party. You rode bikes and Daddy fixed burgers for everyone, and we watched a superhero movie. You wanted ice cream sundaes for dessert. Magic, Magic, and more Magic. Your friends were very generous and I believe you said it was “the best birthday party ever.”
There is so much I could say about the person you are now, yet I find whenever I try that my words come so short. You are a delicious mixture of competence and forgetfulness. You are physically strong and possess great endurance, yet you need more and more fuel and rest to support your growing body. You are wise and witty, sarcastic, and sometimes worldly, yet you dance into fantasy almost as easily as ever before. You are challenged every day—don’t think I don’t see it. Each day more and more is expected of you, and most of the time you square your shoulders and step forward bravely. There is more pressure in life and school this year; you are game to take on new things and often embrace a certain stoicism when it comes to things you don’t want to do. But at the end of the week, I can see that you are tired and really need to relax, rest, and play. Your possessions matter to you, except when you completely forget about them. You are working hard in school, and your work shows it. You are helpful and kind, and a good big brother, when you aren’t being provoked. You are still artistic and sensitive. You possess so many delightful contradictions. You exhibit such striving, beauty, and grace. You are the very picture of 12.
And I couldn’t possibly love you more.