Monday, October 11, 2010

To my 6-year old JEB

To my sweet six year-old John:

Happy late birthday!  As you well know, I have a tendency to be late for important things.

Like your school. 

But I always try to write something witty in the "reason for tardiness" column of the sign-in sheet.  Like "large orange juice mishap" or "dadblame traffic jam" or "mother really needs to set alarm." 

So, your birthday letter this year is yet another important thing for which I'm late.  It's certainly not because you're low on my priorities list.  Au contraire.  It's really just because of your brother. 

Yeah, let's just go on ahead and enter the phase where we blame him for things, shall we?

Ah, my John-John.  Another year, more love. You are funny, reasonable, and hard working. I do sometimes worry about your pre-teen angst, but we're working through it. I'm amazed that between 5 and 6 you have matured in off-the-charts ways. You color now, for instance. Sometimes I find you sitting for half an hour just drawing stars. Practicing. Getting the lines all even. You write phonetically and it's usually pretty darn comprehensible. You love school, and you are proud of yourself for never once having had your duck go below the water. I'm proud of you too. For that and many other things.

Recently we were at a birthday party and I saw you throwing a bouncy ball on top of the pavilion under which the party-goers were sitting. I asked you to stop. You wanted a reason. I said, eloquently, "because." Your response?

"But Mom. #1, the roof is angled so the ball will slide right down, and #2, there are no gutters for the ball to get caught in."

How can I argue with that kind of reasoning ability?

I still remember when you could say, "ugh" and I knew exactly what it meant. Clearly you don't need me to translate anymore.

It's the independence that is so bittersweet for us Mamas. Of course we want our children to burgeon; it's just that the swiftness of your growth always catches us by surprise. No matter how cliche it is: You have grown fast! Where does the time go?

Recently I read seven a few books about the development of boys. It was at a particularly rough time in your development. So rough that I was convinced we needed to have you evaluated. Your behavior just could NOT be normal, I surmised, based on my limited experience with school-age boys.

Nope. You're perfect.

Should've known that your vast energy, your inability to lose, and your fierce independence is a perfect description of exactly the way you should be at this age. On my good days, when I'm not tired or hungry or crabby or sick, I hope that you can see how much I appreciate you and all of the adventure that you have brought into our lives.  I wouldn't want you to be any other way than you are.

Here are several things I love about my six-year old you (I tried to keep it to six, but I just couldn't; there's too much to love): 

1. You are really adept at snapping.
      (And I don't just mean that your fine motor skills are developing and I'm proud.  I really think that you have a proclivity for knowing exactly WHEN to snap.)
     2.  Your hair looks good no matter what.  
    3.  You LOVE to camp, fish, and get dirty, but you clean up nice.
    4. Sometimes, you can be cherubic.
    5.  You will eat anything.  Even brussels sprouts, couscous, and sushi (with chopsticks).

6.  You have a flair for the dramatic with unknown origins.

7.  When you fall, you always get back up and try again.

8. Most importantly, you put up with me.

John, my wish for you is that six -- and I -- will treat you right. 

All my love,

1 comment:

Julie said...

Kim - You've knocked it out of the park again. I love that you thank John for putting up with you. I don't know how they do it. Us parents can be so exasperating! Miss you guys!