Today you are 46 inches tall and 46 pounds. Six years ago you were 14 inches long and 4 pounds 7 ounces. You lost another pound in the first week, but man have you bounced back. You are such a happy kid. Seriously, so happy with the world. Everything is interesting, everything holds possibilities. And you must investigate all the possibilities. All of them. You challenge everyone to keep up with you, from running and bouncing everywhere to thinking about new ways to use what you find. Motors are awesome. Taking things apart to see how they work is the best thing ever. You got so, so mad last summer when we sold our old car instead of letting you take it apart. You are a musician. You’ve been drumming since you could walk, often to the detriment of my sanity. You hate being “taught”, preferring always to discover things on your own, although you’re starting to recognize that there are actually things other people can teach you. You are super cuddly and affectionate, snuggling up on laps and giving great hugs. You’re not a big fan of writing, but you love books. You’re developing some mad math skills. You like skate boarding, basketball, dancing and swimming, although all of these are played according to your own rules. You refuse to take the training wheels off your bike even though your dad and I are fairly sure you could ride it with no effort at all. Everything you do you do on your own time. Always. It has been one of the lessons of parenting. It’s true for every child but somehow more true for you.
His birthday is always a little hard for me. This year seems worse. Perhaps because the year itself created so many worries and brought up the memories. I feel guilty for even feeling bad, as always, here I have an amazing kid, with nothing wrong with him. And yet. The memory of seeing him hooked up to wires, parenting those weeks in the NICU. Apparently PTSD after the NICU is a real thing, but going that far seems a betrayal of all those who left without their babies. Or left with babies that weren’t healthy and perfect. Like he was. Is. And still. It has faded greatly from the days when I would cry guiltily at 2 am in the months after he was home. Now it just surfaces occasionally.
Today we celebrate another year of getting to live with this amazing little boy, who has taught me so many new things. Parenting is a strange and marvelous journey and I’m excited to see where the next year takes him. Happy Birthday Small One!