Birthdays normally make me sentimental. And happy. This year, those feelings are even more keen as they are the ages in which we said we would leave Colombia. There is a cloud looming over our house, always reminding us that we are in the process of saying goodbye, of an uncertain future, of feeling scared and excited for the months to come.
We started the day with breakfast out, and the social worker-mom came to the table to ask what things he was proud of during his time of being 11, and what things he wanted to do when he was 12.
-I worked really hard in school and raised my grades.
-I tried a new sport (gymnastics).
-My basketball team made it to the finals.
- I made new friends and speaking Spanish felt normal.
-I want to cook more Colombian food.
-I want to join a soccer team.
-I want to swim in the Great Lakes.
-I want to learn to be happy wherever I am.
Due to oven problems, I had trouble with the requested chocolate cupcakes. They all collapsed. Abby said, "Hey, Mom, I can fix that..." And in no time she had filled them with a dollop of chocolate ganache, strawberries, and powdered sugar. Thank you, Abby.
We rented a micro soccer court for the afternoon, grateful during the downpour that we paid for the one with the roof. He invited a few friends from school and they played and laughed for hours and hours.
And, in normal Colombian style, several parents stayed and played too.
I know that emotionally, this has been harder on you than most of us.
I know you feel it all, and sometimes that makes it hard.
I also know that this will mean so much to you as you reflect on the year you were 12, and for many, many years after.
Thank you for being a boy, and for loving so deeply.