Once Tiny, Now Seven
Dear Miles (or shall I say, “Dear Seven-Year-Old Miles,” because today you are seven and how did that happen already),
Seven years ago tonight, as I stared into that divine abyss of your newborn eyes, I knew little of the boy I know now today. Then, you were tiny. You were new. You were unmolded clay.
Today, seven years later, you have shaped up to be a most wonderful human being. You are delightful and funny and, yes, at times exasperating. You are inquisitive and wise, and you love reading and playing soccer and throwing a football with Alec and holding your baby brother Eric.
You love the Harry Potter series. You love watching “Fetch with Ruff Ruffman.” You love playing chess and riding your bike, and you even discovered this year that you do, in fact, like hiking.
You have curly hair. You like to wear skinny jeans and corduroys. You make friends easily. You care little for neat handwriting. You love to eat cheeseburgers and black beans and cucumbers and apples.
And you have a special sweetness about you. You even have an uncanny way of expressing your sweetness.
Earlier this year, after Eric was born and I was all cozied up and recovering in my bedroom, you tiptoed upstairs in the evening with a platter of sandwiches in your hand. You, my darling, had made me a peanut butter and jelly all on your own. And you had made them for me.
You were so proud, and I was so touched, and I relished every bite of my meal. Until, of course, you said:
“Mom, I made you this sandwich all by myself! But I’m sorry if it tastes a little like floor. I dropped it on the stairs on my way up here.”
I gulped that bite down and hid my laughter as best I could. And then I told this story, again and again, because it was so cute and because, well, “it tastes a little like floor” is perhaps the most adorable and creative way to let someone know you’ve dropped the food they are eating. The story is truly as sweet as it is funny. And there truly is no better way to describe you than that.
But your humor isn’t always unintentional. In fact, you have a rather wild sense of humor.
Sometimes this comes out in your love of music and dance. This year, you developed a fondness for Michael Jackson, and you developed a particular interest in a certain dance move that he made popular (and I’m not talking about the Moonwalk). Wildly inappropriate. And, when you turned your head so you couldn’t see my face, wildly funny.
And then sometime over the summer, you and Alec happened upon your first big swear words. Of course, this moment led to a hilarious story and, um, a pretty hilarious song. It may have also led to a few grey hairs sprouting up on my head.
Though I tried my best not to show it, I thought that your use of the f-bomb was downright ingenious when you exclaimed at the dinner table later that night, “Let’s ROCK THIS FUCK PARTY!”
You have a way with words. You have a way with humor. Even when you’re wildly inappropriate, even when I’m admonishing you or sending you to your room to chill out for a bit, even when I seem angry, I want you to know that there are always those deep-down parts of me that admire your sense of humor and your way with language. Because your words are powerful. And if you’re anything like your mother (and my dear, I’m afraid you are), your words will be your source of solace and courage and escape for many years to come.
And if you’re anything like me, your humor will sustain you too.
But what I think I love most about you–more than your sweetness and your words and your humor–is your heart.
You have an incredible heart.
I cannot say enough about your heart–your warm heart, your heart of gold, your heart that contains multitudes and wisdom and empathy beyond your seven years. Your heart that tends to Alec when he is sad, that gives you patience with Eric when he is getting into everything.
Your heart that shows your father and I forgiveness and grace, even when we don’t seem to deserve it.
Last night I promised you a birthday breakfast. There was talk of pumpkin scones and bacon and roasted potatoes. Your favorites.
But come first light, I could not keep my eyes open. I was awake for my 6 a.m. alarm, but my eyes could not stay open after yet another all-nighter with your littlest brother. And when I woke up at 7:45 a.m. in a panic, Daddy told me what you had said when you realized that your birthday breakfast wasn’t happening: “It’s okay! No big deal. Just being with you guys is enough for my birthday.”
Oh, my heart. My heart that nearly breaks at the thought of my little boy’s heart.
If only the world were blessed with your kindness. With your heart.
I dare say, it would be a much better place.
For I know this: just being with you is enough too. It’s enough to fill me with hope and joy and pride, and it’s enough to make me anxious to see how my once-tiny baby continues to grow.