You embody that adage: “Dance like no one is watching, love like you’ve never been hurt, sing as though no one is listening, live as though heaven is on earth” which I find all over the Internet attributed to different people, so pick your source.
That is a totally cheesy saying, and yet, and yet. To watch you dance and sing and bike and swim and play is something. You’re so in control of your body now; you’ve left behind that clumsy period of figuring things out for the first time. You know how to ride a bike, how to swim passably well, how to sing better than I can. You’re at this sweet spot between the early childhood struggle for these basic skills and the adolescent self-consciousness about using them.
Your mind is the same way. You can write in cursive (mostly) and read anything you like. You’re learning math and science and history. You know things I don’t know. You surprise me with trivia and with your creativity. We have real conversations, on an almost adult level. Babyhood has really and truly left the building.
And love. Oh, kid, how you love. You’re kind to strangers and caring with your sister and always generous and gentle with your classmates and your friends. Last night I was tired and cranky and not the best mom ever and you cheerfully offered to put yourself to bed. “I can read, and I can turn out the light, and I can give myself hand rubs,” you said.
Oh sweetie, you’re big, but I can do those things for you. And I want to and I will, as long as you let me.
Perhaps even more than when you were a baby, I feel this tremendous urge to protect you, to safeguard this beautiful person you are becoming. I wish I could bottle the essence of you at 8 and share it with you when you’re 16 and doubting yourself. I hope some magic happens and you never doubt yourself, that you sail through life as mighty and self-assured and held in love as you are right now.
Some more birthday wishes for you:
- I wish your transition into public school is graceful, and that you continue to find great friends, great teachers, and a simple joy in learning.
- I wish you continue to embrace difference in yourself and others as easily and gracefully as you do now.
- I wish you and I find ever more time to connect with each other. I love being your mom, and as you grow I’m loving becoming your friend as well.
All the love,
ps: not having a birthday party this year was totally the right call. I loved that simple bike ride and ice cream with less than a handful of close friends. Smart move, kid.