Oh Milesy, you’ve been here seven years and you are a million good things piled up through all your learning and then a million more things that simply came along with you, out into the world on the day you were born.
I was reading this book about age 7, about what happens developmentally at this stage and it said something about this being the year of melancholy. A year in which kids start to spend more time alone and a year when the brain and body is doing things that make a person extra sensitive and frustrated.
I thought, UH OH. But I’m glad to know this ahead of time because it already started. You’ve always done that. As a baby you did everything the books said right on target, or as the over-achiever that you are, sometimes a little ahead. Back then I had no idea what a content baby you were. You were just so easy. I mean, you kept us up a lot in the first five months but then like a switch, you put yourself to sleep early and slept without a peep, night after night to rise early.
An early riser you may always be, up before or with the sun and bouncing, talking and talking and asking questions. You’ve been talking since you were one and a half and you’ve never stopped, I swear, except to sleep. And the things you say ohmyword you are so inquisitive and bright. We have the best conversations about how we must be hanging upside down on the earth because of gravity and we don’t even know it, or about exactly EXACTLY how I did things as a child. You want to know. You make me feel like I’m a good book and what a gift that is to the world, for you to want to know so much about people.
Do you think we’ll always fight so much? Both of us bent on being heard and right? I’m working on it, little man. I really am. We’re both stubborn and argumentative and one day you could seriously take over the world just by convincing it that you should, probably within about thirty seconds.
You want to be a policeman so I picture you as a detective like in movies, the one who suddenly figures things out and always gets the bad guys to admit things. I mean, you have a way with words and arguments that could make just about anyone accidentally fall into the truth. Like that scene in A Few Good Men; you’ll see that some day and you’ll probably want to live that out and wouldn’t that be awesome? You could totally do it. The truth always wins. The truth is always the best answer, remember?
Maybe when you’re a detective or a lawyer or whatever you want to be, you’ll be in love with someone other than your sister. But for now, you are so smitten with this baby girl. It’s one of my favorite parts of life today. The way you take care of your Elsie. The way you look at her and make her laugh and then you both belly giggle. Thank you for loving her that way. I didn’t know how you were going to feel about another sibling and you have been happier about it than you are about Legos and that’s saying a lot.
One day when you read this, you might not hang out with Asher the way you do now. I want to remember the way you guys were pretty much co-dependent, standing shyly side by side in new situations, sometimes holding hands. You fight, oh how you fight, as brothers do, but you are loving each other like mad, too.
The other day you wanted to talk for a very long time about smoking. You talked about how it’s bad for you and you’re never going to do it and you asked so so so many questions. I told you that it’s hard to explain why people would do it if it kills them and we talked about addiction, which you know about in a kid kind of simplistic way. You said the wisest thing. You said that it’s good to stop doing things you’re addicted to because then you don’t have to think about it so much…you said that if you’re addicted, pretty much all you think about is that thing, like a cigarette or whatever and it’s probably good to not have to think about it anymore.
Oh Milesy, yes. I’ve never explained that part to you before and you understand the freedom of letting go, in your own way. You astound me. I sit with no words (SO RARE) when you say things like this because you’re like a little reflection of God’s love for me, just like your brother and sister are and I’m just so honored to even know you, let alone to be your mother.
I fail you all the time, I’ve written about that too much. But what I’m learning about that is that it is as it should be. If I were getting it all right all the time, I’d be teaching you to try to get it right all the time, and I don’t even want that for you. Getting it wrong will save you from some very restrictive things. It will teach you about mercy and how we’re all getting it wrong all the time while we’re still just so perfectly lovable as the messes that we are. It took me such a long time to even begin to be okay with myself as a totally lovely incredible mess.
You are seven and you told me last night to give you seven kisses on the cheek. Then you said that your new favorite number is seven and that for this year only, your favorite color will be black. You are done with blue, until maybe a different year. Then you chewed at your nails because we’re an anxious lot, and your eyes were bright with anticipation.
Let’s keep doing that, okay? Let’s keep thinking about what we love–the good things–and then look forward to what the day will hold.
I love you to the moon and back and back up and back down and back up and back down…
Happy Birthday, Miles!