To My Son as You Turn 8 Years Old

To our incredible son…

Happy Eighth Birthday!!

Eight years ago, you made me a mommy, and life hasn’t been remotely the same since…and I wouldn’t trade a single second of it. Eight years ago, I was 25 and most of our friends weren’t even married yet, and as you’ve grown up, so have I.

In the last 8 years, I’ve experienced the depths and breadth of joy and frustration and hope and love more than I could have ever conceived on the day we found out you were on your way.

You are such a homebody today, and we laugh about it all starting when you were five days late and had to be evicted from your warm, cozy home. You have personality tendencies of your mama (introverted homebody) and the brain of your daddy (science and math-oriented), and I think that’s why you and I get along so well…because we really complement each other.

Your curious mind is one of my favorite things about you, and when asked on a worksheet at the beginning of the year to describe yourself, you quickly wrote “love to learn” on the first line. You can read for hours about the solar system or Lego formations or Guinness Book of World Records, and I can’t wait to see what your brain comes up with as you grow.

You love to read, and you currently have 6 chapter books going at the same time!

Connor, you are one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. I don’t think it’s ever crossed your mind to hit someone or name-call or say something mean out of spite. Being around you makes me a better person, and I pray that you influence your peers in the same way, because we could all use a little more kindness in this world.

You say the most insightful things out of the blue, and it feels sometimes like little reminders from God. The other night as we drove to your Cub Scout meeting, you commented that your classmates learn at different paces and in different ways and excel at different subjects and activities, and “it’s cool how God made our brains work differently.” Your acceptance and understanding for all kinds of people and abilities is beautiful.

To our firstborn, our problem-solver, learner, travel buddy, reader, dinosaur expert, goofball, hug-giver, best brother, and encourager… Happy Birthday. We love you beyond your wildest imagination. Multiplied by infinity.

Connor William turns 7

My son, Connor William:

Seven years ago today, you made me a mom for the first time.

We were young and felt even younger, and most of our friends weren’t even married yet, let alone having babies. But we were as ready as we could be to become parents…which is to say, not really ready at all. Because parenthood is simply something that you can’t quite prepare for, no matter how many books you read, classes you take, or parenting methods you study. It’s just something you do to the best of your ability, learning every single day not only about how you might grow and shape and love this tiny person in front of you, but how this tiny person is growing and shaping and loving you, too.

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You are such a treasured gift to our family, Connor William.

Your curiosity and zest for learning is astounding. You remember everything, and you are so quick to pick up on academics – math problems, reading, science. “Give me a harder one,” you tell me when we’re going through addition and subtraction equations together. Everywhere we go, you are sounding out the words on the signs around you and asking what they mean.

You are like a big puppy dog who thinks he is a lap dog, and you still try to squeeze into my lap for cuddles and hop up on my back for rides. And despite your daddy’s protests that you are physically too big for me now, I tell him that I will carry my babies as long as I can!

You are so cautious and laid-back. You don’t know what it means to move fast or be wild – which is a delight in many situations but a frustration on the basketball court 🙂 It is a running joke with our friends that everyone wants their kids to be driven around by you when you turn 16, because you are such a rule follower! One of my friends calls you “the boy who made me not afraid of having a boy” because you have never been the rambunctious sort…

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You are an amazing part of our family, and an incredible piece of this big world. We are absolutely overjoyed as we get to watch you grow up and encourage you, teach you about God, and help you discover and develop all of the gifts, passions, talents and pieces of your personality that make you YOU.

As your dad and I tell you nearly every day: “I’m so glad you’re my son, and I love who you are.”

Happy 7th Birthday.

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My book, A Different Beautiful, is now available for order!

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