Monday, February 4, 2013

To My Darling Firstborn...

One of the three cutest children ever born.
You are 9 years old today. As thrilled as I am with the loving, funny, caring boy you are, I am trying hard not to think about how quickly the last nine years have gone by and the fact that in another 9, you will be flying the nest for a mission or college or whatever life adventure beckons you first. Mostly what I feel is profoundly grateful to have been your mommy, your mama and now your mom.
A year or so, you requested that I stop giving you hugs in public and you grudgingly allowed them any other time. I knew that day was coming and it make me sad, but I obliged. Lately, you have been creeping back. You sit next to me on the couch and casually inch closer until you are laying against my shoulder (I know better than to treat it as anything but normal.) You take your turn resting your head on my lap with the other kids during movie night and follow me from room to room during my chores, just wanting to "hang out." I love it. And I know it won't last long. That's the hard part about being a mom; letting your kids pick their boundaries and sitting on your hands sometimes with the faith that they are still bound to you even when they start pulling away.  You have accepted that you are always going to be my baby no matter how old you are and I have accepted that even if you are my baby, I have to let you grow and develop.
You are an old soul and have been delighting us all from the minute you were born. It says a lot about you that we were so sad about each phase you left behind, because we couldn't imagine what could be more delightful than where you were. You have always been silly and love to make everyone around you laugh, but you are also the child that is sensitive. You notice when I am struggling into the house with an armful of groceries and offer to help. You help distract your siblings when you can see I need a moment to accomplish something else. You speak rationally to me when you are angry instead of reacting with the tantrums that a child of your age might. I am simultaneously proud to see you step up to be man of the house and guilty that despite my efforts, you seem to feel like you need to be more than just a kid. My prayers for you are that doing so will bless you in your journey to being a good man rather than burden you with feeling too much too soon. I wish you the very best of things, even (maybe especially) when they are not easily acquired.
I have treasured all nine years of you...

At One, you were such a beautiful baby that people would stop us wherever we went just to admire your beautiful eyes, covet your eyelashes and enjoy your cheerful temperament. You would wave and blow kisses at everyone as we grocery shopped.
At Two, you knew your own mind, but were still cute enough to get away with almost anything. Not a day went by without one of us, at some point, saying "MAN, I love this kid!!"

At Three, I felt like you were so grown up, I could hardly stand it. You were a great big brother 3/4 of the time and a worthy foe for Bubba the other 1/4.

Four Years Old. Raffi the giraffe came into our lives and so did your love of art. Hours and hours and reams and reams of paper were dedicated to your muse. I think I still have them all :-)

Turning Five on a cruise to Mexico with the family. A big year of changes and you gained a sister. You were a big comfort to both your parents this year.

Six years old (with BFF and cousin 'EJ'). You really started writing this year. Pages and pages of your stories and comics and love/hate notes kept me constantly entertained.

Seven. The year of Raving Rabbids and plungers and Raving Rabbids and being silly and Raving Rabbids....

At Eight, you were a clown. Always trying to make us laugh and always the leader of the games with your younger brother and sister. Always drawing, always writing, always coming up with YouTube videos that I have to try really hard to convincingly laugh at :-) Legos are your muse this year. You can't bring yourself to ever take apart anything that you build.

Nine. I can't wait to meet you...

Happy 9th Birthday
Monkey Man!