You came out with a head full of black hair, and skin dark red. You looked just like Papa, and you had a mind of your own. You put yourself on a schedule within two weeks of being born.
From the day you were born, you confused me. Your brother had been easy to please. Pop a boob in his mouth and he was good to go. You, well, you wanted to nurse to eat then go about your way. It was confusing because you still wanted to suck. You required a pacifier. And so you had one. I suspect that even at the ripe old age of 2 days, you didn't have time to have your face pressed against another person's body. You needed to see what was going on.
When you were 2.5, I made a realization that was not a happy one at the time. You react differently to medicines than the rest of humanity. Oh yes, all those things that cause me to go to sleep immediately, send you racing around the house like a mad man.
Shortly after that, I gave birth to your baby. You acted like Dominic was the best gift I'd ever given you. The look of awe on your face when you saw him still makes me tear up every time I see the pictures.
When you were 3, you had an invisible motorcycle. We know you modified it because it was loud. You definitely took that muffler off. One night, while I was nursing your baby, I told you it was time for bed, and you should park your motorcycle. I can still picture your little blonde head as you ran around the nursery and said, "Oh no! Something's wrong. My brakes must be out. But, don't worry, Mom! I installed a parachute in case of something like this." Then, you pushed your emergency parachute button and said, "Oh no! It's not deploying! Something's wrong! I can't make it stop."
You were an excellent driver at the age of 3. Our next door neighbors had one of those little motorized Jeeps. It was a two person vehicle, and really made for older kids. Your feet could barely touch the pedals, but those girls loved you and put you right in the driver's seat when you wanted to get there. You could parallel park that thing within moments of pressing on the pedal for the first time. And your love of speed was born in that moment.
When you were 5, you went to kindergarten. You had a love/hate relationship with school. You loved being with the other kids, but detested school. When you got home each day, you would spend 2 hours literally bouncing off the walls. You would run back and forth in the living room bouncing from one wall to the other until you'd burned off all your excess energy. Then you would have a peanut butter sandwich. I'm pretty sure you ate about 1,000 peanut butter sandwiches that year.
You have always loved helping. You helped Pepère stack wood, Dad cut wood, and you hammered nails into that deck like there was no tomorrow. You're still helping. You put more time into the floor than anyone other than Dad.
When we went to Florida for the first time in 2008, you found a love for board games, especially Monopoly. I'm not sure how many times we played while we were there, but I can only be thankful for the next door neighbor who gave us the game. You now have multiple Monopoly games, and have found an everlasting love of all board games.
I'm not sure how old you were when you discovered Google, but it has been a love affair ever since. I remember getting up in the middle of the night after we'd all gone to bed to find you sitting in front of the computer looking things up. You would have gone to bed, thought of a question, and gotten up to discuss it with your best friend. You used to tell me that Google was your best friend. You certainly spent enough time with Google to make that true.
You started watching Doctor Who, what? two years ago, last year? This love affair has been much stronger than your romance with Google. After all, there is swag to be had with Doctor Who. There are friends to be made that share your passion. You are a Whovian of the first order. And it has been so fun to watch your passion for all things Who grow. Within months of watching your first episode of Doctor Who, your closet door was painted blue, and you had changed your wardrobe to include only things from Doctor Who.
But in August, something happened. You got swept into a world that is stronger than any other I have found. You started playing Dungeons & Dragons. That Saturday of GenCon, you sat down to play your first game, and didn't get back up from the table without coercion until we had to go home Sunday. Had our hotel been connected to the gaming center, I imagine you would have spent most of the night at the tables. You were the first one in line Sunday morning to play, and one of the last to leave Sunday afternoon. That's not to say that your Doctor Who passion has lessened, just that you've added another passion to it.
This brings me to what I love most about you. You are passionate about everything. You are stubborn, loving, and most of all, passionate. I love the way you throw yourself full tilt at everything you try. There is no halfway for you. You're in or out, and usually, you're in. I love that passion. Hang onto it, my son, and happy 13th birthday! We're so lucky to have you in our lives!