96 months

That was a little hard to write. 96 months equals 8 years. And the thought that I have been a mother for 8 years is a little staggering. More staggering however is that I have been YOUR mother for 8 years. Gunnar, you are eight. That's only 2 years away from double digits! That's only 5 years from teenage-hood! That's halfway to legal driving age! Time is slipping by faster and faster each day, each year.

I remember the night, actually early morning that you were born. No one could get over how beautiful you were. And how big. Okay, I couldn't get over how big you were! I wanted a redo where they would give me the drugs I told them I didn't want before I knew you were ounces away from 9 pounds.

Since that day you have become the little man that I wished and prayed you would become. I say this each year and wonder if it will change with the next. But it doesn't. You are honest. You are good to your soul. And oh are you a jock. You remind me of my father every single day. I think pictures may be better than words in this instance. Here you are two are, doing what you LOVE to do.

Between golf and football, there's not much else in the way of recreation for you. Well, that is when it comes to your Papa there isn't. You two have a bond that I think my dad would've had if he had a son of his own. And it's safe to say that you have captured his heart. You, Gunnar, have captured all our hearts.

There are pieces of you that I envision being part of a puzzle. I can tell exactly which puzzle piece came from who. You inherited my love of reading, hair color, ears, beauty marks(freckles/moles for those who don't know what they are), and my inherit desire to not let anyone be disappointed. You inherited your daddy's goodness, eye color, lack of motivation to do beyond what is the bare minimum, and his sense of humor. We like to argue over where your smarts come from. But since daddy's school didn't offer the classes that my school did, it's settled that your smarts come from me. But your definite lack of enthusiasm over your smarts is your daddy.

What didn't come from either one of us is your absolute devotion to all things sports related. That skipped my generation and the DNA flowed right from my father to you. Even how you rationalize things reminds me of my father.  This makes me feel beyond happy because I know my dad will always live in you Gunnar. My dad is very special to me. And I see year after year that you will always remind me of him, and all that does is put a smile on my face. A smile because there is nothing greater I could've gifted you with than a puzzle piece from him.

You are a peace maker and a fire starter. You amaze me how you know just the right way to end a fight between Greta and Sawyer, and yet in a second you can start a war. Quite a gift.

You write daddy and I cards when you think we are upset. You draw me pictures when I sleep late. You help me fold laundry. And no matter how many times I show you how to fold a towel, you still fold them like your daddy. I love that you giggle and still play Star Wars. You love Legos and still want me to read to you. You love egg nog and apple cider. Helping daddy build a fire is a dream for you.

I love how you try and hold back your laugh sometimes. And how I can still try and catch it with my camera.

We are proud of you every single day. Somehow at eight years old you are the glue of our little family. I think it's because you feel so much, so tenderly. You can sense the emotion in a room. You strive to keep that emotion balanced, happy, playful. You like to laugh. We love to hear it, and we love to watch you laugh. More and more you are the one making us laugh. I love your jokes. I love you.

I feel gifted to have you as my son. To kiss you goodnight each day. To read your stories after school. To be the one to comfort you when you are hurt. And to sit across from you at the dinner table.

I love you Gunnar. Welcome to being eight years old.