I still can’t get used to this growing up thing that happens. My little babies turn into people and rush toward adulthood so fast. It feels like yesterday that I first held you, traced your perfect ears with my finger tip, spent hours just looking at you.
I don’t get much time to look at you any more, not while you are still.
You can read now, which still feels like a miracle to me because I taught you how to. It’s so fun to watch you get caught in a book, sucked into the pages and forget everything else. Of course, it’s frustrating at times to, because there are things out here in the real world that require your attention. I love that you love to read. I feel like my job as your teacher is mostly done because of that. Oh, there’s lots more for me to teach you, but now that you can read there is a lot more that you can teach yourself.
I like the way you get a book and your sisters snuggle up next to you as you read out loud to them. I don’t know if you know how much they admire you. You seem oblivious to the way the Girl looks at you as you do something cool with total adoration in her gaze. You don’t notice when she gets up and tries to do the exact same thing.
To have sisters who love and admire you is high praise my boy. It’s testament to your character, and the way you treat people smaller and weaker. You are most often gentle with them. You take time to teach them something, even if they don’t really want to learn it right now, or from you. 🙂
You play games with them. You involve them in the things that you are doing, most of the time.
Unless it’s Lego, then you just want everyone to leave you alone. You forget to eat, to dress, to do everything so obsessed are you with the Lego. You got new Lego sets for your birthday, Star Wars of course. In one day you had put all of the sets together, all by yourself without once needing assistance. Just 3 years ago, when you got your first Lego sets, I was the one who ended up assembling all of the pieces for you, and it was painstaking and hard and I hated it. Here is another way that you have grown up right in front of me.
You have matured in other ways too. You are more aware of other people, of what’s being done. You often answer your own question. Instead of yelling “MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY, I HAVE A QUESTION MOMMY! WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GO?”
Now you will start, “MOM, when…oh right, you said to get my shoes on . I saw that you were getting that done and I remembered that you told me to put my shoes on before we could go. Right. I forgot.”
I love that you still process these types of cues audibly so I can hear what’s going on in your head. I also love that you are starting to pick up on these types of cues. All of those moments of me saying, “What do you see me doing? What did I just say? What do you think?” may finally be paying off. Whew.
You have friends that choose you now, and you choose them. Your play is all about guns and swords and secret missions. Yet, you are often just as happy to play “Hannah Montana” with the girls when they are around. You have no idea who Miley Cyrus or Hannah Montana are, you just know it involves the girls posturing and standing on the picnic table while singing. But you know it cheers the girls up when you say, “Let’s play Hannah Montana, you can be Hannah Montana.” And so you say it when needed to keep the girls who want to play with you happy.
It amuses me to watch the dynamics that play out when your friends fight over you. Like when one of your boy friends wants you to himself to play Legos he will rudely say to the little girls, “No girls allowed, only boys.”
And then the poor little girl in question will wander around feeling sad until she figures out how to make what she’s doing look more fun than the Lego. You are fickle, but it’s unintentional; easily distracted from one friend by another. You rarely need to look for people to play with these days.
You are ready to start reading a “big long book” now, no more Magic Tree House for you. Given the choice between, Treasure Island, Cry of the Wild, and Robinson Crusoe, you went with Robinson Crusoe. I smile to myself, because that’s probably what both your dad and I would have chosen too.
I love the way you try not to smile when somethings is amusing, your mouth twists up in this way that is wholly you, and completely adorable. And I am grateful for the way you still get so excited about things. I never want you to stop doing that, jumping for joy and running around when you get good news. I save telling you things for just the right moment, just so I can enjoy your reaction. Please don’t ever outgrow your ability to express joy so freely.
You are so excited to move to Thailand. You tell everyone you meet the Thai words and alphabet that you can remember. Gai means chicken.
You are excited that you may get to spend more time with daddy helping. He told you that everyone there helps out during rice planting season, and that he would take you along, and you are fully enamoured with the idea of doing something so important to help your daddy, and the other kids who are there.
I’m kind of glad that we still have the sleep disorder to deal with these days. The laundry is daunting, but I like that we have that to work through together and that you aren’t all the way grown up yet. As difficult as it has been, I think it is forging our relationship stronger to have this to deal with together. I think we’re both doing a good job with it, and I’m glad for the bond it gives us. How silly, that I would think to be thankful for something like that, but I am. I’m grateful for all the moments that I get to spend with you, all of the chances to learn about life together.
I have no idea how to wrap this up. I could go on and on talking about the things I like about you. The way you try to give me bone crushing hugs at night when you are in bed, the way you cheerfully play with or read to your sisters when I need some help, the way you are so serious an thoughtful about things.
You are a light to me. You are what makes me want to be better than I am, to be worthy of this privilege of parenting you. Your smile makes my day better, your joy reminds me to give thanks.
I love you, always.