Monday, January 14, 2013

A letter to my sweetie boy for his birthday: Seven is a big deal!

My Dearest Lucas,

Yesterday was your birthday. The big seven! I won't scar you with too many details of our first meeting, but I can tell you that even though it was a rough beginning for both of us (your dad, Eema and the medical staff too), it still melts my heart thinking about you and hearing your "cry" for the first time.

You have brought me nothing but pure joy since that very first moment. Watching you grow, absorbing the world around you, inquisitive and delighted to learn, I’m reminded each day of the treasure you bring into my world.

As all mothers do, I have goals, dreams and wishes for you. I have, as you can imagine, dozens of them, but on this seventh anniversary of  our first moment together, I will limit myself to the seven that I wish for most.
 I wish for the kind heart I see you in now to stay firmly in place.  Keep it, nurture it, handle it with care.  Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are too sensitive. You are the first to hold your sister’s hand when she is scared, the first to run for the ice pack when someone is hurt, the first to tell me that you love me when you see that I am upset.  The best part of my day is the joy infused by your smile, your hugs, the tender way you put your hand on my face or suddenly say, “Mommy, how was YOUR day?”  I couldn’t live without your affection and kindness.

Don’t ever apologize for who you are, for what you want, for how hard you have worked or where you are going in life. I don’t doubt you will work hard, but I can already see signs that you are quick to apologize, to back down. Don’t. You have learned this from me and I wish I could take it back.  Stand your ground, be proud of you.  Do not live to make others happy or to measure up to someone else’s expectations.  Be Lucas.  This is enough.

Be a student.  Be a teacher.  Learn at every opportunity.  Read. Be inquisitive. Ask. And when you know something and know it well – teach others.  Do not hoard your knowledge, your gifts – share them.  There is inherent beauty in being both student and teacher.  It is a gift to learn and a privilege to teach. After all, you teach me something new every day.

I wish you wins and losses, trophies and empty shelves.  As much as I would love to see you succeed in everything you do… as much as I believe in your gifts, I must wish you challenges.  For it is within the losses, the 3rd, 4th and 5th places, and the failures that your character will be built. It is my job, as your mom, to do my best to guide you through these moments. If everything was to be easy for you, you would be ill-prepared for the ‘real’ world.  I promise you, life is not always easy.

Your dreams: do them.  Your heart: follow it.  Your family: treasure them. Your friends: be loyal to them. Your fears: embrace them and allow them to make you stronger.  The money you earn: respect it. Your passion: LIVE IT.

Seek joy.  Every single day, find something that makes you happy and do it.  Be it big or small – an act of kindness, listening to a song you love, calling a friend, watching the Browns with your dad  - it quite simply doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you spend a portion of each day smiling and laughing. You have such a beautiful smile and a belly laugh that I love to hear. And for the record, even when you think that I'm not watching or listening, I am. Those moments bring joy to my heart, tears to my eyes, and a smile to my face. Thank you.

And my ‘one to grow on’ - I wish to be here for each of your moments…. to keep you on track.

Lucas, you are what bliss looks like in a little boy.  You are dirty and messy, you snuggle and love me. I melt when you say, “I haven’t had my hugs and kisses yet today, Mommy” or "Huggie!" I adore that you need to be all sprawled out in your bed at night in order to sleep. I love it that you still sleep with Bear, Snoodle, and Smokey.  I will never forget your need for a story before bed, how you still love to snuggle with me and how a good dance-a-thon can bring out the sillies in all of us.

And nothing gets to me more than hearing you say, “I love you, Mommy”. Thank you, my sweetie boy – for picking me to be your mommy. There is nothing better in this world.

I will always love you, my buddy.

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