Saturday, July 6, 2013

Birthday Letter

Good looking guy, isn't he?

Today my home will be overrun with Ninja Turtles, pizza dripping with cheese, and a dozen kids scattered on my front lawn. Before all that, though, there are a few things I want to say to the bright-eyed birthday boy.

Dear Nathan,

It is so hard to believe you're turning six tomorrow. It seems like just yesterday I was terrified of holding a little five-pound baby. I didn't know what to do with you! We've come a long way together, haven't we? You've developed into a great little kid and I've developed into a slightly-less-terrified mom.

The other day Mrs. Nancy from Kid's College was bragging on you and your grandpa loved it. He said if there were more people like you in the world, this place would probably be much better off. That stuck with me. Many of the things I love about you are things I would love to see in others.

  • I love the way you get so excited. Whether I tell you we're heading to the beach or the backyard, you'd think you'd have won the lottery. If everyone shared your enthusiasm for life, the world would be a better place.

  • I love the way you take care of Owen. You read "baby" books, play "baby" toys, and watch "baby" shows just because he wants to. You come running when he calls, whether to kiss booboos or tuck him in. You put his needs ahead of yours. If everyone took care of each other like that, the world would be a better place.

  • I love the way you love me. The way you say my name every afternoon when I pick you up from school brightens my day. It doesn't matter if we begin the day with an argument about chips for breakfast, I don't doubt your love for a second. If everyone loved as hard as you do, the world would be a better place.

  • I love the way you learn. You never sweep a new idea under the rug. If you don't understand something, you ask as many questions as possible and hold fast to the answers. You don't get frustrated with learning, you embrace it and you apply it. If everyone sought knowledge the way you do, the world would be a better place.

Nathan, the best thing about all of that is that you are in my world and you do make it a better place. I have learned so much from you about myself and about the person I need to be. Keep on trucking, buddy. You are doing a lot of things right.

From five pounds to six years old in the blink of an eye. No matter how old you are or what you accomplish in life, I'll always see where we started: as a sweet baby boy and a learn-as-you-go mama. We're a long way from the rocking chair, but you will always and forever be my first baby.

Love you with two cherries, sprinkles, and hot fudge on top.

Rocking chairs, rocking babies,
rock-a-bye, rock of ages,
Side by side, we'll be together always.
And, yes, I'll always love you,
and I'll always be here for you.
And I'll stand by you
Through our rocking years.

-Dolly Parton, "Rocking Years"

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