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Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy

June 17, 2011

A love letter to my eight year old son on his birthday.

Impassioned visionary. Audacious, at times. A lightning bug, electric, energy radiating off your frame vibrates the air around you.

Unrestrained by expectations – a rope is not a rope to you. It is a belt, a bracelet, a lasso, a snake, a harness, a bungee, a headband, a halter. You are builder and designer, architect and engineer, artist, innovator, chief imaginatron.

You fight for your own way – believing to your core what is right and true and yours. We’ve bent that will, a bit. Straining over that ferocity as a potter to the clay. Ever shaping, never breaking. A gentle curve is far more challenging, sweet son, than had we simply forced you into a mold. But your rough edges are wearing down, and in their place, fluid curves emerge. Where there was only self, compassion. Where there was only wilfulness, there is now integrity.

That same ferocity and faithfulness to your beliefs will do well for you, in time. Hang on to what is right, fight for it as you once fought for your own way.

Already, you are empathetic for anything and everyone. Even the most dastardly of villains earns your regret as he is destroyed by the good guys in the end. “I feel bad for him, mom. Nobody deserves to be treated that way.”

But the snails…

Even the snails I viciously fling from my garden earn your sorrow. “They are all God’s creatures, mom.”

Blonde hair, aqua eyes. You proudly show off tattooed arms, so lean that the sinews and muscles holding you together are more visible and ripped than any body-builder could ever hope to be. Like a spider, elbows and knees and long limbs, folded neatly under Yellow where you lay turbaned by the soft blankies you still swaddle around yourself at night.

You never seem to pay attention, but the words and the numbers and the phonics all make their way inside, somehow, and you astonish us with your knowledge of planets and geometry and cuttlefish.

I stare into your thin cheeks and try to see the chubby-cheeked blondie that snuggled in my bed every morning.

If I look carefully, he is there.

But more often I see the square-chinned, broad shouldered man that is blooming within your frame and I stop breathing for a moment with the wonder and fear of what lay ahead, and regret for what is already behind.

Are we up to the task? For the rest of the journey that is only perhaps ten years more, of loving and guiding and shaping and molding before sending you off into the world with a childhood that was safe and supportive and worthwhile?

For now, I brush the hair off your forehead and breathe in the scent of childhood that still lingers and whisper a prayer of gratitude that we were chosen for these small hours,

to be the caretakers that prepared you for the world,

that we were given the privilege

of you.

One year ago today I wrote: The Day We Met

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Christy A. permalink
    June 17, 2011 8:00 am

    Happy birthday Scooby! My favorite memory of you this year was one night, while I was babysitting, you were chomping at the bit to play a new video game. After I got it open, scrolled through the settings, and finally sorted the controllers out, you turned to me with the (in a boy’s world) coveted Player One controler stretched out in front of you and said nonchalantly, “Here Christy, ladies first.” Hold on to that effortless chivalry, my friend. It’ll take you far in about 12 years.

    • June 17, 2011 10:12 am

      Oh, tears…in all the obnoxious boyhood, a glimpse of the man appears! Thanks Christy for the great memory!

      • Christy A. permalink
        June 17, 2011 2:49 pm

        Thank YOU for sharing your family with me! I love your boys TTTTHHHHHIIIIIISSSSS much!

  2. Sharon Ink permalink
    June 17, 2011 10:31 am

    What a beautiful, beautiful Love Letter to your boy. He will treasure it as a man and that he was blessed by God with you and Gabe. Give Scooby a hug and wish him Happy BD for me!
    Love, Sharon

  3. Tonya Power permalink
    June 17, 2011 11:14 am

    Wow… I so relate to that with our eight-year old. Different personality, but with the same kind of oomph!

  4. Bethany permalink
    June 17, 2011 5:35 pm

    So beautiful, the boy and your words to him. You are amazing parents to an amazing kid! Happy birthday to my “ring bear.”

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