Friday, August 14, 2015

To The One Who Runs Everywhere He Goes

Dear Little Boy,

The countdown is almost over. The days you've been crossing off on the whiteboard this week have almost run out. Tomorrow morning you'll wake up and magically you'll be a seven year old instead of a six year old.

I'm sure that you'll tell me that you feel older and taller and bigger and stronger.

And you just might be right. You're at the age now where it seems like you change overnight sometimes. You've always been picky about your shoes, never a fan of anything that ties, but you told me a few days ago that you really need to work on tying shoes anyway because seven year olds tie their shoes.

This morning, you came in to show me you'd taught yourself how to do it.

That's how you've always been, teaching yourself. You were riding a two wheeled scooter before you were 2, able to ride a bike without training wheels when you could hardly reach the pedals. I don't even remember pushing you on the swings, it seems like you always knew how to pump your legs. You haven't met a tree you didn't want to climb or a wall you didn't want to jump off of yet.

You scare me. I've learned both to look away and to trust your agility. Somehow, your fearlessness rarely translates to injury. When you have been hurt, it's always been for silly things, never for the scaling of walls.

3 days old.
Man, you were teeny.
You exhaust me. You still run everywhere you go. Most kids outgrow that as toddlers, but not you.  Nope. You have enough energy for 16 people, and I wish that I could tap into it for a little while. You push yourself to the limits, you want to go faster, higher, longer. Maybe it's all those years of trying to keep up with your older siblings, maybe it's just who you are, maybe it's a combination of both.

You make me laugh. You are hilarious, sometimes without even trying. That sense of humor is going to get you into trouble if you don't watch it, and I'm sure you'll spend more time sitting in the principal's office. You've already been there more than the rest of your siblings combined. Try to reign it in, especially in class. Be funny when it's time to be funny. Work when it's time to work.

When you were 4.
You are wickedly smart in so many ways. Show the world that. Trust me. The world isn't going to know how smart you are unless you show them, and that means you're going to have to pay attention and try hard and not worry about what other people think about you long enough to show them. Reading doesn't come easily to you, but you've come so far in the past year. You can do it. I know you can. I can help you and I can cheer for you from here, but I can't make you want to do it. That has to come from you.

You are brave. You've grown up having issues with your blood sugar and you've had to endure a lot more poking and prodding because of it. Just when I start to allow myself to hope that you're finally outgrowing it, your numbers start to edge up again and we have to wait and watch some more. No matter how much I've ever worried, though, you've been strong. You've been brave. You've been independent. You want to do the tests yourself. You know that regular blood draws are quicker and easier and so you just sit, braver and quieter and stiller than kids twice your age. You're brave because you have to be. It's pretty awesome to watch.

You crave the outdoors something fierce, but can do a netflix marathon with the best of them. I'm pretty sure you are actually Beast Boy.

You are always the first one to volunteer to help. With anything, even the yuckiest of chores and the most menial of tasks. You want to help. You help me, you help your father, you even help your siblings. You do it without complaint, without any expectation of repayment from the universe. You just give, without question. It's beautiful.

You are caught between wanting to grow up and wanting to stay little. You so desperately want to be older until you want to curl up in my lap and then you want to be both. And you are both. I feel like you might always be both. I've called you my baby chicken since you were a little guy, tucked in firmly underneath my wing. At some point, you started calling me chicken mama. I ask you what happens someday when you grow too big to fit on my lap, and your solution is a simple one - I can just sit on yours. You'll always be my baby chicken, and I'll tuck you under my wing for as long as you need me to.

You are so full of joy. You do it all big. You love hard, you play hard, you try hard. You know when to fight to do something alone, you know when to ask for help...which is something most adults can't figure out. I'm not sure how you know that already, but I'm going to guess you taught yourself. Because that's what you do.

Stay happy. Stay hilarious. Stay energetic. Stay kind. Stay generous. Stay my baby chicken for as long as you want.

I love you more first,
Mom a.k.a. Chicken Mama

p.s. Dragons like ramen. But only the red kind.

1 comment:

  1. Kelly, I read these things about your kids, and I begin to understand the heartbreak of having your heart lifted.

    His medical issues are far less important than his being the embodiment of joie de vive.

    I don't even see the "discipline" problems as a problem. It's not just that LB is is bored (I'm sure he is), but that he sees the silliness of the world and language.


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