September 22, 2012

Hey sweetness,
Holy cow, I can’t believe you turn SEVEN today!  I’m such a typical mom and have already made you sit through the retelling of you birth day, which is really not complete without hearing about the days leading up to it, including all kinds of dramatic highlights of your labor and delivery.  Which, I may add again, were not easy.  But even as you roll your eyes at my sentimental story, none of us can help but smile as I talk about the first time I heard you cry, the first words your dad said ( “He looks like my brother!”) and the first time I held you in my arms.  You were my firstborn, my introduction to motherhood, and you have shaped me as a person more than almost any other human on this planet.

This last year has been quite a RIDE between the two of us.  Something about our personalities (maybe we’re too much alike?!?) makes us connect and laugh and share special jokes and stories one minute, and infuriate each other the next.   You can push my buttons and bring out heated emotions in me that no one else on earth can touch.  It’s a special gift.  😉  And I know I can push you over the edge too.  And often.  But you also can melt my heart and bring out the mama bear in me, the part of me that will do anything for you.  If you truly need me, I will drop anything and bend over backwards to make things right for you. 


I’ve felt this recently as you’ve started first grade.  It’s been a rough transition for you, on the heels of another rough—but wonderful—transition this summer: bringing Asher home and into our family.  You have really stepped up to the plate and have shown that you are an amazing big brother!  You love Asher, protect him, help him, teach him.  But I can see that as mama’s time and attention has been stretched thin, that has been hard for you.  Sometimes this manifests itself in you lashing out and talking about how your siblings get all the attention.  And sometimes you just quietly show that you need more attention. You are more intent on spending our one-on-one time together at night before bedtime, and have been pretty upset about being gone from home so long now that your school days are longer. At first you were riding the bus home, but you had tears in your eyes and told me that it just takes too long after school until you see me again.  How could I say no to that?!  So now I load up the younger kids and the wagon and drag them through the sea of parents so we can be waiting at the school doors when you get out.  The smile on your face as you spot us after searching the crowd is worth all the effort.  I know the longer days are hard on you, but for us?  I think absence makes the heart grow fonder.  You and I miss each other a lot, and our afternoons are sweeter than they have been all summer.


One exciting thing that has happened in the last year is that you learned to read.  Your love of books kind of ebbs and flows, but I feel a major victory when you choose to read on your own and tell me about an interesting or exciting book you read.  You had a great kindergarten year, and soaked up all kinds of information about words, science, math, music, writing…it was a great foundation for you.  I also think your math skills have improved because you are VERY interested in your allowance: how much you have, how much you need, how much a certain coveted item costs.  I got so sick of the ice cream trucks coming by our house day and night this summer, but I tell you what: you quickly were able to add up the cost of certain treats and figure out if you had enough money to buy them.  More than once you even bought for your brother and sister, which left me glowing with pride.   Other than you know, your obsession with sugary treats.


But I think my favorite thing about you is your humor.  Mister, you are hilarious.  And witty.  And sarcastic.  And silly.  You often hear a funny line on a tv show or movie, then store it up in your head, just to pull it out at the perfect moment to leave us all in stitches. Your comic timing and delivery are impeccable!  (I like to think that is an inherited trait.)  You are willing to laugh at yourself too, which it one of the keys to being funny AND likeable, not using your humor to mock others.   Your teacher from last year told me that you are already a natural leader.  She said just by jumping up and excitedly saying “Let’s play tag!” all the other kids would jump up and want to play tag too.  I can see this gift already blossoming in you, and it excites and scares me.  I pray you will use your charismatic personality to help others, to reach out to those who are marginalized, to include those who are alone, to set an example of kindness.


A couple years ago, I fell upon a Scripture verse that I had read many times before, but suddenly I KNEW beyond a doubt that this was going to be my life’s prayer for you.  I call it your life verse (of course you may choose your own someday, but this will always be mine for you.)  Whenever I see it or hear it, my heart quickens and I get tears in my eyes, because it makes me think of you and the amazing person you are, and the man I want you to become. 


Philippians 1:9-11

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”


My sweet son, whatever character God has given you—the sweet and the fiery—it can all be used for the glory and praise of God.  I’m so blessed to have you in my life, as we both continue to learn to discern what is best.  May we continue to refine each other day after day!  I love you so very much, and always will.  No matter what.


Love always,