Dear Kid A,

This is you ten years ago:

This is you now.

10 is a lot of candles.

You've grown a bit.

Here's a list I wrote about you on your birthday:

Kid A is:

smart- (I mean, it's silly how smart you are)
incredibly fun
a deep thinker
great to be around
getting more and more responsible
sunny/cloudy alternately
Brave (with a capital B)
a great swimmer/diver
a budding musician
a good and loyal friend

What a list! What a gift you are, my son.

This amazing kid turned 10 today. Happy happy birthday to our incredible Kai. (Kid A)

You think so fast you're always ten steps ahead of me. You've been this way for years, and I love that you're getting older because I can set you loose to act on your quick thinking ideas. You think we need more fruit and I'm still journaling in my pyjamas? Run on down to the fruit stand, son, here's 100 baht. Make sure you get the mangosteens that have a little bit of give to their skins. Do you HAVE to know an obscure fact right this very second? Google away.

Big kids are great. This year has been a pretty cool year for you. You've eaten enough green curry to satisfy even you, you've become an excellent swimmer, you've gone fishing, you've been driven around town in the chariot (which is pretty fun), you've swum in a waterfall, you'v played at your first open mic, you've beaten your dad at chess, and you've begun an epic project on machines and engines. I love when the little boys go up to bed with Daddy and you and your sister and I sit around together and talk about silly things, getting sillier and sillier. I love how your face opens up and your smile takes over, how you seem to shine pure light.

Kid A and YaYa

I know that sometimes fears plague you in the night, that you have bad dreams, that you wrestle with anxiety, and I know that you're strong enough to overcome any number of things. We're here with you, Kid A, we love you so much, we're so proud of you. And like Leafy says, "You're one of the bravest people I know." He told you this the other day when you were doubting your own bravery because you do have fears sometimes. You've always known so much, with your wise eyes and your pragmatism, it's possible that it would be hard for you not to have some fears, because of how much you know, how you measure the world with wisdom and see its dangers and capacity for sadness. But what Leafy knows, and what I know, and what you'll come to believe, is that it's the kids who break through their fear who are the very bravest.
I think you're one of the very bravest.

All my love,