A LETTER TO MY SON ON HIS 9TH BIRTHDAY

My sweet boy,

Today you turn 9! The last of your single digit birthdays! How cool is that? I am proud that you are my son. I hope I tell you that often enough.

We’ve been through so much together and have come out stronger and better because of it. You have taught me so much about life and love. I’m grateful beyond measure for every second of your life.

I can’t even begin to tell you how incredibly proud of you I am. You are kind and smart and hard-working. You love your family with all your heart and I get such a kick out of how much you enjoy all your extended family – cousins, aunts/uncles, great-grandparents and more. You are a caring young man and I get so warm when you bring the blanket and cover me whenever you see me coughing or sneezing, or when you help me tie my shoes, change TV Channels for me, bringing me my medicine reminding me to take them before I sleep when I was unwell, touching my forehead to feel my temperature, the sweet sticker notes you stick on my bedroom wall to surprise me when I get off work, telling me to use uber and not drive because I was sick LOL…Papa, what would I do without you?

My favorite part of the day is still bedtime, where you share with me all the different aspects of your day. You tell me the good, the bad, and the silly. You ask me ridiculous questions and still amaze me how you think way too bigger than your age.

Your newest obsession is expensive/fancy cars. You are constantly on the lookout for Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Teslas and Mustangs in movies and games and love a Subaru like always on the roads. I can’t even keep up with all the cars you know and haven’t even heard of half of them!

Third grade has been an adventure so far. You’ve entered the world of multiplication and division, and are starting to venture into complex thinking and evaluating things from different perspectives. I get such a kick out of the questions you ask, many I don’t have answers to. Thank goodness for Google!

I want you to know that my love for you is also endless. My greatest joy has been to see you develop into such a smart, compassionate, respectful and inquisitive kid. You’re awesome and I’m so proud of you. Every parent should be so lucky to have a son as great as you.

I love the way you tell stories, the way your whole face lights up and the dramatic, descriptive language you use. Everything becomes an adventure and it’s an inspiring way to look at the world. I love the way you hug and snuggle and climb into my bed in the morning to eke out just one more hug and kiss before school.

I love the way you accept others. You accept and welcome your friends with differences and have compassion for things they might struggle with. Empathy is your super power and I love watching you try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and imagine how they must be feeling. You are incredible, my child.

You light up a room when you enter. You go out of your way to make sure that everyone feels welcome, and like me, can’t stand to see anyone hurting. That sad feeling you sometimes get when you see someone hurting or upset on TV or in the movies? That’s empathy. That you possess this trait at your age is a treasure. Don’t ever lose that.

But the goodness in your soul? That’s all you. I cannot tell you how lucky I am to be your mom.

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As I always do… I have some thoughts, wishes and hopes for you as you move from one year to the next….

Be grateful. Your family, your friends, your home, your school and talents…they are all gifts. It is wise to remember to be thankful and to pass on whatever type of goodness you can. You have a kind heart. I trust you will continue to use that to guide you to help others as you can.

Work hard, play hard and have fun. If you have learned anything from both being on a team and being coached, it is that working hard, playing hard, and having fun are ALL equally important – not only on the field, but in life. These lessons are true for you now as you play soccer, but also as you study, as you help around the house, as you grow as an adult.

L-O-S-E is not a four letter word. You won’t always win. In fact, you SHOULDN’T always win. It is within a loss that you grow, learn and improve. And I won’t prevent you from making mistakes (you learn from making these as well) but I will ALWAYS be here to cheer you on, help you to pick up the pieces and love you through everything. 

Be bold.  I probably don’t need to remind you of this, as I’ve never known you to be anything BUT bold…however, it is worth remembering that bold does not mean loud or overbearing, but often simply courageous. Take the steps that scare you, travel the path that leads to the unknown and be willing to fail. We’ll be here to celebrate or pick you up.

Sensitivity is brave. I know we don’t hear much about boys being sensitive…in fact, they are often told to ‘toughen up’. You won’t hear that from me. It is brave of you to be sensitive to the feelings of the people around you, to have the heart you do, to worry about others and to be willing to SHOW that type of emotion – especially when boys are often encouraged otherwise. Don’t let anyone tell you that your heart is anything less than brave.

The right thing is not always easy. Admitting when you are wrong, when you have hurt a friend, is clearly not an easy thing to do, but you and I both know it is the RIGHT thing to do. The good news is that I know you DO know the difference. Keep doing the right thing.

Don’t let anyone hinder your dreams. You know that quote I love? “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”…. I think you have both – talent and a willingness to work hard. Follow them, son.

And one to grow on.

Do you….and do it well. There is only ONE YOU. And good heavens do I adore that boy! The older you get, the easier it will be to make choices with your friends, to ‘go with the crowd’, or not, to give in when you feel like standing up. Listen to your gut and your heart and follow them. I trust you to know what works for you, what the right path might be.

Small dude, I’m a better person, a better mother, daughter and yes, human being for having had you with me for these 3,285 days. Thank you for being one of the two best teachers I have ever had.

Happy birthday, my darling boy. And always remember, I love you more

Love,

Mom