I am writing this far past when I should have been asleep, but I couldn’t sleep at all. I was all set to do my standard watch old videos, cry at your baby photos and read thru all the past letters I’ve written to you. Then I had the horrible realization that this is the first birthday I won’t wake you up with our normal Beatles song, dance party, balloons, and a special breakfast. And I broke into a million pieces. It felt like the final blow in what has felt like my worst year ever as your mum. I had hoped after the year we all wish we didn’t have to endure, (2020 and honestly 2021 which was basically 2020.5) that I wouldn’t have to lament on all you have been thru. But yet again I am faced by the incredible fact that you have not only made it thru huge challenges but triumphed in so many ways.
You started 3rd grade, and it was mostly back to normal or I guess the beginning of new normal for us. I’m happy to report I was correct in my early letters. You are so incredibly smart, and eager to learn….even if you at times have your own methods, whether we like it or not. You were asked to join the gifted program but it just didn’t seem like the right move for you. You’ve finally settled into school and are truly content right where you are. You are blessed with amazing teachers who challenge you academically so you can continue to master the parts of school that aren’t about academics. Friendship and being part of the social environment is still something absolutely paramount to you. It’s hard at times watching you navigate this and staying the heck out of it, even though it kills me at times. I am trying to somehow help you understand you can’t please everyone, and that is okay and not a reflection of your worth
Learning to balance encouraging you to continue being your completely confident unique self and to also help you learn to find the place you fit in can be a challenge. I want to let you never feel the judgement, jealousy and discomfort that at times comes at you just for being unashamedly yourself, but I can’t. So instead I’m teaching you to never let others opinions, assumptions or cruelty diminish your bright loving soul. It’s hard to explain to you that no matter what you do, how you change or how much you try and be palatable there will be people who just don’t care for you…SUCKS SO MUCH ASS. Because frankly it makes my blood boil even though I know I’m being irrational and biased. But damn I was not prepared to dislike a freaking 3rd grader with such ferocity, especially as a grown woman. Listen I’m not proud of it ,but it is what it is, and I figure it’s just a qualification required as your mum.
I guess we will get to the stuff that makes me truly feel like I fell short as your mum. As you are well aware life completely changed for us as a family, for you, for dad and for our whole family. Since I saw you on that screen I knew you were my purpose, since you were put in my arms I knew you were what I wanted to excel at, and for the last 9 years no matter what I never felt like there could be any greater accomplishment than being your mum. Honestly being your mum was the only thing I never doubted I was kicking ass at (most of the time) but this last year I have felt nothing but disappointment in every way when it comes to being your mum. I’ve never been perfect, I’ve never known exactly what I was doing fully, but I’ve felt no matter what I was doing, that when it came to you I was doing something right. I’m so sorry and at times overcome with the knowledge I managed to mess that up. But the moment I feel that way, you come along with your wonderful, unconditional love and say words I don’t feel I deserve “I know you’re working so hard even when you really don’t like it.” “ I love you like you love me…no matter what…even when you won’t watch me play video games” When I feel awful that I can’t give you what dad can (no shade to dad he works his butt off and has built a career over many years with so much work and sacrifice) you don’t pout, you don’t point out dad could, or bat an eye about putting something you wanted back. It still sucks but it makes me know I’ve done something right.
I am so lucky to have a child who has the most loving, accepting and forgiving heart. You saw your family change, and because of YOU, daddy and I did what so many don’t, we didn’t just end…we restarted and built something new and in my opinion truly wonderful. We were able to not lose sight of our friendship, silliness, happiness, love, shit loads of sarcasm and unwavering senses of humor that made us want have you (and made surviving you at times) possible.
Because of your heart I knew I needed to only allow those who deserved to know your love into our life. We got lucky and found someone who helped complete our new life. Shane is my person, the one who actually wanted the full mess I am, the man I long ago decided couldn’t possibly exist but who I never stopped looking for. But after everything I couldn’t risk your heart. So when you instantly connected with him and made space for him, helped bandage a small part of his heart without trying, included him in our life and in your heart I was awestruck by you once again. You told me you wanted me to be happy since I make sure you are. So you heaped love onto him without knowing just how much it was needed, and someday you’ll know how much it truly meant. That is why you are so rare my love because the way you love others is so uncommon and special.
Oh G I hope someday you know how your very existence saved me. So so so so many times you have saved me and anchored me and made me find my center and keep going even when I felt . They are not all huge moments or events though. he day you were born, the countless moments that weren’t expected or momentous, and your unfailing love and belief in me thru forging this new path for you and me. No matter who comes and goes I know without a doubt you and me will stand thru any storm.
My sweet boy I continue to be awestruck by who you are. As I always remind you…NEVER stop being your wild silly self. Never let anyone make you doubt how special you are just as you are. I always dreamed of the young man you’d be, and then I was floored to see you were so much more, I don’t need to dream about the man you will soon be because I have absolute certainty he’s already amazing and will only get better. You are one step further from being my little boy, but I will always be here for you. Everything I dreamed of has come true, in you my love. I like to say you’re my dream come true, but the truth is you are so much more amazing than I ever knew was possible.
Happy Birthday Baby
Love, now and for all eternity