To My Son on His Birthday
To My Son on His Birthday,
I can’t believe it was seven years ago that you forever changed my life and made me a mama. For 40 weeks, I imagined you and everything about you. I imagined this perfect little person with the best of me and the best of your daddy, all combined to make one amazingly awesome person.
Now that I have gotten to know you for seven years, I worry you inherited the worst of both me and your daddy. You are a perfectionist, like your mama. You are forgetful, like your daddy. You are stubborn, like both of us. After seven years, I have come to think the best is not from me or your daddy, it is all YOU.
Your athletic ability and focus rivals that of me and your daddy. We both had our athletic strengths, but nothing like yours. I have no idea where your scientific, analytical mind comes from. It is nothing like mine, which thinks in words and language and paints literary pictures. It is nothing like your daddy’s, which thinks in problems and solutions and how to make something broken whole and functional again. You think in wonders and whys and search for how things work and why they are put together the way they are.
You are my child full of “so.” You are so smart, with the way you get better at reading every day and invent and build creations daily. You are so athletic, full of limitless energy and never getting out of breath. You are so talkative, I laugh when I can’t get a word in some days.
You are also my boy filled with opposites. You are so kind to your brother at times, remembering to ask him about his field trip and holding his hand as you cross the road, and you are so mean to him other times, leaving him out and telling him he’s too slow. You are so aloof, wanting to sit on your own and play by yourself, and then you can be so snuggly, asking to sit next to me on the couch and curling up with me on a rainy, lazy Sunday of watching movies. You are so sweet, and yet so sassy.
And you are so small and yet so big. You still come to me with a shaking voice when there is thunder during the night. You still cry with frustration when you can’t do something by yourself. You still fall asleep in the car on Friday nights after football games. And yet you are so big. You can make your own English muffin in the morning, toaster and all. You can go to the bathroom by yourself in a public store or at a game. You want to pick your own clothes and your own hair style.
This is the part I face with a mixture of terror and pride. I am scared at how fast the years are going. Scared that all too soon you will be in a world that is scary, and unsafe, without your mama to hold your hand and quiet your fears. I am worried that I am missing moments to make a difference and times that would turn into memories. Yet I am so proud of how independent and capable you are. I am filled with a sense of accomplishment when I see you handle a tough situation well or face a challenge head on. I marvel at your sheer happiness at times.
So as you turn seven, remember to be YOU. Be the amazing person with all the traits that are all yours. Be strong, and smart, and curious. Be proud of yourself. Grow independent, but forgive your mama for being a little sad when you do.
And thank you, my baby, for making me a mama. Your mama. Because there is no one else I would rather be.
Love you always,