This morning I quietly snuck into your bedroom. In the darkness, I crawled into your bed beside you and softly sang “Happy Birthday”. You stirred and your eye lids slowly opened – welcoming a new day. A new year.
You now have to use two hands to illustrate how old you are.
2,191 days since I became a mom.
You’ve become so independent, confident and even more curious about the world around you this last year. After some initial anxiety about moving on to “big school” you found your footing and became more comfortable with your new surroundings, new routine and new friends. At times school has challenged you – you’re still much more fond of playing than doing “so much WORK”. You’ve expanded your mind in creative new ways and are grasping concepts that you find interesting and are eager to share at the end of the day.
One of the highlights of the past year for you was learning to print your own name. Finally you had a method of identifying all the papers you spend time printing, drawing or colouring on. And papers there are. You’re so fiercely proud of any piece of paper you stake claim to. Our once-empty bulletin board is now overflowing with all the artwork you pour your heart into making. Your favourite theme lately is trucks – any kind of truck. Even your teacher says you draw trucks on everything you possibly can.
Your brother continues to be your best buddy and hearing you play together and laugh uncontrollably at all your shared bathroom humour is priceless. Sometimes when you and Kyle are having a bath together – dumping water on each other and talking about farts – your dad and I lie in the next room and just listen to you and your little brother interacting. The sound of you laughing your heads off is infectious and we find ourselves shaking our heads and laughing too.
Your sense of humour is constantly evolving and your favourite part of reading your Chickadee magazine is the jokes at the end. You’ve even started to delve into concocting your own knock knock jokes and the randomness of the punchlines are so bizarre that we all end up in stitches, not because they are so genuinely funny but because they are not.
You have your own sense of style. Rubber boots or work boots are still far superior to any other form of footwear. You like wearing ballcaps even when it is cold outside and mittens or gloves are just impediments to having fun. You’re still unsure of branching out in the food department and prefer a few basic staples in your lunches. You love unleashing your creativity by creating all kinds of fun things in Minecraft and will sit for hours upon hours watching YouTube videos about it if we let you. Your favourite places continue to be the farm and the cottage. You’ll talk about them both at length if given the chance. You give the best back scratches and neck massages (your Dad could take some lessons from you – ha!).
You continue to amaze me with how thoughtful and sensitive you are to the feelings of others and I can always count on you to comfort me when I’m feeling sad. You still give THE best hugs and I love that you’re not yet “too old” for snuggling with me for 10 minutes at a time. You’ll crawl into bed with me and instead of me cradling you in my arms, you stretch your arm behind my head on purpose like a brave teenager on a movie date does and wrap it around the other side of my neck, drawing me closer to you so my head is on your chest. It is as if you sometimes take on the role of being my source of comfort instead of the other way around.
I sometimes find it so difficult to comprehend that you are only six years old. From the time you were born people commented that you have an “old soul” and it still feels like the truth. I can look into your eyes and see so much more there than six short years. I see a knowing, an understanding, other lifetimes of experience there. I sometimes feel like you understand me more than anyone else in the world and that I can always rely on you to be my rock and source of grounding. When we share our embraces and have heart-to-heart talks I feel like I’m confiding in an old friend that knows all of my secrets of this lifetime and the last without having told you any of them. The feeling is so natural.
I can only hope that as you continue to grow that our relationship will as well. I hope you’ll always humour me by giving me hugs and kisses when I ask – even if your peers think displays of affection aren’t cool. I will never tire of our nightly bedtime routine of me kissing your lips then kissing your nose (it is my favourite in the whole world!) then you gently kissing my nose and then my cheek – always in that order. It is our little shared ritual that I miss terribly when we’re separated.
Your requests for your birthday this year are an iPhone (ha!), some Transformers and a squirt gun. When asked what kind of cake you would like you thought about it and said vanilla despite the fact you love chocolate – because you know that I prefer vanilla and you want to share with me.
Our lives changed forever six years ago when you arrived in this world. Your dad watched you being born and said “He’s got red hair!” and I knew in that instant we were going to be kindred spirits.
Happy 6th Birthday Lukey Luke!