Sunday, June 9, 2013


My beautiful blue-eyed Ben,

Today you are seven.  While you didn't wake as I curled up with you just after midnight to be the first to wish you a happy birthday, I sense you knew I was there.  I smelled your hair, wrapped your lanky arms around mine, and just listened to you breathe.  My guess is you will never know how many nights I do this until you have children of your own.  

Tomorrow is your last day in first grade.  A year marked by success in your classroom as well as new endeavors you tried. A year marked by worry and stress over if we are moving in the right direction.

I am very thankful that even with setbacks with weight loss, backsliding in behavior, and the time that weekly therapy visits took from an already packed schedule, you are in a much more successful place than you were a year ago.  You will never be defined as a diagnosis, but rather my son who has struggles of your own and are learning to process life on your own terms.

As your parent I feel that every decision we have made this year has come with part prayer and part hope that the right path is being followed.  I have said so many times, that as your mom all I can do is support you, make resources available, and love you unconditionally.  I cannot know what your future holds.  I only have the choices I can make today.

This past year you played T-ball, took many art classes with a special love for clay with Ms. Linda. Not surprisingly, you announced that art was your favorite special at school.  You told me the other day that it makes you happy to see your artwork in the kitchen displayed for all to see.  Me too :)

You loved Jr. Jazzercise summer camp to the point you have watched video footage on a continuous loop all year.  Not surprisingly we had to plan part of our summer around when the class would be offered again.

You played many an afternoon on sun drenched afternoon with our neighbors riding bikes and playing ball. You attended your first sleepover birthday party as well as hosted friends to sleep over at our home.  We had many conversations about being a good friend and making friends.  All of which you listened intently and offered your own 6 year old understanding that good friends are essential to happiness in life.

You asked for a tennis racket and a new bike for your birthday, both of which you got and have already enjoyed yesterday after a fun birthday party.  You spent your 7th birthday today at a special comic book event with your dad in Charlotte.  While I missed seeing you for most of the day, I love that you have this special bond with him.   I am so very glad you participated in Y Guides with your father including a weekend camp out. Camping with dad has become your own special date night as well as a growing love of video games and movies.

As a brother to Ian, while you fight with him daily, you also are overprotective and want others to treat him not as the little brother, but just as your brother.  As much as the days leave me so very tired, I also cherish the loud and crazy life we live.  Seeing your faces at pick up and hearing about school, is the best part of my day.  I love that you still reach for my hand, want to share a secret with me, are proud of what I do teaching students, and love to point out the things we both enjoy like chocolate mint ice cream.

I hope that our mom and Ben overnight trip will be an extension of our date nights for as long as you are willing.  Sitting with you on the steps of the Lincoln memorial was was of the best moments in the last year shared just between us.

While with every passing year you will pull more away from me as you seek out your own independence, I hope that the quiet moments like the ones just before bed when you read to me are the ones you remember.  I hope that our kissing hand tradition will outlast boyhood, if only inside our home. I hope you will always catch my kiss and tuck it away.   I promise to do the same.

My beautiful boy, may the sun always shine on your face as you travel another year around the sun.  So much goodness lies ahead for you.  If all I ever do in my life is to be called mom, then I have lived a good life.



Carrie said...

Happy 7th to your sweet boy! :)

Gillian said...

Sweetness! Happy birthday, Ben!

LauraC said...

Happy happy birthday Ben! Love all the photos!

Beth said...

Happy birthday Ben! Such a sweet and heartfelt post, Heather.