Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Six Years Old

Dear Larkin,

Today, you turn six.

I woke you up yesterday morning and, per usual, sat beside you on the bed. Every day when I wake you up, you crawl in my lap and spend a moment snuggling before I push you out of bed to get ready. You’ve started outgrowing my lap, but I felt nostalgic - yesterday, your last day to be five. “Come snuggle with mama,” I requested. “No,” you refused, choosing to rest your head on my leg instead. “I’m too big.”

I hiked you up on my hip this weekend while we took family photos. I nearly threw my back out under your 50 pounds, and you laughed at me. “Mama, you’re silly. I’m too big for that.” So I sat you down, for what will likely be the last time.

I don’t remember when your eyes turned from blue to grey. I don’t recall the last time I had to spoon feed you, or the last time I kissed the dimples in your knuckles before they were lost. I’m not certain the last time you stretched out on top of me to take a nap, resting your head on my chest.

Some lasts pass unnoticed; others you hit me with like a brick.

Most nights, I peek in your room after bedtime. I make sure you’re sleeping well and warm. Sometimes I have to center you on the bed, lest you roll right off. I kiss your head and think, “This is a little boy. He’s no longer a baby at all.” It’s hard for this mama to watch you grow up so fast, but for all the bittersweetness, it’s so rewarding.

I love who you are becoming. All boy and full of the biggest, sweetest heart I’ve ever seen on another human being. You worry and fret and have the anxiety and empathy of your mother, but you also have the full-force bravery, sheer power and lack of filter that you’ve adopted from John. You love me with the kind of love that only a little boy can have for his mama - big and wide and full of compliments. You’re learning to read and write, and testing at a 2nd grade level for many skills. You’re rocking kindergarten in a powerful way.

You've started worrying about getting muscles and when your little round tummy will turn to abs, and it's thrown me into the wide world of worrying about healthy body image for boys. You can turn anything into a gun, and you fill our house with the "pew pew"s and "bang bang"s of boyhood. You want to be a police officer, just like daddy. You love peanut butter and eggs and anything with cheese. You have my oversized laugh and my smile. Nothing thrills you more than a ride on John's motorcycle.

Larkin David, I won't ask you to slow down. We have so much good stuff coming up for our family, and life just keeps getting better with you. Thank you for being you, for loving me so well. Thank you for your patience as John and I try to figure out how to parent you the best way possible. You are loved without measure - never doubt it.

Love always,

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