You just celebrated birthday number eight. What?!?! Almost weekly you ask Siri how many days it is until your birthday. Every time you shout out the number that Siri shares, I tell you that I called in a special favor and that will you stop growing at age 7…no turning eight. Forever, my seven-year-old buddy. You giggle every time like it is the first time you have heard me say it and say “Mom, can you really do that?”
This year has been such a fun year for you, for us, for anyone that crosses your path. You have spent the year deep in your plastic army men, plastic animals, Legos, Nerf guns, and Lincoln logs. You have mastered your bike with no training wheels. We are still working on mastering the electric scooter. Our garage door has a large dent in it from your attempt to master the scooter. You love to play with your Dad. He helped you celebrate your 8th birthday with an epic water war party-complete with tunnels and camo netting. You two invented a game called snotbox hockey which involves a Kleenex box and pool noodles (note: if you visit our house-this is why my walls need repainting and my Kleenex box is duct taped together). Your favorite TV shows are CBS Sunday Morning, America’s Got Talent, The World of Dance, Toy Box, Little Big Shots, America Ninja Warrior, and Teen Titans. You also like to sneak and watch 20/20 murder episodes because you like to solve the mystery.
You are a noticer. You notice someone in need of a smile or friend. Once this year in the toy isle of a local store you noticed that, apparently, there is now a championship belt for WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) women. You said “well, look at this. It’s about time the women can have their own belt.” You notice the shapes and sizes of clouds and you can spot a random camouflaged animal or insect with precision. On a cold, but surprisingly sunny day in February you walked home from your friend’s house shirtless. When I asked you, what you were doing…you said “just feeling the sun and fresh air on my stomach.”
You have developed your own fashion sense and think you need everything Under Armor and Steph Curry. Your “style” is one color. It does not have to be the same shade of blue. In your eyes, as long as generally have the same color on, you match. You still love soccer and futsal. Your Dad was soccer coach this year and you wanted to tell him what needed to happen on the field.
I know your sweet heart had a hard time understanding your Mimzi’s breast cancer diagnosis this past year -all of our hearts did. You religiously Facetimed her throughout the year to check in on her and often asked how her “boob” was doing. You are counting the days down to her treatments are done and she “just does drugs.” I hate you have seen this ugly side of life, but you have also seen the beauty of hope, healing, and strength in your Mimzi. The song you would constantly sing throughout this ordeal was Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing.” It was a fitting theme song for the season we were living.
You have kayaked, camped, ice-skated, bowled, hiked, fished, and rode horses (you laughed because my horse went crazy). You have spent time swimming, snow sledding, building snow forts, playing laser tag, building sand castles, finding starfish, and catching lots of critters (rabbits, turtles, birds, and a mouse to name a few). You went to your first comedy show and loved it. You witnessed a solar eclipse. You have visited many places with trips to Tennessee, Missouri, and Florida. You loved Gatlinburg as much as I hate it. While we were in Florida, our family had the experience of riding out a hurricane together. That was interesting and symbolic. You have went on special trips with your grandparents. You lost one tooth this year.
Your taste buds have remained bland. You have only added French toast and scrambled eggs to your favorites (which is a list of maybe 10 items now). You spent the winter months making rubber band bracelets and potholders. I am still finding tiny rubber bands around the house.
You turn songs and commercials into your own jingles. Like Beastie Boys, “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!).” Your version of one of the lines is “My Mom threw away my best toys, oh man” which is way better than the original lyrics of “now your mom threw away my best porno mag”). Instead of a Rebel just for kicks, in Portugal’s song “Feel It Still” you were a Rebel with a kickstand. You take your iPad into the the bathroom and sing at the top of your lungs when you are taking a shower. You belt out “Golden Slumbers” and “Ever Be.” When you are not in the shower, you steal my bath salts and bath bombs and try to make explosions. You are super excited you recently had a pimple because you said it means you are becoming a man.
You have moved from asking “why” to “how” and ask how about 100 times a day. You are still doing great in math and you are slowly starting to understand the power of reading. In your words, reading “just takes too much time.” You have learned so much at school and have been blessed with good teachers and friends. You soak up everything your teacher shares. You spent weeks telling me about and asking at least one million questions about “King Martin Luther” (Martin Luther King) and Harriett Tubman. While having lunch with you at school, I learned some of the girls have nicknamed you “buttocks” because you have a nice butt. I am pretty sure my jaw dropped to the floor when I heard that but you laughed and said “girls are crazy. They like big butts and they cannot lie.”
You love being with your family and friends. You love all holidays. You even wore a tuxedo to school for Valentine’s Day. You love playing with your neighborhood friends. This summer you and your buddies enjoyed setting up shop in our front yard and selling every drink, individually package food item, and the rubber band bracelets you made. You were very proud of the “profits” you made and told me you offered a military discount to you customers. You are still kindred spirits with your grandmother’s dog-you might have been brothers in another life. When you grow up you want to live in a dimension (AKA mansion) and be an engineer and inventor. You even said I could live with you too!
You really do say the funniest things. You came home from school one day telling me that someone told you Justin Beaver” (Bieber) ate drugs”. You were so disgusted because you like some of his music. When I start fussing at you, you will say “momma stay” which is your way of saying “Namaste” which you think means calm down because it is said in yoga. You think any adult male who smiles, waves, or holds a door for me is trying to “flirt on me.” This year on my fortieth birthday, you woke me up first thing early in the morning and brought me a mirror so I could look at all the wrinkles all over my face. On Mother’s Day you woke me up with a big kiss and said, “Girl, me and you are like Mary and Jesus.” I could go on and on…about your funniness. And about you. This has been a fun year and I am thankful I was able to be along for the ride.
Today my spoon is full of sweet memories of a seven years and anticipation of the journey we will share in year eight. Thank you for letting me live life through your eyes and heart.