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My dear Reed,
Your birthday was the other day. I haven’t had the heart to take down the party decorations we worked so hard on. Those balloons you love so much are still stuck to the ceiling, accompanied by the scraps of yarn tied between the curtain rods and the Christmas tree–your “zip lines.”
I just ate the last stale chocolate cupcake for dinner. It wasn’t half bad. (The wine helped.) But I wish you were here. I would have let you eat it instead. Before dinner, even.
What would life be without cupcakes before dinner?
For your party, you insisted I make an ice cream cake, so I did. FROM SCRATCH. Because I love you and there isn’t much I wouldn’t do for you. You could ask me to fly with you to the moon, and I would yes. Which is pretty much why I let 16 of your sticky (adorable) friends and their (less sticky) families take over our house for the afternoon.
Lucky for you, your mom always has loved a good party.
You surprise me each and every day with how your intellect and charisma. “Team work makes the dream, mom.” That’s what you told me the other day. I made a mental note to make extra nice holiday cards for your teachers this year, because obviously they’ve been teaching you something of value in that school of yours. You know more about ocean critters than most PhD marine biologists, and your love for terrestrial animals and birds isn’t far behind. You’re (almost) always up for an adventure, and I think you might possibly be willing to go camping in a blizzard because you love the outdoors so much.
The other night, you set the dinner table for the two of us. All by yourself. And I didn’t even ask. You just did it.
And you take such good care of your puppy, even though you were so sad after she ate a couple of your new Legos. (We’ll have to work on that with her.)
You fill up my bucket.
We’ve had a big and full year with lots of changes. A new home. A whole new way of living. On so many levels. I wish I could say it’s been easy, but I think we both know its had some up and downs. Sunsets and rainstorms. Bright sunny days. All of it. Through it all, you’ve kept me going and made me so incredibly proud to be your mother.
I haven’t quite finished your birthday sweater, but I am glad the one from last year still fits. I think this year’s sweater will probably be big, which pretty much means I am just EARLY with next year’s birthday sweater. I tried to skip the hood and just call it good, but you have been Absolutely Clear that a hood is a non-negotiable requirement. I think I can get it done by Christmas. That is, if I don’t run out of yarn (surely this inevitable tragedy will happen again this year too, with my luck). You’ve also requested triangle buttons, but I am not so sure about that. We’ll see…
Our days together seem to fly by so fast. Too fast. I wish the world would just slow down and give us some time to be together. To get to everything on our lists, because I know we both have them. In the end, we always seem to run out of time.
But tomorrow, my son, is a new day. A new day of being Five. Which basically means you are old enough to take out the garbage and recycling.