My little baby boy is 10 years old today. It’s pretty emotional for me.
Ten is a big deal. Double-digits. Two hands.
We’ve always used “ten” as the thing in our house. As in…”you can get a cell phone when you’re ten…” “you can stay home alone when you’re ten”…”you can play Call of Duty when you’re ten.”
Now we’re officially screwed. It’s here and we are so not ready for all of the above.
It’s been a great 10 years…in some ways it flew by. But other times I look back at pictures and barely remember, and that makes me sad. I found some great pictures and wanted to put together what I think are Brendan’s TOP 10 Life Moments so far:
Obviously birth is going to be the number one life moment! I’d like to say this is the day that we officially became a family. And that’s true, except for my cats. You see, we were a cat family before we were a little people family. But even pre-birth, the cats, especially Jack, loved Brendan.
When we first brought Brendan home from the hospital, Jack wouldn’t leave him alone.
And even now, they are the best of friends. Jack knows to cuddle with Brendan when he’s sick, or really, anytime.
First time at Walt Disney World
Brendan was maybe a month old when we had our first visit to Walt Disney World. It was a random thing that happened, as we got a free night to stay at the Grand Floridian. I mean, how often does that happen? So we packed him and all his stuff up and spent the night. He even had his own bed!
The next day, we went over to EPCOT just to walk around. It was his first Disney park.
Thankfully, he hasn’t gotten sick of Disney yet! He’s convinced he’s going to work there when he grows up and still loves everything there. Even the Magic Kingdom, which may be his favorite.
We are big hockey fans. Brendan was actually named for our favorite Detroit Red Wing player, Brendan Shanahan. (I know, please don’t hate all you Blackhawks fans!) We were lucky enough to find out one day that the Stanley Cup was going to be on display at Downtown Disney. I have no idea why – but it was pretty awesome. This is one of my favorite pictures ever.
Brendan has really turned into an all-around athlete. Not only is his good in a lot of different sports, he’s really focused and he’s a good sport. His first sport was soccer.
He also played t-ball as a little man, and was the only kid on the field in position and ready to play.
He played some little league as well.
He’s gotten pretty into cycling, but hates these big hills..
He’s quite the little fisherman. He really likes to study the differences of fish.
Golf is another sport that he’s pretty good at, at least the miniature version. We need to get him on a real course!
We did karate for a bit, until his yellow belt.
Overall, Brendan is really an all-around guy. He doesn’t like one sport more than another and wants to try all the sports out there. He’s been really good at all of them. I’m happy that he’s not set on only playing football. I think it’s great he likes to try new things all the time.
Having a Brother
Having a brother changed everything for Brendan, whether he realizes it or not. Most days, I think he’s happy he has a brother. They are only 2 1/2 years apart, so they really are close.
Brendan has always been a great older brother. He learned patience, learned the need for privacy and “alone-time” but also has been a good teacher for his younger brother. I really hope these two continue to be good friends as they grow up. When Patrick was born Scott said to me, “Brendan is so silly, what is Patrick is really serious.” He was a pretty serious looking baby – but quickly grew up to be an even bigger goof then Brendan. The two of them are just very funny boys.
First Day of Preschool
I still can’t get over how cute he was going to school for the first time. We were very lucky that we had a great preschool with no only excellent teachers, but also excellent classmates and parents.
On his first day of school, Brendan came home and declared he had a new best friend. “His name is Matt and he has two fish and two dogs and two mommies.” The best part about all of this, the boys are still best buddies today, heading into fifth grade. We are friends with his moms and Matt has a little brother Patrick’s age.
First Day of Kindergarten
It all seems to go by so fast! And all of the sudden it’s real school! Preschool was great, filled with fun, crafts and family events. Suddenly we’re in the world of public school where there are community school supplies, bought by parents, grades and daily homework. We were lucky in that we had a perfect, amazing kindergarten teacher. It was interesting to be in such a mix of kids, one of whom even got suspended…in kindergarten!!
We are lucky to be at an amazing school with excellent teachers and high standards. I just think that’s so important. It’s a pretty good community with active parents. Brendan has made some great friends and even better memories. I’m happy with our decision for public school. I really hope the middle school years are just as positive!!
Importance of Family
From early on, Brendan understood the importance of family. We are surrounded by family members pretty much all the time. His two cousins are his best friends and live just 10 minutes away. Extended family is all around and we are all visiting each other often. Grandparents on both sides are always around and always involved. He even has other “grandparents” in my brother-in-laws parents. Brendan was even around for my great-grandmother’s 100th birthday party. There’s a lot of family. But I think the first time we all remember him realizing how important it was, was during Christmas one year.
Our annual family tradition with Scott’s family is to have dinner together at EPCOT and then enjoy the Candlelight Processional. It’s one of my favorite things ever. This one year, we were eating dinner in Germany and Brendan was called to the stage. The man asked him what he wanted for Christmas, Brendan answered with something like…”For my Nana and Papa to move to Florida.” Well, that was enough to make Nana cry and for her to announce that he’s getting a car when he turns 16. Brendan didn’t understand why Nana was crying, but I think is still holding her to the car promise. Only six more years before he’s driving?!?!?!
I’m so thankful that family is all around. We are all very lucky to have each other.
Plus, I’m expecting to have a boy band soon. I mean – how cute are these guys?
Michigan State Brainwashing
Obviously it started early, turning our child into a little Spartan.
It really wasn’t until about age 8 that he even understood the connection to Michigan State.
But it was about that time where he started really becoming a fan. He has now become obsessed with all things Michigan State. He loves the color green. Will never but the colors blue and gold together, and publicly bashes those that do. He gets really into Michigan State Football and Basketball and really has a hard time when we lose a game.
We are taking a trip up to Michigan State right after his birthday, and he’s been saving his money to buy all sorts of things. He’s decided this is where he is going to school and wants to now redo his room with an MSU theme. We probably should start saving for out-of-state tuition.
Getting an iPad
All Brendan wanted for Christmas was an iPad. Well, Santa was extra nice this year and that’s what he got. This has been a big life changer in many ways.
He’s learned how to text and that’s how he communicates with us a lot when he’s on sleepovers or home alone. It’s taught him a lot about responsibility. He has taken great care of it. He face-times with his cousins often and randomly texts family members. He’s taken some great pictures. He’s also started his blog, which he writes and posts from his iPad. These are important skills that all kids should have in this technology age. I think it has also gotten him more excited about reading. It definitely makes longer car trips easier!! He says it was his favorite Christmas present ever. I’ll take it.
I’m so blessed and lucky to have such an amazing kid. I know great things are ahead for him. He’s such a sweet, caring boy with a giant heart and I can’t wait to watch him continue to grow. At the same time, I wish I could just freeze time and keep him this age forever.
I leave you now with one of my favorite Brendan pictures ever: