It's that time of year again. Time for the obligatory birthday letter. Happy birthday sweetness! Today you turn six. SIX. I can hardly even believe it. Years go by so fast, even when the days go slowly. These birthdays seem to come faster and faster, year by year. It all happens in such a blur, then suddenly I'm tucking you in for the last time ever as a five year old.
Just like that -- SIX.
This morning you tiptoed downstairs in to bed with me and whispered "Mommy, guess what? I'm finally six." Finally? More like already. ALREADY SIX?? Your voice was raspy and dry still with dripping with sleepiness. Then you inched over closer and closer until you could place your head right on my chest. Instinctively, I leaned down and kissed your forehead. Your soft hair tickled my nose and I breathed you in. All six years of you.
It always amazes me that no matter how big you get, your head always fits perfectly on my chest. I still remember when they handed you to me for the very first time.
You had this puffy little face, your forehead all wrinkled and these big eyes you could hardly keep open. Just staring up at me. It was as if you were asking...well here I am, now what? I was probably thinking the very same thing. But, without hesitation our eyes locked again and I kissed your forehead and I breathed you in. Minutes old. Flawless. Helpless. But mine. Snuggled warmly right on my chest.
You have grown so much in six years. This year though was different. You have left all traces of toddlerhood and preschooler in the dust. You have matured in to this fascinating little boy. Full of questions and conversations and introspection. You've are curious by nature. Even as a tiny little guy you would ask questions. After questions. And then you would ask more questions. I'm sure all kids do this to some extent. But you have consistently stuck with it. Nonstop. Parents joke about it. The "why" phase. And a lot of parents complain.
I get it. It's trying. And tiring. And damn, I don't know why I don't believe in aliens or what trap would be best to catch the tooth fairy? I have no idea why Garfield is in love with lasagna or what kind of bike Abraham Lincoln rode.
But the questions, just never stop them.
Sometimes people don't know the answers and sometimes there are no answers. But you should always ask. Don't let people take your curiosity or swipe the wonder from your mind. Ever.
And you've grown physically too. Stretched a few inches taller. Your cheeks have virtually zero baby fat left. Teeth are wiggling and falling out.
And you've grown emotionally.
Your friendships are flourishing.
The shyness you have always possessed has faded.
Your humor is starting to take shape. You quip hilarious phrases and make silly jokes. You've acquired a bit of sarcasm and a few days ago you tried to convince me that you love me more than I love you. Oh Mase. I will always love you more.
You just have all these wonderful qualities that are shining through this year. You are full of compassion and integrity. You are sincere and genuine. You are confident, always smiling. Radiating happiness. You are considerate and tenderhearted. Your tiny little soul is full to the very brim with just so much good. And I wonder, how did I get so lucky? Why me? Because you are a joy to mother. And you've taught me so much in so little time. As you have grown and changed, so have I. All because of you.
One of my favorite things about you is we've gotten to navigate this together. This gift of motherhood. Parenting. Growing. Living. Before you I didn't know how to be a mom. Before you, I wasn't quite sure of my ability to bust out the lyrics to any lullaby on demand. Or how to lather tiny leg rolls in poignant lavender lotion. I was definitely leery of my ability to love so deeply and vulnerably. I will always appreciate the gift you gave me in making me a mother. This role you've given me is fulfilling and it is exciting, and sometimes it is downright terrifying.
But from day one of this journey, you've be there with me. Growing inside me, then growing in front of me, now growing beside me. And even though you don't know it, your smile and happiness...helps me figure out how to keep on doing it. My very own little compass in the uncharted waters of raising little dudes.
So today you are six. And I want you to know today and tomorrow and everyday of your life that I am incredibly lucky to call you mine. Thank you for teaching me the true meaning of unconditional love. And thank you for being you.
You are more special to me than you will ever know. Then the words in this letter could ever really express.
But, today, I hope you feel a tiny fraction of the love I feel for you.
Happy, happy birthday sweet baby.
Today and always I love you...MORE.