Today you turn seven years old! It probably seems to you like forever, but to me the past seven years have flown by. I remember the night you were born, how little you seemed and how helpless. Those first couple of days were rough. You had to stay in the hospital a few extra days; nothing serious but to a mother of a new baby, everything seems serious. You were a good baby though. You didn’t cry too much, only when you were hungry, and you always seemed content to just sit in your little chair and watch the world go by. But then you learned to crawl and climb and that was the end of that! You were off exploring and getting into things, but you would still come back to mommy. You were always good for a cuddle and my favorite memory is of you and I on the couch, you sucking your favorite two fingers and snuggling with your blankie on my lap.
But now you’re seven and you don’t carry the blankie around anymore, (though it still must be on your bed every night) and we’ve both struggled very hard to get those darn fingers out of your mouth (I still catch you now and then!) But I like that you are still good for a snuggle and you are still young enough to give your mommy hugs and kisses in public, although I know that will be gone soon too. You are in first grade now. You like video games and Star Wars and you have your own life and your own friends. I’m not sure any parent is ever ready for the realization that their child has a life that is seperate and distinct from their own. I used to spend every moment with you and I knew everything about you and now, you are becoming more of mystery. This mystery will grow as you become a teenager and then a young man. But I hope you know that you can always talk to me, even when it’s hard. There will never be a time when you cannot come over and sit down on the couch with me and tell me about your day.
I know that you will change as you grow up, but I hope some part of you always stays as you are now, sweet and loving and excited about every new thing. You are a good son and a good little brother. When I watch you I am often reminded of my brother, your Uncle Dan, and how he was when he was your age. I am also reminded of how much I tortured him as his big sister (even more than your sister does if you can believe it!). I know she drives you crazy right now and it’s not always easy to live with a dad, a mom AND a bossy big sister, but I think Dan has mostly forgiven me and I hope that you and your sister will grow up to get along as well as we do.
I want you to know that I am proud of you. I love how smart and funny and geeky and sporty and friendly and special you are. I hope as you grow you will be able to live in a world that accepts you and all people for all their unique qualities. I think we are headed in the right direction, but we’re not quite there yet and I hope you will help make the world a better place. You have already made my world a better place. No matter what I may say in the future, I hope you are able to live your dreams and be your own person, seperate from whatever daddy and I want you to be. right now it is your life’s ambition ot be a Jedi Knight, but if that doesn’t work out I hope you are happy with whatever you do end up with. I hope you find the rigth girl (or boy for that matter) to love and I hope you learn that true happiness doesn’t come from things, but from people. No matter what else you are, be a good person and the rest will fall into place.
So happy seventh birthday to my wonderful son. You and your sister have opened my world up to a range of feelings and emotions I never knew existed. Only a parent could know such joy, anger, exhaustion and love; sometimes all at once. I love you. Happy birthday.