October 24, 2012

To the Boy Child, on his 5th Birthday

Dear James,

I laughed and watched you jump up and down on your bed tonight, screaming, "Tomorrow is my birthday, I get cupcakes, Stella can't come to my party, and I like dinosaurs."  I giggled, then I sighed, and for a moment, my breath was taken away.

You are five years old. What in the world?

This time, five years ago, I was in the evilest stages of labor... the so-many-hours-of-natural-childbirth-hoopla... and at 1:00 am,  after literal DAYS of labor... I was told that I was going to get a c-section, unless they pumped me full of Pit and epidural'ed me... to try and get you out.  I complied.  And finally, so did you.

You were so stubborn.

At 4:47... or 4:44... or 4:25 (I'm sorry, I have absolutely no idea what time you were born...I'll look at the birth announcement and get back to you), you arrived.  I know you arrived, because you are... well, here now.  And gosh, you were precious and so soft and tiny. Your Mia held you when you were still warm from the womb, and I was so glad to have you on the outside of my body.

But you were so stubborn.

And now, five years later, I have a long laundry list of the things you are. And last year, on your 4th birthday, I was still astounded at your pig-headed, bull-headed, stubborness.  (I have NO idea where that comes from.. I mean, really...)

And yes, you are still... so very stubborn.

But my dear boy, on your 5th birthday, the list of things that you are... far outweighs the things that you are not.  You may not be patient or easy-going... but that's the short list of the so-called negative I even remotely see in you.  And honestly, those impatient and tough qualities are not really "negative" -those make great leaders, entrepreneurs and celebrities.  Your personality is a nice change from the "wussification of America" and coddled children I see running the halls of your very school. (Seriously, do you need to cut up your five year old's chicken fingers??)  I'd rather see you fight and spit and throw a fit... instead of sinking your eyes into a video game (which, sorry... nope, you didn't get this year, either, buddy... you are too smart for me to plug you into anything. You'll thank me. Someday.)

The things you are.  I may cry a little now.

You are kind.
I was running on the treadmill today, and I was thinking of what a kind boy you are.  I ran and huffed and thought, that kid is so sweet, so nice, so sweet, so nice, so kind, so nice.  Now, I don't get to see you at school (maybe you're a butthead to your classmates), but I see a sensitivity and compassion in you... and I don't think you have to work at it.  I think it's you. I think at the genuine core of your being, you are a kind and caring boy.

You are brilliant.
Everyone thinks their kids are brilliant.  But you... you, just are.  Period. The way you can put together puzzles, and remember things from when you were barely a year old: "Mom, remember when Stella came home to the house for the first time and I saw her?"  (Seriously, dude... you were 14 months old.)  "I remember her, and Mia gave me a doughnut hat."  (These things are true. He had a hat from Krispy Kreme.)  You are special.  And I can't wait to see what you do,who you become and how you thrive...

You are mine. 
I love the book, The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown (the same author of Goodnight Moon). Just the other night you asked me to read it.
"You want me to read this?" I asked. "Silly monkey, this is a baby book."

Your little eyes sparkled.  "I know, Mom.  I want to read the baby book."

We snuggled into your perfect blue little bed, and I read...

"Once there was a little bunny who wanted to run away.
So he said to his mother, “I am running away.”

....“If you run away,” said his mother, “I will run after you.
For you are my little bunny.”

....“If you run after me,” said the little bunny,
....“I will be a bird and fly away from you.”

“If you become a bird and fly away from me,”
said his mother, “I will be a tree that you come home to.”

“If you become a tree,” said the little bunny,
...“I will become a little boy and run into a house.”

...“If you become a little boy and run into a house,”
said the mother bunny, “I will become your mother
and catch you in my arms and hug you.”

“Shucks,” said the bunny, “I might just as well
stay where I am and be your little bunny.”

And so he did..."

To my boy, on your 5th birthday.  I will always be the tree that you come home to.  I will not always be the actual tree, of course, but I'm your mother - and I'm always here for you.

I am so proud of you. You are wonderful and smart and wonderful and smart.  And cute. Dude, you're cute. I love to kiss your cheeks (those cheeks which used to be SOOO fat, and which are now lean cheeks...). I love to hold your hand. 

I just love you.  You make me proud.  You are a wonderful boy, and I know you will grow into a wonderful human.  And really, what else could a mother want? You are a good five-year-old citizen of the world.  I am proud. (Did I mention proud? Not sure...)  And I will love you... no matter what.   You can put that in the bank.  At five years old, you can't do much to disappoint me.  At 15 and 25, I'm sure you can do lots... but no matter what you do... I will always love you. 
And I will always run after you.  For you are my bunny,

Happy birthday.  


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