Saturday, August 8, 2009

Dear Big Kid,

Happy 6th Birthday, Big Kid!

I've been a mom for 6 years now, all on-the-job training with you as the boss. What a boss to have! Although parenthood isn't always necessarily what I expected, it's more amazing than I could ever put into words. (But here comes the part where I try...)

I remember being pregnant and having experienced parents look at me starry eyed and saying things like, “There's nothing like having a baby. The love you have for them--there's nothing like it.” At first my heart warmed at their nostalgia, but towards the end of pregnancy, I began to lose my patience with it. “Of course it's amazing, I'm growing my own person here. What kind of mom doesn't love their baby? I get it, I know,” I'd think, exasperated with people's need to educate first time mothers.

And then I had you, and realized there was no way to experience those depths of emotion without having been there yourself. The other day I was studying your profile as I snuggled you in my lap (which is increasingly awkward to do, with your ever-growing limbs seemingly all over the place) and reflected on my time as your mother and the spectrum of emotions that came with it.

As I studied the perfect swoop of your nose and the freckle over your lip and the tiny golden hairs that grow near your hairline, I felt euphoric with love for you, pride at having made you, panic that 6 years with you could have already gone so quickly, and fear and sadness for life's inevitable hardships that you'll be forced to suffer. My heart soars and sings and aches all at the same time with love for you. Contemplating your very existence fills me with excitement and anxiety over what the future may hold. You amaze me and amuse me and the responsibility and honor of raising you to fulfill your potential fills me with wonder and fear.

Even if I did the best job in the whole world of describing the emotions that make up the love that a mother feels for her child, it would still fall radically short of the true feelings in a mom's heart. There truly are no words to explain how much I love you and how glad I am to be your mom. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for you, but selfishly wish you could stay small forever. The last 6 years with you have been a joy, and I know the next 6 will be too (the 6 after that--I'm not so sure). I'm lucky to have a boss like you and I think you're teaching me well. I hope you can say the same for me.

So, Happy Birthday, my Big Kid.

I like you, I love you, and I'll always protect you.



Anonymous said...

That was a beautiful letter. My son just turned two, and I feel so many of those emotions myself. You are a talented writer. I have been reading your blog since I was pregnant and it is something I always look forward to reading. This was an especially lovely post, (although I'm also still laughing at the marker cap as fashion statement post!)

Just wanted to say thanks for the laughs and for the more touching posts as well.

Jordan said...

Recently new reader via my girlfriend always readingyour blog to me, and finding it hilarious. Just wanted to say that was beautiful kids around the world should be so lucky as to gro with that love, and be able to have this as a memory for themselves.

###### said...

Hey Tara...I read your question on my blog about the means SHIT...just a nice way to say it.

Caren said...

Really beautiful Ashley. I think you did a great job of putting into words what most of us moms feel on a day to day basis. You made ME cry, that's for sure.

Happy Birthday Big Kid! My wish for you this year is a brand new set of your own markers.

Michelle said...

Beautiful post. Happy Birthday Bid Kid!

Nikky said...

That was beautiful, I teared up. He's a lucky kid. appy belated birthday to BK.

miss. chief said...

you know what? normally i don't read mommy blogs, but yours is so honest and funny and sweet that i enjoy it every day!
this post was rad, i hope your kids appreciate it someday


Maddness of Me said...

Awe, very cute. You guys are very lucky to have each other.

Unknown said...

Hey, Lauren, I know you read this blog...I don't know if you read all of the comments to Ashley, BUT, what she says here is true. All those things she said about BK? Ditto, ditto, ditto...she just says it so much better than I ever could. Even though you are slightly older than BK.....I still have all those feelings for you!
You're the best! lvemomomomm

Renee said...

Happy birthday, Big Kid! I'm glad that I know you and hope I can see you again soon.

-The Renee

Lori said...

Happy Birthday Big Kid!

Ashley the letters that you have written to your boys on their birthdays are beautiful.

This brought tears to my eyes. Not just because I'm pregnant either. Well, maybe it was because of that, but either way, it was simply beautiful.

Beth said...

Happy Birthday Big Kid! Great post, Ashley.

Life, Love And Lola said...

Beautiful letter Ashley!!! Happy Birthday Big Kid!

Mom of 5 said...

Happy Birtnday Big Kid!! (sorry this is late) Bubba couldn't share his birthday with a better kid. :)

Chaw Robin

The Vee said...

You certainly described how I feel about my growing boy -- but more eloquently than I ever could. Thanks for sharing!

Missives From Suburbia said...

See? He really IS the boss of you!

Happy birthday, Big Kid. Make your mom a drink. She deserves it.