Happy 8th birthday Mario!
I find it very interesting that the day before you turned eight, you broke out in hives. I was awoken from a much-needed deep sleep by squeals of pain from you.
“Mom, mom, it itches so bad!”
I ran into your bedroom to find you thrashing around in your bed trying to itch your ankle, your belly and your neck at the same time.
The doc diagnosed it as a reaction from the medicine you have been taking for your ear infection. I diagnose it as my son itching – literally – to turn another year older. You have been wanting to be older than your years for some time now. Some examples:
1. You beg and beg to watch rated R movies. Anything with gore and horror, you are dying to see.
2. You can’t wait to grow a beard.
3.You beg to be able to drink alcohol. I had a beer with dinner the other night and you tried to swipe a sip.
4. You swear that you should be able to walk to and from school all by yourself.
5. You bought your first bottle of cologne called “Vengeance.”
6. You want an I-phone 6 to be able to text.
7. You love helping me and dad “drive” down the street, and can’t wait to own a car. Your latest thought is you’d look best in a Lamborghini.
8. You can’t stand any tv shows targeted to kids ages 6-9. You haven’t liked Transfotmers or Ben Ten in years. You love The Middle.
9. You want to get your ears pierced so badly!
10. You’ve been telling dad and me for years that “you’re heading out to the bars” when we tell you it’s bedtime.
But as much as you say you want to be older than eight, I think you may question that decision if you couldn’t:
1. Cuddle with mom on the couch while watching Good Mythical Morning.
2. Hold dad’s hand as you walk from the car to the store.
3. Have mom scratch your back before bed.
4. Have someone get you water when you don’t feel like moving.
5. Be carried to bed after you’ve fallen asleep on the couch.
6. Have Grandma sit with you and listen to you read.
7. Have mom and dad tie your shoes.
8. Wrestle with your mom until you are down for the count and getting kisses galore all over your face.
9. Go on a bike ride around the block with mom and dad.
10. Slip in bed with dad and mom and cozy up to both of us all night long.
And if you could live without some of the above, at least act like you couldn’t because I’m not quite ready to give all of those things up….
So, what did you do in your seventh year of life?
1. You went fishing! Your most favorite activity. For a kid who loves to wrestle and move all the time, it cracks me up that you can sit for hours on end and wait to catch a fish. You love heading out with your dad or your Peepaw. Grandma Ionno even takes you to her little pond outside of her condo. Dad bought you a sweet fishing pole this year, too.
2. You conquered zip lining! Ri thought of the idea (of course!) and you were all in…until we got to the top of the tree and you had to fly across the line to the next tree 200 feet away! Ri tried to pump you up for it by going before you and getting on the guide’s walkie talkie to tell you it was easy as pie, but you were not convinced. The second guide had to ride with you and you held on for your life! But at the last zip line, number 5, you mustered up the courage to go for it. You kept us guessing as to whether you’d go through with it – hemming and hawing for ten minutes straight – but then you let go of the line and we’re off to the races! When I made it over to you, you had a huge smile on your face and begged to do it again.
3. You braved the ocean even though you were terrified of sharks! You’ve watched every Jaws movie and when it hit you we were going to the beach for Summer vacation, you made it clear that you would not swim in the ocean. But dad went out in the water and then Ri and mom, and your competitive spirit kicked into gear. You were right out there with us in minutes. Granted, you were vigilant in watching the waters for shark fins and you constantly dove under water with your goggles to ensure no sharks were near you, but you braved the ocean and let go of your fear!
4. You partied in Georgia! We drove down for Maggie’s wedding and you danced it up with Maggie’s girlfriends. You also scoured the grounds to try to find a ring that one of the flower girls lost. Even when we told you to give it up, we saw you continually looking around for it wherever you went. Sweet boy.
5. You flipped a tire! I took you and a friend up to the Grandview track and a couple of hulks were doing a Crossfit session. Part of the session was flipping a huge tire. You were in awe. One of the guys asked if you wanted to help him. You jumped on the invite and helped him flip it. Then you and Henry tried it and after a few grunts, you got it over! 6. You started walking the neighbor’s dog for money. You are loving that. And she even paid you $5 one day rather than $3 which was quite the treat for you! You did have to pick up its poop though…!
7. You were in your first Memorial Day Parade! You were finally old enough to get into the GBSA league for baseball and got to ride in a truck with your buddies and throw candy into the crowd. 8. You went turkey hunting with dad at Uncle Mario’s house. You told dad to move over to a spot because the turkeys would be more likely to go there but dad refused. Fifteen minutes later, as you sat in your original spot with dad, the turkeys strutted around the spot you told him to go to earlier. Dad had to apologize! You also got to ride in Uncle Mario’s farming machines!
9. You were finally able to ride the black slide at Fort Rapids because you hit the height level of 48 inches! You turned around to look at me when the lifeguard waved you through and you had the hugest smile on your face.
10. You got an electric scooter! You begged for the scooter all summer because your buddies a couple streets over have them. Grandma Lolo gave you your birthday money early and we went straight to Target to buy it for you. You sat on the couch anxiously and waited for it to charge. And when that green light went on, you were off. The next morning you were in our bedroom at 6:45 am ready to take it out for another spin. 11. You started second grade! Dad and I waited outside the school with you for the bell to ring assuming you’d want us to head inside with you. But that bell rung and you waved goodbye to us and disappeared with a throng of boys inside. There is no doubt the days of you clinging to my leg and crying hysterically for me to stay with you are gone.
Oh, my sweet Mario, you bring energy and laughter to our days. I love listening to you talk about the latest music video you’ve watched and hearing you describe your moves at football practice. You have absorbed a lot in this past year and amaze me with what you know. And although you can be quite the pistol at times, I am assured that trait will somehow take you far in the future. But for as often as you are a pistol, you are also a loving, thoughtful, sincere child who would drop everything if one of us was in need. You continue to grow into a most incredible being and dad and I could not be happier to call you our son (but please lay off so much cologne!).
Love you darlin’!