Dear Little Middle,
March 25, 2004 was a Thursday. It was a beautiful, sunny spring day. Signs of new life--promises of bright new beginnings--were all around me. That day started like any other day, but by the time the sun set on that Thursday evening, I had a new beginning of my very own: I had you in my arms.
I have, for the most part, adored The Year You Were Seven. The difference I see in you from your last birthday to this one is extraordinary! You have done quite a bit of growing this year, small sir. If we still kept up with that growth chart the way I did when you boys were little, I wouldn't be surprised to see that you've added a good three or four inches. And I won't even talk about your shoe size here...
Your body isn't the only part of you that has grown. The most important decision you will ever make happened this year. Just a couple of months ago, you realized that you needed Jesus, and you invited Him to be your Savior. What a sweet moment that was! I will forever count myself privileged to have been by your side when you prayed that life-changing prayer. The enthusiasm you showed in the days following your decision were life-altering for me. There's no way you could have known it, but your spark touched a place deep inside of me that was hurting and dark. You see, I was close to your same age when I chose Jesus. I've loved Him for as long as I can remember, but I don't always understand Him...especially lately. Your fresh faith reminded me that my own faith doesn't have to be complicated, and that love is enough.
Many family members came to our church to see you and Goliath be baptized together. Precious, precious day that I will treasure in my heart for the rest of my days. You were so careful going down the steps into the water because you had been warned that it could be slippery. Goliath was practically on his way to heaven before you got into the baptistery!
And speaking of your big brother...While we enjoyed your birthday muffins this morning, we were laughing about how the novelty of you wore off on Goliath after just a couple of weeks. At age 2, he quickly moved from being proud of his little brother to trying to get rid of you by dragging your infant seat out into the front yard. Hmmmm....it's funny how some things don't change much. You're growing up and your relationships with your brothers are sometimes tumultuous, and sometimes hilarious. You are the only one in this household who has to master the arts of being both a little and a big brother, and you know what? No one else could be better suited for it. It's tough at times, but you're doing a great job.
Another thing I've loved watching this year is how you've developed your friendships. I worried so much that our move to our new house (and subsequently, your new school) would adversely affect your friendships. Silly me. You've managed to make new friends and keep up with your old ones. You told me recently, "Mom, there are two popular kids in my class." I asked you who they were, and you said, "Well, one is definitely me. The other one is just some girl." Then I had the audacity to ask you how you knew that you are popular at school. You replied with exasperation, "Because kids fight to sit next to me at lunch." Duh.
Funny thing is, I believe you.
You still love Legos. Your new goal is to build something awesome enough to get you recognized in the Lego magazine. The Lego city that you built won't fit into your Lego closet (you're the only kid I know who has a whole closet dedicated to Legos, by the way), so it remains in the game room. I just vacuum around it.
You like video games when the mood strikes you. You LOVE to ride your bike and you are getting quite good at skateboarding. You want to be outside as much as possible. You eat Toaster Strudels for breakfast every day. I let you not because I'm a good mom, but just because they make you so happy.
Do you want to know what my favorite part of the day is? It's when I tuck you in to bed at night. You might be growing up, but every single night you still raise up your hands to me and simply say, "Hug." Those hugs mean the world to me, Little Middle. You might not fit in my arms quite like you did on our first night together, but there will always be plenty of room for you in my arms and in my heart.
Your hugs and your smile are the light of my life. Happy Birthday, sweet boy.