Double digits. Two Hands full. Half way to 20. Kanyon Luke is 10 years old. Thinking about 10 years on the one hand seems like surely we've lived at least 20 years because I feel like some days are worth a year by themselves. And quite honestly, his gig isn't always "time flies when you're having fun" kind of a thing. On the other hand, he doesn't SEEM like a 10 year old and in so many ways..his maturity and growth has sort of allowed me to linger in babyhood--toddlerhood--preschool land longer than most moms so I don't feel like he's 10. But the calendar doesn't lie, so I guess my boy is 10 whole years old.
Since his birthday fell on a Sunday, we had to buy the balloons on Saturday. The kids always love picking out the color of their balloons and this day was no exception. I think with the help of Quinn's bright idea, Kanyon decided to do all PJ Mask colors for his balloons. He loves that show so much and was so excited to have balloons the color of Cat Boy, Gecko, and Owlette! That sort of fueled the rest of the "theme" of his party. They were all so excited and having so much fun with it. Jaylie and I hung crate paper streamers and it reminded me that all the cutesy stuff is cool and all, but nothing says "PARTY" like streamers and balloons. Done. Of course the streamers were PJ Mask insprired red, blue, and green.
Saturday was Uncle Tye's birthday, so we went out to the ranch to have dinner to celebrate his birthday. Driving up the driveway, Kory was out in the Ranger checking, so Kanyon jumped in with Daddy to make a run through the calving lot and take care of things before Tye's dinner.
Sunday morning he woke up another year older! There was quite the buzz of excitement with all three of them. I love how little kids are just excited its someone's birthday even if its not theirs! Kanyon's big birthday surprise was downstairs waiting for him. He was SURE it was a drum set....he'd been saying he needed a drum set for weeks. Thats the biggest, easiest NO I've said in a long time. Ha! All the family on both sides went in together and got Kanyon a swing!
Here they are all 3 piled inside!
For now, since we are renting, the swing will hang on the stand, but someday we'd like to hang it from the ceiling.
He seemed to have forgotten about the drum set, so I'm glad he wasn't disappointed! This is something that we know will be fun for him, but also something that gives him a lot of comfort and calm. Swinging really helps regulate him and calm him so hopefully it will be helpful for him AND fun!
Sunday after church we turned our small group meeting into his party! All his buddies were there and brought very thoughtful gifts. Most notably the walkie talkies that he was also hoping he would get for his birthday. He even said, "I didn't get a drum set but I DID get walkie talkies!!!!" He was very excited and we loved having some family and friends to celebrate with him. I am horrible and only took videos at the party which do me no good on the blog. But it as a fun, loud time and a great day!
After 10 years of making a cake for a kid who hates cake and couldn't come up with any ideas for what he wanted on a cake anyways...I DIDN'T MAKE A CAKE! FREEDOM! I didn't leave party guests high and dry though, I had Kory's mom make her Snickerdoodle cookies. Its the only cookie that Kanyon has ever eaten so she made those for him and his guests to enjoy. The rest of the meal was 100% Kanyon food. Brisket, grapes, bread, a slaw salad he LOVES, pickles, and lemonade.
When he got to school the next day he learned that he was the STAR student for his whole school that month. He got to carry the eagle around, got a new backpack, and got to pick a prize from the principals office. He chose a free game of bowling. And starting about 2 minutes after he got that prize he began asking if he could go bowling now? He is PUMPED about going bowling. We are waiting for Daddy's schedule to slow down so we can all go bowling together.
He also got to choose a friend to come to his little room and play marbles with him. Turns out Kanyon dominates marbles at school. They learned in PE a few months ago and his PE teacher said he's amazing and gets a huge kick out of it! She even gave him his own set of marbles so he can play whenever he wants. He chose Aiden to play with and they had a fun time. What fun week for Kanyon!
As with any child, each year brings so many new and different things. This year was NOT our easiest year with all of the medical drama. It sometimes takes a reflective time like his birthday to retrieve all those feelings that I sometimes forget. Like how INCREDIBLE this kid really is. How hard he works and how amazing it is that he can do the things that he does. He NEVER slows down, he has yet to not progress and move forward in anything he's been given. He is hilarious, delightful, friendly, cheerful, loving, and kind in the midst of constant stress and challenges. I think other people see this more easily than me. I take for granted what he overcomes on a daily basis (minute by minute basis, really) because its just him. And its just our life. So I think I loose sight of just how impressive and remarkable his life is. Its a good perspective for me to come back to and one that motivates me to parent from a place of compassion and pride as opposed to the place of frustration, stress, and chaos that often times rules my mind. I hope his 11th year brings more growth and more success, I hope his body can adjust and find peace when frustrations and anger run so high. I hope he laughs even more and I hope he continues to make good friends. I was talking to my brother Clay not too long ago about Kanyon and about how people will sometimes ask me if I could, would I change things and make the twins both OK. Or has the pain and struggle taught me so much that I would say I wouldn't change a thing. The answer is easy for me. Of course I would change things. I would give anything to have both babies strong and healthy. But what is different now is that after 10 years of knowing Kanyon as he is, I can't even imagine what he would be like. For lack of a better word, what would "normal" Kanyon be like?! When he was younger it was easy for me to imagine but now, 10 years in, I can't even imagine him any other way. Who he is is completely wrapped up in all the things that have happened to him. Separating them is impossible. Not that any of these thoughts really matter because its a theoretical question, but it was an interesting point in the scope of my life as his mom to realize that I don't even know who he would be any other way. While I am always sad I have a daughter I'll never get to raise and I am raising a son who has incredible challenges, I like the thought of him, exactly the way he is, feeling like the only way to be. Exactly like him. All the tiny things that add up to making him Kanyon Luke- its all I know and its all I can imagine and being at that point is the deepest connection and the deepest love and the most sacred comfort that he is mine and our hearts are absolutely beating perfectly in time with each other. I don't know how to express the connection that we have and I don't want to sound like its a better connection or a deeper connection than I have with my other kids, but when there is a dependency and a lifetime of struggle (for both of us), unique circumstances and situations that we go through as a part of our relationship, something happens deep inside that ties us together in a powerful way. To be truly needed for every single aspect of his life, while suffocating at times, is also the very thing that sort of melts us into the same existence. I can't begin to imagine what its like for Kanyon to navigate and live his actual life and I can't pretend to know how he feels and unfortunately I don't always even try, but I do know that the 2 of us are bound together through horrible circumstances and through digging to the very deepest part of ourselves and then waking up and doing it all over again. He has altered my "motherhood" and he has changed the way we do family. I'm not able to do things I always thought I would do. Our life looks very different than what I'd hoped for at times, and our future will be very different from what we thought, but when its all said and done all of us in this house will be better people because of Kanyon. So happy birthday to the heart of our family, to the grit of our family, to the best laugher in the world, and to the absolute hardest worker I know.