How do you write about someone you love so much? How do you make sense of all a heart can feel? I'm gonna give it a shot...
The night before you turned eight, I went to your bed and watched you sleep. I begged everything in me to remember the details of your birth. Such a pivotal moment for me, for us. You changed me forever, ya know. As I stood there, I relived pieces of our past together; bringing you home from the hospital, finger painting, long walks, play dates, watching you transition from only child to big brother to bigger brother. How you loved Gabe from the very start. You would run to him the instant he made a peep, Selah too once she was here. Now you're eight and that feels like you're nearly grown! I've always been afraid of watching my kids grow. Intimidated by all I don't know. Too much Dr. Phil and news stories about kids gone wrong, I suppose. Watching you I've learned it doesn't have to be that way. We learn as we go. Thank you for being patient, thank you for loving me when I mess up. And thank you for just being you. The awesome kid you are. I am so blessed to have you. Honored that God chose me to be your mama. So, I stood there wishing I could relive one of those days of just us one more time. I would love to go back and give you all of me one more time.
This is how we celebrated you.
Emily and Kari came over for a chocolate chip pancake breakfast, daddy's specialty.
After playing the morning away, your one and only request was to go sledding. Right after we ate lunch at your favorite restaurant, Max & Erma's.
Then it was off to the little sledding hill in our neighborhood.
I loved watching your little adventurous spirit climb that hill and slide down with no fear. Well, a teeny, tiny bit of fear the first time but after that you were hooked. We had a great day. I loved that you had just the one thing you wanted. To be with your family. I think family birthdays are the most special birthdays of all.
A week later we partied at the bowling alley with your best friend.
Can I just say how very cool it is to see you in a friendship role. So much fun watching you grow! I love having a front row seat to it all.
Gabe has a wicked arm with the bowling ball. Yay for bumpers!
Someone was very proud that she could carry her very own ball!
"These two fingers go in the ball, mom?"
Such a good big brother, making sure Selah's ball was lined up just right.
So you've been eight now for almost three months. As I type, you are outside in our cul-de-sac playing basketball. You've got the dribble, dribble shoot thing down. You run like the wind, the second fastest in the entire second grade, or so I've been told (by you). You came home from daddy's office with a letter you typed up:
You are the best mommy ever. You let us play have fun and eat ice cream well sometimes. I still remember when we went to Great Wolf Lodge. It was so much fun. I love our family so much. Do you remember when we went to Kings Island it was so much fun also. Every night I love hearing what book you are reading. I love playing Scrabble and watching Cousins On Call.
You delivered it with a great big hug, the kind of hug that lasted more than a millisecond. You even came back for a second one!
And with that hug I said a hundred little "thank you's" on the inside. I so adore being your mama.