Mario turned nine yesterday. At least, he turned nine in biological years. In Mario years, he’s 21.
If he could break free from the confines of his parent’s house, he’d do it in a heart beat. If he could head to the bar and drink a cold one, he’d be off. If he could head to the coffee shoppe and get an espresso, he would walk there in a second. If he could bike to campus to hang out with millennials, he’d grab his helmet and take off.
This is not to say that he doesn’t still ask me to get him water or rub his back at night. It’s not to say that when he’s chillin’ on the couch he doesn’t ask me to sit next to him and snuggle. He even still let’s me squeeze and kiss him in private (he’d die if I did it around friends).
But he has definitely hit an independence streak. I think he may deal with us until age 16 and then pack his bags for California and take off to hang with the surfer dudes and make vlogs. But he loves money so much that if he did move out, he’d be one of those young, hip entrepreneurs who drops out of high school but makes millions.
So, how to sum up Mario’s eighth year of life? He loves you tube. He loves watching music videos. He loves playing video games with his buddies. He loves going to football games and playing on the hill with his friends and talking with the older kids. He loves wrestling and jumping all around the house. He loves sports. He enjoys biking by himself to the library or down to school. He still craves chocolate everything. He will drop all plans to go fishing. He remains a total character. He is compassionate and sweet, and loves to make people laugh.
Some highlights from his eighth year:
1. Football games with his buddies and sideline passes with his dad.
2. Halloween trick-or-treating with his two friends (and mom not standing too close to them as they went house to house)…and a boatload of candy!
3. Serving Thanksgiving meal to homeless men at the Y and chatting it up with them.
4. Christmas morning opening presents – oh, the drama and anticipation!
5. A broken arm! At 11:20 pm on NYE, you ran into my friend’s dining room holding your arm and crying that it was broken. Your friend had fell down on it as you were playing. Sure enough, it was. We sat at the hospital as the New Year was brought in laughing at you in your “high” state from the pain meds.
6. You took care of Grandpa Ionno’s grave in Marietta.
7. You went to Feed the Streets with me and walked a mile passing out water and lunches to people in need.
8. You went hunting with your dad and “had the best day of your life!”
9. You watched OSU hockey with your buddies in a suite with tons of cookies, and met Brutus!
10. You got all dressed up for Easter and killed it on the volleyball court.
11. You went on Spring Break with the Webers and Muellers to Hocking Hills. You went fishing and hiked. I met you there two days into break and we explored together. You loved taking risks and climbing steep rock climbs.
12. You cranked baseball this year – one of the strongest players!
13. You fed a baby calf and named it after a girl at school (romantic, just like your dad).
14. You starred in your first talent show singing “We will rock you!”
15. You became enamored with ball pythons.
16. You started sporting sweet Panama Jack hats.
17. You won Elena’s heart by making her laugh with your silly antics.
18.You kayaked and fished on Lake Erie.
19. You went white-water rafting, zip lined, and completed a mud obstacle course in West Virginia!
21. You swam in the creek at Park of the Roses with your pup!
22. You won a poop emoji at the Ohio State Fair!
23. You started third grade – your last year at RLS!
24. You celebrated your birthday with a bunch of friends at Get Air and a sleepover!
Happy birthday our sweet Mario. I hope this year brings you lots of learning experiences and lots of adventures. And guess what?
We love you (you weren’t here to say it before me:)!).