Today you are 7; a joyful, exuberant, cool and clever 7. I admire you more than I could ever express, you are a marvel.
You are such a character, so funny and true. Your people skills are incredible. I watch you appraise others to determine your approach, sizing them up and catering your introduction accordingly. You go out of your way to say hello and inquire about the day of perpetually crabby school staff members, who slowly warm to you. You admit this is a strategy of yours that makes life easier, yet you end up honestly befriending these people who seem cold to everyone else. You make friends everywhere you go, with people young and old. You walk into a room with courage, with your head held high, certain that you will have fun because you know you will make it fun. I envy that.
You have a passion for nature, for the earth and the sea, for minerals and creatures, and for the things the rest of us take for granted. You are a steward of nature, quick to catch and release, with an intent to do no harm. At 6, you can throw a cast net and bait a hook and you talk about fishing as if you are a seasoned captain--this is actually due more to your charisma than your experience. Even if you're uncertain, you speak with the authority of an expert on any topic that interests you. I'm amazed by that. You also touch fish fearlessly, and lots of other gross things. I'm amazed by that, too.
You love with abandon, craving physical affection and dispensing compliments and warm emotions freely. You give the sweetest hugs, giving all of yourself with no fear of rejection, confident of the love people have for you and knowing you are worthy of it. To be so lucky.
I remember your baby self--with that fat cheesy grin and one finger digging in your belly button and clinging to me as if I was your life raft, your soft fuzzy head always in easy reach of my lips. I remember your preschool years when you wore cowboy boots every single day for years, even if you wore nothing with them, and talked at length about your imaginary work life reconstructing dinosaur bones and paving roads. I remember your littler boy years where you constantly tried to trick me into accepting your marriage proposals--I am still your beautiful princess, but I am no longer marriage material. I am saddened and relieved.
You are such a little boy and I adore that about you. I cherish it, inhale it, feel it, smell it and try to imprint it onto my soul, your little boyness. I want to keep it forever, but if I can't, I must find a way to never forget it. You are an inspiration.
I love everything about you and I wish more people were like you, for their own good.
I like you, I love you, and I'll always protect you,