11 years ago today, the universe gave me the most beautiful gift in the form of one teensy-tiny peaches and cream newborn with velvety blond hair and squinty eyes. A sleepy, gorgeous little bundle.
As I gazed into your sweet face, I thought of all of the things I would teach you -- not knowing that it would be you who taught me. I have learned more about life from you in 11 years than I have in my own 38 of living.
You are joy personified and authenticity in action. You are playful and imaginative, quick-witted and kind, curious and carefree, and intuitive and thoughtful.
If everyone were like you, there would be no hate and no war and far less sadness.
You don't build walls and retreat when life is unfair or people seem mean, you charge headlong into battle with an open heart, bound and determined to win people over in favor of just winning. Your social savvy is both strategic and selfless -- your goal is to win friends and influence people by making others happy and you are wildly successful at it. You compliment grouchy grown-ups, clean up the cafeteria to help crabby lunch ladies, and offer assistance to overworked teachers and stressed out adults.
And you love me so well -- I don't know that anyone can or will love me like you do. You call me your princess and your pretty little mama, you laugh loudly at even my worst jokes and hug me tightly when I'm sad. You know when to talk and when to sit in companionable silence. You are the best company for any occasion. Always.
Recently, as I mourned over not being chosen for a job I really wanted, you said, "Mom, I know you're sad but I want you to remember: it's not that you weren't good enough, it's that someone else was better." I snort-laughed for a moment at the absurdity of that being offered as helpful before recognizing the profound wisdom behind that mindset, and how very "you" it was -- you don't take things personally. And neither should I. I think of that all the time now, and it brings me such comfort.
You just make me so happy. I cannot imagine a life without you.
You are the helium in my balloon, the wind that lifts my kite, the weightlessness of water. You are laughter and ease; relief in human form.
I wanted to be your role model, and instead you became mine. And I am forever lucky for that and eternally grateful for whatever karmic lottery landed the precious little package of you into my arms.
Happy Birthday, little kid.
I like you, I love you, and I'll always protect you.
Lucky and Loved,
P.S. Today your brother called you short and you said, "I may be short now, but one day I'll be as tall as Michael Jordan. Or at least Danny DeVito. And that's perfect for me." And it is. And you are.