Seven just sounds so much older than six. How did you get so big?
I mean really, it was seven years ago tonight that you nestled in next to me on the hospital bed for the very first time. Daddy and I ignored the nurses who said I would squish you, and tucked you in right next to my heart, and the exhaustion of your birth sent us both into deep, sound sleep. You slept next to me for the first ten months of your life, reaching out even in your sleep to nuzzle your little hands under the warmth and weighted comfort of my familiar body. To this day, seven years later, nothing makes you happy quite like squeezing into my side of the bed. Sometimes, I even find you on the floor, your nest of blankets dragged in sometime during the night, sound asleep, arm flung out in abandon towards where I sleep. No one else does that. It’s unique to you.
Such a mix between a boy and young man. On one hand, you are so attached to me- if I go somewhere without kissing you goodbye, you weep with sadness. You stand at the windows and wave to me as I pull from the driveway, doing sign-language telling me you love me. And, at the same time, you want nothing more than to be independent and do things yourself. You want to make your own lunch, you make me breakfast, and you help your brother and sister do a million things each day.
As I write, you are upstairs exploring your new Lego toys with Beanie. You have the door closed, and I suspect you have ignored my request to clean up before you open the new goodies- but it’s your birthday so I’ll let it slide. Lego are so important to you these days- you lecture us at length about what each guy can do, their names, weapons, weaknesses, and you even take photos and upload them to the Lego website.
You helped me make a birthday sign and put up your decorations this morning. Usually I like to do it while you are sleeping, but Beanie is such a light sleeper it’s impossible to decorate your shared room. You didn’t seem to mind, and enjoyed coloring the sign I wrote out. We baked two cakes, and you picked out the candles and ate about six pounds of sugar from the mixer beaters. So did Bean and Abby.
Earlier we got our your journal and read stories from when you were born, when you were learning to walk, and when you were moving to a big-boy bed. I know life won’t always be so simple, and I won’t always be able to protect you, but for now, it honors me that I can help shape your world, and allow you to grow up into the fine young man you are showing yourself to be.
I love you, my sweet boy. Happy Birthday. All My Love,