Note: totally inspired by new friend Laundress Sue at the Laundry for Six blog. Where would the world be without inspiration?
Ok, kid. I knew you had it in for me from day one. Or day -21, to be exact. Mom and I were waiting, waiting, and waiting for a child to adopt, any child, from anywhere, and we had cast a fairly wide net. Then we waited.
We got the call that you were on your way. And not in Columbia, or China, or even Cucamonga. But two miles away, at the local hospital. Thank God there were no police on patrol between here and there that night.
Then the news: you decided to wait another three weeks. False alarm. And that wouldn’t be the first time you kept us waiting.
We were there the day you were born, seven years ago. We took you home as quickly as the doctors would let us, and from day one you were my son. No matter what.
Early on you were stubborn. And the more mobile you got, the more language you learned, the more attitude you developed. I tell myself every day that your stubborn determination (and belief that it’s ALWAYS someone else’s fault) will someday propel you to stardom, or to the top of a major corporation, or in some leadership role. You’re THAT
But you’re sweet. Empathetic beyond what a seven-year-old boy should be. Always making sure your little brother gets whatever you get. Always asking about the well being of others, whether it’s the homeless in town or the people in a car accident or an upset friend (as long as YOU didn’t cause the upsettedness).
I’ve never seen a little boy so attached to fish, or frogs, or “bug friends,” so much so that we’ve got a veritable graveyard around our house. And you wonder why we don’t have a dog. (Well, that’s another story entirely. Go ask your mother. AGAIN.)
Are you independent? Does the pope live in the woods? Good lord, I’m surprised you don’t have your own bachelor pad by now. You’re the kid who decides he needs a dollar, and instead of begging mom and dad for it, you find something around the house and canvas the neighborhood looking for a buyer. Although it mostly seems like people pay you .25 or .50 just because you’re so cute. And earnest. And so you’ll go away. And take whatever it is you brought with you.
Put some of that money in the bank, for that bachelor pad I mentioned above.
Your best friend (besides your brother) goes everywhere – church, school, road trips, the beach, the store. Meerkat the meerkat (what can I say? Not everything can be fresh and original). And I swear that critter talks more than you do (must be a coping skill you’re working on). That poor thing has had a fuller life than most people. Went on your first boat ride. And your third. (Would have been on #2 as well but we didn’t let him go to Legoland.) Across country in a van. In a plane more than once. It once sat up straight, you know, like meerkats do. He’s long since succumbed to osteoporosis, apparently, but he still gets around. It frightens me what would happen if he went missing. Frightens me even more what will happen if he doesn’t – will he be going on your honeymoon? I guess that’ll be your future wife’s problem.
And just when I think that we’re stuck at one of those “milestones” the teachers, doctors, and other Highly Educated people use to measure life, you surprise and amaze me. Walking. Running. Talking (oy, the talking!). Last year was math. This year is reading. What’s next? I can’t wait to find out.
Sometimes I wish I could wave a magic wand and make some of your innate “problems” go away. Make your life easier (and, therefore, make all our lives easier). But do you want to know the truth? I love everything about you. Your good and bad. Your highs and lows. The things I don’t get about you are the things that make you who you really are.
Just know this, Mr. Man: your parents will always work our hardest to give you the best chances in life. And we’ll also hold you accountable, regardless of why things happen and what the underlying problems are. But it’s all up to you. We’re just here to help.
You just keep being you, and we’ll keep waiting to see what else you have in store for us. Happy birthday, big man.