My first kid was supposed to be born on my birthday. Instead, Detective Munch landed six days later – the day before my anniversary. Disrupting things since day one.
Today, he turns 11, and 9 years after I wrote a blog post called “Top Ten Reasons Why I Hate My Son” (see my stories), he’s still ruining my life. But as he’s developed into a full-fledged human being with a personality, opinions, and interests of his own, the ways he ruins my life have changed.
He still reorders my priorities. He still makes everything harder, and better (except movies; holy shit bro can you stop talking for two seconds?!) He’s still better looking than me, especially now that he’s starting to look a little less *like* me, and everyone still prefers him to me which, to be fair, is a low bar.
But now, as an 11-year-old, he ruins my life in fun new ways: with homework I don’t understand, with video games I don’t understand, with behavior I don’t understand – ADHD is no joke! –even with slang I don’t understand. (Although on the walk home from school I got to tell him what “dis” means. Not that he’ll ever need to know; it’s 2021!)
He’s still himself, with his huge imagination (yay!), huge emotions (yay?), huge resemblance to my sarcastic, moody self (definite boo!), and huge head of hair. As he gets older, he’ll only become more himself, which is exciting and scary all at once, especially as that self enters middle school and leaves our little bubble.
The fact that this is the entire point of parenting – to prepare our kids to leave the nest – doesn’t make the process any easier to watch. We can’t stop him from growing up, much to my wife’s chagrin; we just have to help him do it as safely and securely as possible, especially as he approaches his teen years. Gulp.
Mom and Buried likes to call him “the OG” because while we added a second kid who greatly altered our family dynamic, Detective Munch was first. He made us parents and kickstarted our new lives as his Mom and Dad.
So while it’s officially his birthday today, it’s sort of our birthday too! (We accept cash.)
Happy birthday, Detective Munch. Look what you’ve gotten us into.