Archive for May, 2013

Happy 7th Noah!!

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

My dear Noah,
And just like that you’re seven! Six was a crazy year for us. You tested your limits, fought for independence, struggled between loving your sister and loving to torment her – and I wouldn’t want the craziness to be any less crazy.

So much has changed over the last 7 years. You were the cutest baby with tons of gummy smiles that was weary of strangers, the most adventurous toddler that would only wear orange and clothes without buttons, the fastest and most energetic but shy kid who was very stingy with your friendship and words, and the smartest, most stubborn little boy I ever did know. Actually, it turns out some things never do change now that I think about it.

This birthday was hard for me. I used to think that only grown up adults had seven year olds and the thought of that made me gray. I didn’t want to feel like I was getting old but now that I’m pushing closer to 40 than I was to 30, I realize that no matter how old I actually am, you will always make sure that all of us will forever be kids at heart. That we go outside to ride bikes and blow bubbles. That we put out our Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving and tour the neighborhood every night to see everyone else’s. That somedays we will sit on the couch in our pajamas watching movies and playing skylanders because everyone needs a day off. That putting dirty clothes in a hamper is overrated but we should never forget to pick all the stuffed animals off the floor so they can sleep in the bed. You will always be my wild. You will also be the closest thing to memories of my own childhood. We are so much alike, which causes some arguments, but almost always makes me laugh. I find myself apologizing to my parents (Grammy and Papa) whenever you get yourself in trouble for doing exactly what I would have done when I was your age.

I worried that at seven you would start forming forever memories. Before now I knew that if I hurt your feelings or sent you to your room, you wouldn’t remember. But by now I wondered if I had to be more careful with my words and decisions. I have decided that for better or for worse, I am your mom, and though I will always be the strict one of your parents you will always know that I love you. One great thing about forming memories you’ll have forever is the relationships you have with your grandparents. Your grandparents are older and not all of them are in good health. Since the day you were born I prayed you would remember how much they love you. I’m so happy for you to know them and love them so much.

This year we talked you into a trip to Blizzard Beach, Legoland, and Disney instead of having a birthday party. You really wanted to go on a Disney cruise instead but settled for this with the promise that someday we’ll make that happen. It is important for you to understand that some children won’t even get a candle to blow out on their birthday. Our conversations made me realize we need to work on humility, gratitude and whatever the opposite of entitlement is. Parenthood is such a struggle between giving you and Kate everything we can and spoiling you rotten. I’m sure we’ll have much different memories of which side of that line we teetered on when you are older but as long as you know that we did the best we could and loved you like crazy I will be a proud and happy mom.

Some of your milestones this year included losing your first two teeth (one I pulled out while holding you down MMA style and one the dentist extracted), learning to ride your bike without training wheels (two weeks to the day before your birthday), improving your handwriting and giving me “love letters” for every occasion, getting your first neighborhood friends (Marcus, Zack, and Ty from down the street), buying your lunch at school (that may sound silly but it was a huge struggle to make that happen; another fear out of shyness), embracing your ease of math in first grade, figuring out how to pump your legs on a swing so we don’t have to push you anymore, joining a competitive gymnastics team (because you’re crazy talented)…. the list goes on.

And while things seem to be moving full speed ahead, you still have bits of your babyhood that keep me nostalgic. “Monkey” is still your best buddy. While he may not be required at all times (like before), you still hold him tight in your sleep. You still hug me when I need one (but I don’t dare ask in front others and God forbid I want a kiss) and come to me for comfort when you’re hurt. You’ll still do anything to get us to stop for a playground, no matter how hot it is or how simple or rundown the equipment is. You still love money. As a kid you loved change. You collected it always and even got bags of coins as gifts. You’ve graduated to bills and I’m hoping the value of a dollar will never be lost on you. You’re still little. Everyone thinks you and Kate are twins, which you don’t love, but I’m convinced one day you’ll shoot up and none of your clothes will fit. It would help if you ate or slept (or both); one day you’ll miss sleep- I warned you.

This year you finally had a different answer about your aspirations. You’ve always said you want to be an instruction (construction) worker. This year you also answered that you’d like to work in a bowling alley and last week it was a soccer coach. Please, please, please – be the best at whatever you choose. Also know that someday you’ll need to move out and those choices might make that harder.

I could go on and on. I’m so very proud of you and I love every moment of watching you grow. I hope your journey to eight brings you even more joy, health, and success. I love you!