I’m starting your birthday letter on my birthday because it reminds me of the best birthday present I ever received. Can you guess what it is?
You were an unexpected present because I didn’t know at the time what a gift you would be to me. Top it all, you are a gift that keeps on giving. Every day you give me love, smiles, hugs, kisses and so many joys that can not even be expressed in words.
So, remember sweetheart when you are a teenager, perhaps embarrassed to be seen with your mom, or having fun with your friends on a college Spring Break, or working hard in your career in your 20’s, or busy balancing your own family life in your 30’s… remember that the best gift you can ever give me is, always the gift of you and your time.
I loved the past year when you were 5. It has been my favorite. I know I say that every year, but it really was. You started Kindergarten back in September and 7 months later, you’re reading, up to Level 5-6 books. You are adding and subtracting. You can tell the time, the hour and the minutes, tho you have trouble when the hour hand starts creeping to the next number. I love how you count, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 7:30! You can count coins. You can solve word problems. You have written a book report. You have written a story with illustrations. You have accomplished so much academically! Your thirst for knowledge is inspiring.
You started piano lessons almost 2 months ago and I think you’re showing promise. You have started learning breast stroke in swim. You have continued to improve in skiing. I love how you persevered over frigid temperatures and gusting wind. You’re one stubborn kid and sometimes that is a good thing. I love how you don’t give up.
You are such a good kid. You don’t whine. You don’t scream. You don’t throw tantrums. You are stoic and you endure. Sometimes, I wish you would just let it out.
You’re honest. You tell me every time you have a piece of “junk” food at school. Mommy, I had 2 cookies and a cupcake today. But I tried not to eat too much icing. I hope you continue to stay honest in your teenage years! You’re very considerate of other’s feelings. You hate making judgements or taking sides. You’re all about being fair. Mommy, you have to save a piece of chocolate for Daddy. That’s only fair.
I don’t have your 6 year statistics yet, but you reach up to my chest. You weigh 2 minutes maximum holding time, 5 if you have your legs wrapped around me. You’re size 6 in clothes and 10 in shoes. You finally have a loose tooth, but you haven’t lost it yet.
There are probably lots of things I’ve left out. That is inevitable. It is impossible to record all the cute and wonderful moments, the minute joys. And the feelings, too. The heart swelling, aching, expanding, breaking, trembling with laughter and tears… all impossible to convey. I hope you are gifted one day to know a love that only a mother can have for her child. Only then, will you truly know.
I will end with the story of the day I found out that I was pregnant with you. It was end of June 2003. We had just been to the doctor. The nurse said we would get a call sometime after 10:30 and it was, oh, about 7:30 AM. We were at loose ends, Daddy and I, and so nervous. To go home and stare at the phone was such a horrid option. So, we decided to go for a light hike near our home.
As soon as we were in woods, we heard rustling. I thought it was birds, squirrels, chipmunks. Any number of small creatures live in the woods. But Daddy said that the rustling was paralleling us. So, I thought deer. Then our paths crossed. Suddenly, we were looking into the eyes of a large black bear.
He looked at us. We froze and looked at him. He looked at us and we looked at him. We held our breath and remained immobile. Then he turned his head and walked on. We backed away slowly until the bear was out of sight and we walked swiftly back to our car. It was scary and awe inspiring at the same time. I had always wanted to see a bear! We drove home happy and excited because I had never seen one in the “wild” before and this felt like such a good omen.
We were soon back at home and the moment I stepped into the bathroom, the phone rang. Daddy picked up the phone. I walked out, saw him crying and I asked, “Good news or bad?” And he said, “Good news.” And then I cried, too. The end.
Happy 6th birthday my Soso Pie, my March Munchkin, my Adorable. I love you around the earth, to the moon and back.