As is our tradition, I wrote my kid a letter for his birthday… Posting it a few days early before the holiday weekend. It has been quite a year…
Sweet Firstborn of Mine,
We certainly did not know the year we were in for when we had our very different celebration your last birthday. We have been through so much and you have changed so much. It was so hard to watch you go through a year separated from your friends because you are such a social kid, but it was so rewarding watching you grown into the role of big brother even more as you helped with the baby and bonded with your other sister even more. At one point during our social distancing you told me, “when I grow up I want to have ten kids so they can still have lots of friends and be with each other if there’s another sickness season.”
All the change and uncertainty was hard on you. There were big emotions right before the start of the new school year, when you realized you really weren’t going back to your old teacher’s class that you left for spring break and never saw again. You missed your old friends and you got so frustrated because you were in virtual learning and had no clue how to use a computer or what a tab was. By the end of the school year, thanks you your curiosity and quick learning, you were helping your classmates who missed a direction about how to navigate a certain website and your teacher had to ask you to stop changing things in your virtual classroom in ways she didn’t know how to change back. You also made your dad super happy when you asked him to play a computer game with you so this may be the beginning of a whole new era…
You learned so much this year beside computer literacy. Your reading skills exploded and your love of it grew right along with them. Your dad and I have cracked up at finding you sneaking books into bed to read late at night or early in the morning. While we had to discipline that because we know sleep is so important for you, we also couldn’t help but feel a swell of love because both of us did the exact same things when we were about your age. You love readalouds- whether that is us reading classics to you or you reading your favorite series to us (Dog Man). You also always had new things to share with us about what you learned in science and math. You especially love learning about shapes and make the most amazing connections between shapes and your love of drawing, which continues to flourish. It really affirms our choice to send you to an arts focused school!
This year reaffirmed what a big, empathetic heart you have for other people and their struggles. After learning about laws in school and asking your teacher about laws that you felt were hurting people, your teacher told you that one of the great things about living in a democracy is that you can write your congress people and tell them what you think or are worried about. And instead of just letting that appear you, you asked me to write a letter to our congress members- so we did and sent one to our senator and one to our representative. You even got a really wonderful letter back from our representative and this is my favorite part of this story- you were so excited and your old your sister, “See, that’s why you have to learn to read and write. So you can tell other people what you care about and you can help them.” You also asked to run in the Team World Vision 6k with me this year. I was so moved by this and so proud of the way you even made a video to help your fundraising. Thanks to your bravery, boldness, and adorableness, as well as some very generous family and friends, you raised money to help bring water to vulnerable kids. You also learned how hard it can be to run further than a mile! I was crazy proud of you!
Your energy remains high- which is both deeply entertaining as well as a source of many consequences you don’t love. You are quite a comedian and crack us all up. You are still obsessed with food and thought getting to eat lunch at school once you went back in person this spring was one of the coolest things ever. You have the most vivid and creative imagination.
I can’t believe you are seven. The time just seems to go faster and faster and I try to take comfort in the fact that we are growing together and enjoying the new things we get to do together as you get older. (ie aside from your first race, you had a few other fun firsts this past year- you saw snow for the first time this year, which you didn’t love, and you had made smore’s several times, which you did love. You are starting to learn more and more in the kitchen! the list goes on.)
Happy birthday to my favorite budding author/illustrator and craziest wake up call. I love you so much and am looking forward to what this new year brings.