Did we save the best for last? Or, even if he had been first, he would have been last? Is the third time the charm? Is the first the worst, the second the best and the third the one with the treasure chest?
He is always right. Always. He must always have the last word. Always. He always hates to lose. Always. He always wants to be with us. Always.
He won't always want to be with us, though. I can see that trajectory of pulling away and preferring solitude or friends or anything but the damn parents. I see the path's endpoint; it's visible from the two who came before. The ghost images of their own trajectories remain.
He is double digits starting today. As the years pass, the speed of the years passing increases. His first 10 years with us will, in comparison, seem to have stood still, at times, compared to his next 10 and then his next 10 and then.
He is 10. I will try to revel in this moment of his being 10. And not dwell on my fear of his no longer being 9 or 6 or 3.
Happy birthday, Youngest. It's been one hell of a 10 years.