Happy birthday, little blue-eyed boy

Dear Chase,

Today at exactly 8:23 this morning, you turned nine. You were very insistent that you were not nine until the clock hit those magic numbers, which signaled your entrance into the world all those years ago. No amount of convincing by your brother could entice you to admit that you were nine, even one minute too soon.

I didn't have the heart to tell you that you were born on west coast time. I let you be nine, two whole hours early.

I know, don't be mad.

We celebrated your birthday early this year, as Dad was going to be out of town today. You, ever the middle child, didn't mind one bit. You were thrilled to be getting presents early. Presents, which included a live pet from me.

Yes, I finally made good on that hasty-made promise of letting you one day own something that's alive. I hope you like your little hermit crab. And I fervently hope that it never gets lost in your room or dies, as other pets have done traumatically in the past.

Chase, you are filled with more creative energy than I have ever seen. Your mind is always working, always thinking. I like to watch you when you are drifting off to that place inside your head, where your dreams are made. You squint your eyes, and I can tell that worlds are being created by your imagination. There is no limit to what you will do, of this I am sure.

You constantly amuse me. We have been asking you for weeks what you want for your birthday, and the two things you have said are a pet and a typewriter. You got both, and it cracks me up to see you at the desk in your room, plunking away on that ancient piece of machinery, courtesy of Oma and e-Bay. You take your writing quite seriously, and it will not surprise me at all when you one day churn out that bestseller.

I love that you like old things. I think it's a rare child that can look past the glaring siren song of cheaply-made plastic crap from China and seek out things with substance. Things that still work, even after probably spending 30 dusty years in someone's basement.

You are my hero, and I love your individuality. I love you for not caring what anyone thinks of you. I love you for dreaming big. I love you for your passion, even when it leads you lecture me for my giant carbon footprint.

I love you, kid. And I owe the good Lord for sending such a tender soul to be in my care. I don't know what I ever did to deserve you. May I one day be worthy of such trust.