Dear Peter -- Goofball, Techy, Big Eater, Fun Brother

It is not always easy to tell you I love you, my boy. Almost every sentence I put together deliberately in order to bless your heart is interrupted by sound effects, flatulents, shrieks, hysterical laughter, or sometimes ridiculous singing. At times there doesn't seem to be a serious bone in your body. I'm glad you're happy, even if it drives me to the edge of my personality. I married your father because he made me laugh, he encouraged me to be silly, he liked to do crazy things. I didn't think ahead to my sons being genetic compounds of the two of us and the possibility of being very outnumbered when it came to things like tidiness, punctuality, attention to detail, empathy. I know you are not quite ten years old and there is still time to develop these positive traits, but sometimes I worry about you.
You are a real goofball.
And yet you can be so serious about technology! You have taken big responsibilities at CCA -- helping with sound and lights for different programs. You have a definite knack for how things work and you're so quick to learn new stuff. It takes a lot of diligence to tend to a PA booth for hours on end [Journey to Bethlehem] and a quick attentiveness to play the right tracks at the right times [Christmas program]. You sat through hours of rehearsal and knew everyone's lines while cueing the lights seamlessly [Sound of Music]. So I know you can be serious and punctual and attentive...when you want to be!! I like hearing about you from your teachers at school. Sometimes they get to see a different Peter than I do. ;)

I don't think you know how much your brother adores you. He's annoying at times, yes, getting in your way and touching your stuff, but at the end of the day you two lie in bed and giggle and tell jokes and pull blankets off each other... I just want you to know how much richer your life is because of your brother. He's such a gift to you. Give him a chance to learn some of the things you already know. Have just a dab more patience when he's begging you to play with him.
I can't understand how you pack away so much food! This winter you've been eating mandarin oranges 3, 4 sometimes 10 at a time! And you haven't been sick! I'm glad you're becoming a bit more adventurous, trying my soup or putting lettuce and tomato on naan. You actually love salad -- with feta and croutons and Ranch at least. ;) Having someone to enjoy tropical fruit with is fun...I'm glad you love mango and pineapple as much as I do. We'll have to try some more interesting fruits this summer!
Taking you to Haiti was a pretty big deal. I'm really glad you came. You were pretty tentative at told everyone at school that you didn't want to go. But you wanted the window seat on the airplane and you were pretty excited about taking videos of our trip. It was funny to hear your reaction to the hot/humid/stinky air when we arrived in Cap-Haitien and then to see you and your brother crouched down in the back of the truck like little bunnies... Anyway, by the end of our week there, you were super comfortable with the people, the transportation, the way of life. You grew up a whole lot. Thank you for stepping outside your comfort zone. Maybe you realized there's a whole lot more to life than what you previously thought? I kinda wonder what happened inside your head.

You still love cuddles and I need to take advantage of that more often. You are a sweet sweet boy. I love your dimples and thick hair. You are strong and tall. You like to use your talents to help others (like helping your classmates with Google Slides). You need to learn to pick your dirty laundry up off the floor.

In four short weeks you'll be ten years old. Then six short years until you'll be driving a car. I have no doubt you'll be a good driver and hopefully you will be able to fix some stuff too. You have said you want to be an engineer and a musician when you grow up. The next six years will be important then -- piano lessons, band, lots of math, looking for mentors and opportunities to use your skills. Let's do it. Let's be brave and bold and confident and reach your goals. It's daily you day at a time adding up to months and years and a future.

I love my first-born. You're really great. Hugs and kisses.