Last month in the car you asked me how old I was when the best thing that ever happened to me happened. I was 31, almost 32. In fact it was seven years ago today–at exactly 10:07. That was the day you were born. That was the day you changed my life.
I can’t believe it has already been seven years. The time has flown so quickly. All those milestones seem to have happened at rapid fire speed, first smile, first steps, first words, first friends, first days of school, first lost tooth. Sometimes I feel that our days together will never end but mostly I feel that you, your sweet childhood, it is slipping through my fingers. And I want to stop time, or slow it down–all the better to savor these years we get to spend together.
They say that a mother’s work is that of a teacher and guide. I do my best to teach you about healthy eating and to brush your teeth everyday and the importance of baths. I try and teach you about saying thank you and good study habits. I think all that is sinking in–but mostly I am struck by how the roles have been reversed. How much of our time together I have been the student and you, my precious boy, have been the teacher.
You are my funny guy–the one who is quick with a punchline, who will crack a joke to make me laugh just when I feel the worst. You are silly and you have a laugh that is infectious. You will make me hula hoop for hours. You will beg me to twirl with you on the grass until we both fall down. You will drag me into the rain to dance with you. You will turn the hose on me when the temperature climbs above 90. You have taught me about joy.
You are my compassionate child. You spend your own allowance on phone cards for O-O so she can call her girls when she is lonely. You bring me cool wash cloths when migraines ravage my body. Dogs and cats love you. You are gentle with them and you seem to speak their language–know just what they need to be comfortable. You open your heart to the strangers who have become our friends. You wrap your arms around them and are not afraid to ask them to care. You have shown me how to love fearlessly.
I admire how you jump into new social situation and try new things. Even when you are afraid, you embrace the challenges life sets before you and do amazing new things. You climb mountains, ride horses, jump in with whole new gangs of kids with confidence and enthusiasm. You have taught me how to live fearlessly.
You are my wild child. Whenever we are anywhere near the woods, you strip down to your shorts. You find your perfect stick and within minutes you are running free, your curly hair streaked by the sun. You pay attention to the bugs, the animals, the fish. You notice them. You have taught me how to be.
You know how to push my every button. You challenge me. You make a mess and don’t clean it up. You talk back. You teach me patience over and over again. When I lose my patience you teach me about forgiveness.
Being your mama has been the greatest adventure of my life. I am privledged and honored to be in this role–the role of driver and washer and cleaner and cooker and to get to spend so much time with a person so wise and funny and loving.
Happy Birthday my boy. I love you to the moon and back again a hundred thousand times.