I know I used to write these little letters to you more frequently, and I’m sorry they’ve dropped off. But I simply will not let your birthday go by without a misty-eyed missive. I’ll try not to be too schmaltzy.
7. Sev-en. An age so big it needs 2 syllables. As usual, I can’t quite believe you’re another year older already. And I certainly don’t believe I’m a year older either (sometimes it feels like a decade, but that’s another story). And what a year it’s been. 3 days ago, you started the 1st grade. Kindergarten, that’s done. You’re a pro at this school thing now. Even though you’ve had a little bit of a tough time letting go of summer and going back to school without me there, I think deep down you love it, being together with your friends and your beloved teacher that we both adore for moving up with your entire kindergarten class. You’re already mostly over the emotions of it all anyway, quick-stepping it into the building this morning with barely a wave back to me. And that’s as it should be.
By the way, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your birthday party in class today. Between you and me, I think this new rule about the school not wanting any visitors during the 1st week is really dumb. But at least I could still bring you the cupcakes to celebrate with your friends. Enjoy the sugar, Buddy.
This past year has been full of discovery about you and for you. We’ve been through a lot, trying to figure out how to get the most out of school, how best to learn, how you communicate, what you need in a school setting and a social environment. And you’ve grown so much. I’ve seen you struggle, and I’ve seen you figure ways out of it. I’ve listened as you’ve exploded in a ball of questions, and tried to give you reasonable answers. I’ve been amazed as you’ve written out complete, multi-sentence thoughts that make sense, have (mostly) correct spelling, and are legible. You’ve made new friends and built on older ones. You’ve been easily frustrated. You’ve rolled with the punches. You’ve discovered so many new ways to use your imagination, and that is such a sight to behold.
You are kind and generous with your sister almost all of the time. Someday, when you are a parent, I will tell you of this and you will understand just how incredible that is.
I love it when you get excited about reading a new word, figuring out a new game, or seeing something for the first time. I love it when you tell me silly stories and crack up before you get to the end. I love it when you give me a hug out of the blue.
And also as usual, I don’t know what this next year holds for you, but know that I’ll be holding your hand the entire way, helping you take steps into the unknown, dusting you off when you stumble, cheering you when you take a brave leap forward. I will do anything for you, my sweet boy. You may be 7, but I’m the lucky one.