Seven Years Old

Dear Tad,

Do you know how much I love you?  I love you so VERY much.

You are seven years old today, and you are so aware of it being your birthday that you answered a “why” question perfectly this morning when we were heading off to church.  You didn’t want to go.  “Why can’t we go to church?”  I asked.

“Because we need to plan my birthday party!”  you answered without missing a beat.

That conversation may seem simple to the untrained eye, but it so clearly illustrates everything we have fought to give you over the last two years.  Awareness.  Logic.  Explanations.  Reasoning.

You did so well in first grade that we’re going to make you do it all over again – at a new school, with a new teacher.  I know this is going to be a big jump for you, and I am nervous.  I know you are uncertain, but we will do our utmost to make this year as successful as last year.  I feel badly about leaving your best friend Danny behind, especially after you’ve made all this effort to make a friend.  I hope you can make more friends, but I promise to do my best to keep you in touch with Danny.

You’ve grown, too – you’ve gotten taller and heavier, though I still can’t get much weight on you and you eat peanut butter nearly every day of your life.  Your mind has expanded, and you can read so much more fluently than you could a year ago.  So much so that you, a boy with speech issues that still require a therapist, are reading at grade level.  Your interests are wider, and you have absorbed so much about Batman that my brain hurts.  Yet sharks are your touchstone, your zen, your default setting.  As I write this, you are watching Shark Week, which the Discovery Channel so kindly decided to kick off today.

They must have known it was your birthday.

You keep surprising me, Tad.  I hope that you surprise me in this coming year by excelling at school, getting better control of your temper and becoming kinder to your siblings, but I pray that you will always be your sweet, lovable, funny self, who I would not trade for anything.  I can’t imagine you any differently.

And I love you with all my heart.

Happy 7th birthday, my exasperatingly wonderful son.


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