Today you turn seven-years-old. Last night, as we snuggled in your bed, I told you I couldn’t believe it was the last time I’d be saying goodnight to my six-year-old! You responded with, “Well, mama, I’m still your buddy. It’ll be okay!” And, of course, you’re right. It WILL be okay, because every minute/day/year that goes by, you grow into an even more incredible person than you were before. While I am totally obsessed with you as a baby (because HAVE YOU SEEN THIS VIDEO OMG), I’m loving this stage of life with you as a spunky little boy. You are feisty, curious, ornery and adorable all at the same time. It’s the best!
This year you not only grew physically (you are huge, dude…and your feet are massive!), but emotionally as well. I know people say that boys are less emotional than girls, but nothing seems to be further from the truth in your case. You are incredibly sensitive, and watching you learn to navigate your very big feelings has been challenging at times. There have been many tears over hurtful words from friends or your sister, or just feeling left out because you’re the youngest kid on our block. Often those tears are followed by angry outbursts…your smashed Halloween pumpkin comes to mind. Sometimes I can find this frustrating, but I try to remind myself that the flip side of these tearful moments are the ones of pure joy that you bring our way on a daily basis. You are so loving, sometimes it seems as if it will burst out of you! When you see me in the hall at school or at a sports game you always run up and give me a huge hug and a kiss, regardless of who is around. The other day you knocked on the bathroom door while I was getting ready for the day, and when I opened it, I found you standing there with my wedding ring in your hand. “Mama, will you marry me?” Oh, my heart.
I know sooner than I’d like my love won’t be the most important thing in your life, especially since you have already shared that you have two “crushes” in your first grade class. My adorable baby has grown into a very good looking kid, and I can already tell our teenage years with you will be quite the adventure. Whenever I visit your class at school, there are multiple girls that fawn over you, hugging and wanting to sit next to you. Yesterday when two girls were fighting over the seat next to you at the holiday party, you looked over at me, shrugged your shoulders and WINKED. My god. What are we going to do with you, kid?
This year you finally got to really find some activities of your own, since you’ve spent much of your young life attending concerts, rehearsals, practices and recitals for your sister. It’s YOUR turn! You have kept up with soccer, but you also played basketball and baseball. You were part of the inaugural boys class at your Aunt Ashley’s dance camp, and it appears you love performing as much as your sister! I loved watching you try new things and step out of your comfort zone this year. I know it’s a challenge for you, and sometimes you hated me for making you try, but I hope the lessons you learn today will help you as you continue to grow. If not, there’s always therapy!
Tater Tot, I love you so much, it makes my heart hurt. I want nothing but the best for you, but I always want to make sure you care for others around you as well as yourself. You’re growing up in an interesting time…you’re a middle class white boy from the Midwest during a time of great change in our country and community. My hope is that as you continue to learn, you will use your privilege to lift others up and make the world a better place. If who you are today is any indication, the world is in for a lot of joy from you, kid. I love you endlessly.