You are six now.
I am actually a little speechless.
(but wait for it. you know I will find some words. I always do.)
Your birthday is so amazing and miraculous and all the things woven and tangled together. Your birth broke me down so I could be rebuilt into a mother. You did that, son.
You are our number one, but you were actually number three. You are actually my middle “baby”. Two older, and two younger.
But you are our number one here. In our family.
I often tell each of you that you were chosen for our family by Jesus for a very specific reason. We don’t always know all the reasons, but we can see hints of some of them as our lives unfold.
You were the baby that “stuck.” As I watch you learn and grow I see that is no mistake. I don’t know how souls work. I don’t know if those lumps of cells that came before you had souls yet or not. I don’t know if those two pregnancies were both your soul trying to come to our family and it just took you three tries. I don’t know if there are two souls in heaven that will just never make it to an earthly family. I like to think that they are in heaven so your Papa can have some grandkids, but the truth is I don’t know. And I’m not sure I’ll ever know or that I am meant to know.
What I do know is that you are a miracle. Your being here is a wonder to behold.
You love to hear your birth story and I love to tell you. This year you loved that I added all the people who were waiting in our hospital room to meet you when we came out of the operating room. From that minute you have loved being the center of attention. You love an audience.
Eddie, I have been honored to watch you learn and grow over the past six years. You completed Kindergarten this year and now you are a full-fledged kid.
Right now you love Pokemon after finding it on Netflix only a few weeks ago. You talk nonstop about the battles and the evolving or whatever. I must say I am not that interested, but I absolutely love it that you are so passionate about it. You are giving me a glimpse as to how you will handle passions in the future: you learn everything there is to know, and you talk about it to everyone.
You love to do “crafts” which involve you envisioning something with boxes and paper and markers and scissors and glue and then making it happen.
You love to write and read.
You played soccer, T-ball, and took swimming lessons this year, and while you complained about going, once there you loved being involved.
Your teachers have always described you as a leader. I admit to not fully understanding this. I have always been nervous that maybe you would get picked on because you cry easily, but last week I finally saw what your teachers meant.
On Friday I packed up you and your brother and sister and we headed to the park for a while to burn off some energy before lunch. Within five minutes of getting there, you had organized a game of tag with the four or so other kids who were there.
More kids showed up and you included each one.
When the game of tag broke up, you went over to the merry-go-round. You pushed and invited kids on and let them off if they asked. You made sure everyone was careful and that you went a little slower if little kids wanted on. You were respectful and chatty with the mom of the toddler who wanted to get on, and you even walked the merry-go-round very slowly to give that toddler a little ride.
Kids were calling you by name by the time we were ready to pack up.
“Eddie? Do those kids go to your school?”
“Do you know them from T-ball or something?”
“Then how do they know your name?”
“They asked. They said their names too, but I don’t remember. That’s a lot of names.”
It was no big deal to you that all of these kids were suddenly your friends. It was totally casual. You walked onto that playground with all the confidence in the world that you were going to have fun with some kids. And you did.
In that moment, I looked at you differently.
I saw your confident stride–those legs that just keep getting longer–as you walked with your head held high, looking around for potential friends.
I saw your easy smile and helping hands.
I saw your caring nature.
I saw you, Eddie.
When you weren’t looking, I was.
You make me so proud to be your mom.
Happy 6th birthday, Eddie Bear.