Today you are 6 years old. Son. How. I could swear that it was just last year that you were born and we took you home. I could swear it was just last month that you learned to walk and talk and just last week that you started preschool. And somehow, here you are, nearly finished with kindergarten. And six. You need two hands to hold your age. My heart feels like it could burst.
You have grown so much this year physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s hard to believe it’s only been a year since you turned five. You became a big brother again and you are just the best at it. You love Benjamin, but you are gentle and sweet with him and very protective. You love when he smiles at you and you were so entirely delighted the day he cut his first tooth, I will never forget it. You went to school and told EVERYONE that “your baby” had a tooth. I could’ve died.
You are truly enthusiastic to a fault. Someone will tell you something, you will respond with a “cool!” or a “yea” and then you will tell them whatever exciting news you have, regardless of whether it makes any sense in the context of the previous statement because you are just. so. excited. You love things deeply and passionately and you have little regard for what others think, which is a quality I especially envy. I fear that this is also a quality that will be soon lost to the peer pressures of other little boys in your life, but for now, I’m savoring your uncensored excitement about things because it is perfect. You share in the excitement of others too and it is delightful.
You are going through a bit of a boundary testing phase. I truly think that 6 might be the new 2, just with a lot more words. You are pushing back when we ask you to do things, not because you really want to be defiant, but you seem to want to see what will happen. You test out new words, often knowing they aren’t kind ones, to see if we will stop you. It’s like kindergarten opened up your world and you are looking to us to help you navigate all the new parts. It’s a privilege we could not be happier to have, though I’d really love to hear the word wiener a lot less. I’m just saying.
Your likes at age 6 include: Pokemon, your brothers, your parents and your grandparents, Lego, Ninjago, Ninjago Lego, reading (especially Dr. Seuss), sports in general, playing with your dad, drawing, “creating” things (this usually ends terribly. You recently lost your cool because you just knew you could make a bow and arrow out of a paper plate and you felt that I was not assisting you enough. A paper plate bow and arrow), jumping in puddles, animals of any kind but especially Jacques-Imo, any sweet treat.
Your dislikes at age 6 include: Writing, vegetables of any kind, meat of any kind except bacon, sausage and hot dogs, eating at restaurants except Red Lobster, things you perceive to be girlish (we’re working on this), waiting for anything, not being allowed to say the word wiener.
I was recently at an event with you and your brothers and I was marveling at you. As I held Benjamin it was as though I could feel you when you were an infant, like the muscle memory was there, but then I could see this kid. This fully grown, not a toddler, not a preschooler, just a kid, kid, right in front of me and it seemed impossible. I must have blinked because here you are, a person unto yourself, and I don’t remember when we decided that was okay.
The thing I like the most about you right now is how kind you are. When William gets in trouble, which is a lot, you are the first to try to get me to “give him a second chance.” When you get in trouble at school (usually for talking), you apologize the instant you see me, even though it’s not a big deal to me. You are kind to your friends even when they aren’t kind to you, which happens more than is fair. You have a big personality, but you have an even bigger heart and watching you give kindness to others, even just in your words, is the absolute greatest. I want you to lead a big life if it’s what you want, but the things that matter most to me is that you are happy and that you are kind.
Mother’s Day is just a few days away and I told you recently that you specifically are what made me a mother. And it blew you mind. To you, I’ve always been a mom because I have been for your whole life. But I lived 29 years without you, waiting for you, for the day you would make me something new. You turned my whole entire world upside down in the greatest possible way and you made me into who I always knew I wanted to be. Without you, I truly don’t know who or how I’d be.
Just yesterday you got into some of the biggest trouble of your life and after we had a long talk, I held your chin and made you look into my eyes while I told you that I loved you more than anything in the world. As the words came out, both you and I started to cry. I think it was a relief to you to know that despite the choice you’d made, nothing had changed. And I want you to know that now and forever. There is nothing you ever could do that will change how much I love you. I am your mother now and forever and the love I have for you can only grow, if that is even possible. It is my greatest privilege to be your mother and it’s not a job I take lightly. I am undeniably lucky to have and love you.
Happy birthday my sweetest, oldest son. I love you more than words can ever begin to capture and I cannot wait to see what next year brings.