I’m not sure how this happened, but today I am the mother of an eight year old. Julian, my sweet boy, you are eight!
A few weeks ago, you confessed to me that you are not ready to turn eight. It’s the first time I’ve heard you express some sort of desire to slow down the growing-up process. While I am also not quite ready (I never am), no one handles growing up better than you do.
You are such an exceptionally bright kid. Your biggest accomplishment and source of great joy in the last year has been taking piano lessons. You look forward to your lesson every week, and you practice diligently each day, sometimes more.
You are growing in confidence. You really look like you belong with the piano. Your posture is perfect, your composure is calm and collected, and yet it is very obvious to anyone who hears you play that you love what you are doing at that very moment.
At home you delight us with compositions of your own. You have also written several short books this year as well as a collection of amazing poetry that you worked on in school. Some of the poems are so honest, so spot-on. I sometimes can’t believe I had a part in creating you.
You want to be an inventor or a scientist. You love designing things: city plans, details of a houseboat or the new the train line you have been dreaming up for about a year now which will connect New York, New Jersey and Delaware with a high-speed train network. I have no doubt you will accomplish anything you set your mind to, and I can’t wait to go on a ride on your train when it is completed.
You and I play lots of cards together. You play chess with Papa. You play soccer with Arthur. You still read a lot, and I can never get enough books for you from the library.
Arthur and you have both developed more independently from each other this year, more so than ever before. Your interests are quite different, but you meet right in the middle when it comes to soccer, baseball, music, and building things. You two are also the best at pretending and will often run down the sidewalk in an invisible dragon fight.
You’ve lost three more teeth this year, and the one that you knocked out when you were a baby is finally growing in, giving your sweet face a much more big boy look.
Julian, you are eight. This means you are not too old to cuddle, not embarrassed to hold my hand in front of your friends or give me hugs and kisses. Part of me hopes it will always stay this way.
You are adored by everyone you meet. At school your teachers delight in you, your friends love playing and talking with you, your brother idolizes and loves you more than humanly possible (although he sometimes gets on your nerves), and of course there is also me, your Mama.
You make me happy every day, you fill my heart up to the top, and just by making me a mother you have made my biggest wish come true. To see how you are growing each year, to talk to you every day, listen to your stories and songs, laugh at your jokes, get lost with you in your imagination — it’s all so much better than I could have ever imagined. You are making me the happiest person on the planet, just by being you.
Happy Birthday, my wonderful, creative, smart, sensitive, stubborn, ambitious son. You are loved beyond measure.