Today you turned six years old. I remember this day six years ago like it just happened yesterday. As I lay in a hospital room, about to become a mom, I looked out the window and watched Texas snow fall. I remember thinking what an unusual and perfect day it was to bring new life into the world. Then, suddenly, there you were. With your first cry, life as I knew it evaporated and I was forever changed. You overwhelmed me. I was humbled and scared, joyous and proud, grateful and excited.
I still feel many of those same emotions. Just like the snow that fell on your birthday, you are unusual and beautiful. You are so smart. You love to learn, and especially love reading. You recently read "Green Eggs and Ham" by yourself for the first time, and it brought me to tears. You want to figure things out for yourself. You work hard, and you aim to please. True to the laws of birth order, you do not want to disappoint us or yourself.
You are funny. Just the other day I came home from a spa appointment. You ran for a hug and looked around like you were confused. "Mom, did you get a massage?" you asked. When I said that I had, you looked around some more and asked, "Well, where is it?" You often make us laugh without even trying. Or, you will try hard to tell a joke or make a funny face to cheer one of us up when we need it.
You are an awesome big brother. I have worried from time to time that some of you would get "lost" because Little Middle and Baby need more attention. Just the opposite has been true. You have always doted on your little brothers. You are a good helper, often entertaining or reading to them. They both miss you tremendously while you are at school. The relationship the three of you have is one of my greatest joys.
I have been more proud of you this year than any other of your little life. You have been through more in these past months than any boy should have to deal with, but you have been brave and strong. When I was sick, I worried that you would not understand or that you would not be able to cope with the many changes and transitions that took place. The road was rocky, but there were more times that you comforted me with a hug or by climbing up in bed with me than I ever got to comfort you. You never asked many questions. You only wanted to know if I would get well, and then you faithfully prayed for me each and every night. I am certain God heard your sweet pleas and honored that.
In the midst of the cancer, you went to kindergarten. I worked hard for many months to prepare you for this change, and when it came time...you held your head high and enjoyed it. On the first day of school, when we were walking out of your classroom, I looked back and saw how you had your head bent over your paper, working furiously and carefully. You were fine. I thought SURELY my heart would burst out of my chest that morning, because no mother in the history of kindergarten mothers has had more pride than me.
Not only do you have a special place in our immediate family circle, but you are in the hearts of our extended family as well. Your grandparents adore you; your great-grandparents think you hung the moon (as displayed in their "shrine"). You will never know the great joy you have brought to them, or how you have expanded heartstrings just by being you.
You do all the things little boys should do. You have friends. You play video games. You ride a bike without training wheels. You like to swim. You are learning to play baseball. We take you to church and you are trying hard to work out how those Bible stories connect to your life. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of you during the day, and you take my breath away. You amaze me. God could have chosen anyone to be your mom, but He allowed me. I am so thankful.