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Eight Years

Today, my Sawyer, you were born eight years ago. I feel like this birthday has been anticipated for awhile, you have been almost eight for months now, so it isn't the biggest surprise to all of us that it's finally here. But I can guarantee you will wake up this day and be proud, stand a little taller and act a little older. 

This past year has been a big leap for you. You grasp things now that used to just fly right over your head. You gained empathy this year and you feel hurt when you hurt others. You are the first one to come to my aid when I am hurt or in pain. You are the first one to write me a card and slip it under my door. Just this evening as I was about to take a bath I found a beautiful card sitting on my bathroom counter telling me how much you love me and thanking me for caring for you. You have the largest heart, and with that we all have recognized you feel the greatest. No matter the emotion, you feel it greater tenfold than the rest of us. It is a gift my love, although I think sometimes at this age it feels more like a burden. I can imagine it's a big weight to carry, often you have the weight of the world on your tiny shoulders. I wish somehow I could lift that from you or at least stand next to you and share it with you. Alleviate a little bit of that pressure. But this is something you take on, and I don't think you would have it any other way. 

You love justice, oh if the world were just fair enough for a boy as wonderful as you. I wish it were so, but you are learning to cope with the anxieties and frustrations of living in an unjust world. You grasp the idea now that some kids get what they do not deserve. You are starting to appreciate our family values of working hard and feeling personally satisfied, the kind of satisfaction and fulfillment that is deep within your heart, not the kind of temporary fulfillment that gifts can buy or awards can give, but the kind that no one can give to you but yourself. You feel pride, and that is something that no words or material items can provide you with. And I truly hope that this is just the beginning and you yearn for that self fulfillment as you grow and mature. 

You are such a deep thinker. Your questions are questions that I don't think I pondered until my teenage years. You ask about the future, you yearn to know that peace is just around the corner. You talk about the life that you want to have, and it does nothing but make me smile inside and out. 

This year you accomplished a huge goal that you set for yourself, you learned to read music and play the clarinet. We were beaming watching you at your first recital. I sincerely hope and pray that you will remember that night forever, the way it made you feel inside. At school, your teacher this year couldn't get enough of you. There was not one negative thing she ever said the entire year, at each conference or meeting we had to discuss you and your schoolwork. She asked if all boys could be like you. She appreciated everything you brought to her classroom, you were her go-to kid when no one else could answer. You are my go-to kid too I have to admit. When I really need you to do something, all you ask of me is to explain it to you, explain why I need it to be done, and you'll gladly comply. I know every mother thinks their child is brilliant, but every person who has EVER met you has said you are brilliant. So I know I can't blame my bias. You are just brilliant, plain and simple, ok maybe not so simple. Complex. Brilliant nonetheless. I never taught you your times tables, but somehow you know them all. I never taught you how to divide, yet you just know. 

I do wish I could shield you from the harsh reality of the world. I anxiously anticipate that there will be those that don't receive you well, don't appreciate your quirkiness, or don't have the patience to listen to you. And all I can tell you is each and every one of those people are not worth your time my love. Do not waste your breath, do not waste your words, do not waste your tears on anyone who doesn't appreciate you for the boy you are and the man you will become. 

You love me unconditionally, and I hope you feel the unconditional love that this mama has for you. You are so special and so unique. You truly are one in a million and I was blessed to have you as my son. That makes me the most fortunate girl in the world. 

I love you Sawyer, welcome to eight.