I have just completed the last party of the birthday season. I have gotten in the habit of writing a blog post every year acknowledging the fleeting time that I have with my children, acknowledging their blossoming personalities.
This year has been one of metamorphosis for you – both physically and emotionally. About a year ago you began having panic attacks. These panic attacks grew increasingly more frequent until we – you, Dad and myself, agreed to seek outside help. Mental illness runs long in our family and I saw the signs of an anxiety disorder early. While some people have criticized our decision for early intervention I don’t regret it. I don’t regret it because I’ve watched you blossom under the guidance and wisdom of these outside helpers. And I could not be more proud of you. You have embraced every offer of help, every book, every piece of advice, every technique. As a result you have become MIGHTY and STRONG. You faced your fears, and demons and you beat them.
And my darling girl, I want you to remember that. I want you to forever remember that at 10 years old you were strong enough to face your irrational fears and beat them back into submission. Because some day those fears are going to feel bigger and stronger than you can imagine and I want you to pull from this tree of strength that you planted this year and blossom. I want you stand in the warmth and sunlight of your inner courage.
Your growth sneaks up on me every year. Every year you get bigger and more grown up and I watch in wonder and sadness. This year you really began to shed your “little boy” appearance. You’ve grown tall and muscular. Your speech is clear, your thoughts more complex.
I have relished in our bedtime routine which has evolved into nightly reading. We’ve read the first five books of The Percy Jackson Series and have now begun the next series. We have shared thousands and thousands of pages. We have discussed characters and settings and what we think will happen next and what we hope. Every night you call down for me to come up and read a chapter and by the soft glow of night lights we share another world. A world that only you and I are allowed.
Please, don’t ever leave me alone in that special world sweet boy. You will grow more independent of me, need me less, but I want us to always have that special world that we have so meticulously built together.
Who are you? Where did you come from? At times you are a complete mystery to me. I don’t see hints of my personality or Daddy’s. You are your own person – a gift that I wonder at. You turned 5 this year – but the number is irrelevant because you like to run with the big kids. Anything they can do, you can do better – and nobody, and I mean NOBODY can say “no” to you. It is not part of your vocabulary. You are self-sufficient in all things except one…….you refuse to go to the bathroom by yourself. EVER. I’m writing this down now because someday you will have your own children and one of them will refuse to be potty trained and you will be frustrated and when you call me to complain I will laugh at you. I will laugh and laugh and laugh and then I will say, “God is just”.
However, I am wallowing in your childhood. I snuggle you and bend to your whim because you are my last. Do I spoil you? Probably. Do I care? Nope. I still love the way your breath smells in the morning and I still nibble on your toes and I will until it seems weird. I sit in wonderment of you and most days I just shake my head and shrug my shoulders at the amazing person standing in front of me.