Two weeks ago, you turned eight. It’s taken me about that long to accept that the big boy who’s standing in front of me, is the baby who, on January 21, 2006, had no intention of leaving my body of his own volition.
You tell me all kinds of things and I feel lucky everyday because of it. You tell me how the girls chase you around the playground at recess. You tell me about the Leni Lenape tribe who lived here in New York way before we did. You tell me about cotyledons and the anatomy of a seed. You tell me about how much you can’t wait to snuggle with me when we get home.
You tell me these things and punctuate them all with “I love you, Mommy.” It’s just a point of fact. The same way you say you’re cold or hungry or excited. You love me.
You prefer to wear sweatpants, because you can run in them, and Velcro sneakers, because tying shoes is very time consuming for one who just wants to go out and play. You are a Mighty Miler, and you are *this* close to your hundred mile mark between running the track at school and running with Daddy. You played baseball last spring, soccer this fall, and for winter you’re playing basketball and swimming. You love your skateboard, your scooter, and your bike. (But your Rainbow Loom, your books, and your Legos are tough competition.)
You sleep next to a wooden clementine crate that now serves as a bed for Prancey and Stripey – your lifelong beanie baby pals. They both have glaucoma and at some point you cut their tails, but they’re still your friends til the end.
You adore your little brother and now that you’re at the same school, you get to be reading buddies every Friday. Daddy and I love that. The two of you have also crafted a plethora of action figures out of little rubber bands, which Daddy and I also love – partially because that’s just so fucking DIY of you, and partially because as there’s no way in hell we’ll ever buy into the inherent violence promoted by G.I. Joe or Transformers or those shitty little army guys, this is your only shot at a normal childhood.
You’re so smart. Just today, you said “Isn’t Fatty Daddy Tacos insulting to fat daddies?” Fat daddies everywhere are now saluting you, babe.
These days you are liking your hair long and your music pop-py. Your top 40 all the way, but you also dig Creedence, the Beastie Boys, and G ‘n R. (There’s still work to be done in this department.)
I know that I annoy you with my constant tickles and tushy grabs and the way I insist on holding your hand in public. But I also know you secretly like it. I’m so enamored of you, I can’t help it, really. I can’t seem to keep my hands to myself when we’re together.
You’re kind, polite, and an absolute pleasure (except when your fussing, but we’ll talk about that another time). I’m so proud of you it hurts.
Happy birthday, Feff.
I love you so much and too much.