Eight years old. I am so happy that I can, without hesitation,say that it's been the BEST eight years of my life! Eight years ago today you made me a mom. I'll never forget standing in the doorway watching you swing in the living room when you were about a week old. Your adorable little body was slumped over like tiny newborns are apt to do when they're sitting up a bit, and you were snoozing as the sun streamed in through the trees, leaving little dappled shadows on your face.
I leaned on the doorway and listened to the melancholy little lullaby that was playing on the swing. I marveled over how fast that week had gone by, how much you'd grown over that one little week, and it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks how fast your babyhood, your childhood was going to fly by and the tears started streaming. Of course, there were some new mommy hormones to blame there too, but, thank goodness, not the bad kind. I was never depressed, but it was like my emotions were released the minute you were put in my arms. And I've not been able to bottle them back up since. Don't even get me started on the Johnson's baby commercials.
But truthfully, your babyhood DID fly by. I was so busy trying to figure out how to be a mom that before I knew it, you were the sweetest little toddler in the world. I blinked, and boom, now you're an amazing little boy. AMAZING.
I'm not just bragging when I say that you are the most thoughtful child I've ever seen. When we were shopping for pirate-themed items for your birthday bash this weekend, you grabbed a box of thank-you cards, saying, "Oh, can't forget these." I love that. I mean, you love gifts just as much as the next kid, don't get me wrong, but to understand at this age, that you should be grateful for others thinking of you - that I find wonderful.
You I find wonderful, it's true. You are my number one helper. If I need help moving furniture, you don't hesitate to jump in and give me a hand. If Suzi wants someone to walk her to the bathroom to keep her company, you go, and cheerfully so. Today you went so far as to clean and bandage the little wound on my back, where I had a mole removed and had to have several stitches.
You kindness even extends to your sisters...most of the time, at least. Tonight, Sophie drew you a picture of Snoopy on the iPad, and you exclaimed over it so nicely, even though none of us could immediately tell what it was she was showing us. When you came home from school last week and Suzi pulled up her shirt to show you an imagined scratch on her side, you said, "Oh, poor baby," and gave her a little hug. Your sisters adore you, and with good reason. They are so lucky to have you.
We are all so lucky to have you. Sophie asked me tonight if I was glad I'd had kids, and I told her the God's honest truth: I am ecstatic to have the three of you as my children, and you are the three best things to have ever happened to me. And you started it all.
There are lots of things I could go on and on about - how smart you are, and how proud I am of the work you did this year, achieving the top AR reader in your class, and ending the year with straight A's...except for that pesky C in handwriting. Or I could talk about your lovely sense of humor, and your ability to laugh at yourself, a trait that many adults I know still don't possess.
Or maybe I could say how handsome I think you are. You have a sweet soul that shines a special light from your eyes, from your face. My number one little big man, with a heart that's even bigger than those feet, feet that are now the same size as mine! I know I've said it several times already, but you really are a truly amazing kid, and I am beyond blessed to call you my son.
Happy Birthday, Iz-man! Your momma loves you so very, very, very much!