It was a decade ago today that I didn't know you yet. I don't really understand that. I loved you entirely from the second that I knew you were there but I didn't know know you yet.
How could that be?
You changed me, sweet boy. From the moment I held you in my arms, I was a different person. I was mother.
How is it that you weren't always here? The other day you were floored by the realization that there once was a time when you were not. "But where was I before I was in your womb?" And I understood. I feel the same way. It's what makes me so in awe of our God.
When I was pregnant with you, I was able to go to daily Mass a whole lot. When I would receive the Eucharist, I always thought it was so awesome how you could be so close to Jesus so often. I pictured Him right there next to my sweet growing baby. It blessed you. I believe that.
From that moment when I knew you were I knew you were special. I knew that you were one of those people destined for great things. I have no idea what that means yet but I can't wait to find out with you.
You believe you can do anything. I battle with how much to let you know that. You're one of those people who just seem to do well at whatever you try. Sometimes that means you don't work as hard as you can. But when you decide which of those many things is your passion, which thing makes you come most fully alive, we'll stand back and watch you blow it out of the water.
I love how innocent you are. I don't think I've ever known you to intentionally do something wrong. The times you get in trouble it's for getting distracted or not obeying right away almost always because you're engrossed in a book or project. I get that. (But you still need to do it ;)
You make teaching easy. You've spoiled me, really. Things just make sense to you and you remember everything.
I love knowing you. I love that you climb trees and devour books and build weapons and dream about pitching and saved up all your money for that beebee gun and build gifts for your brothers and beg to watch Jeopardy and prefer to eat things that are "fresh" and have been asking over and over to be an altar boy and have been counting down to tomorrow for two months.
It wasn't until this year that I had ever seen you get genuinely angry. (And I really couldn't blame you. Little brothers are hard sometimes.) And even then it lasted for only a moment before it was forgotten. You're just not that way.
I am in awe of you. Truly, I am. Sometime I realize that you are a much better person than I am. The way you are so quick to forgive, to find joy, to let things go. Oh, I learn from you everyday.
Sometimes I worry that you'll grow up and realize how often I failed as a mother. That you'll wonder why we made the choices we did and regret them. While I can't keep you from that, I hope you'll grant me grace. I hope you'll see how much I tried. I hope the pages here will show you that.
These next years are going to be so interesting. People have told me to dread them, to fear what they will hold, but I just can't. I know you. I know how awesome you are and I am so excited to see you become the man that you were meant to be. You were meant for great things, sweet boy. I know it.
Happy birthday, kiddo.