You’ve been nine for five days and I’m just sitting down to write your birthday letter. As I’m sure you know, when your birthday falls on Thanksgiving, things get a little crazy. Don’t worry. I had to share my 30th birthday with Jesus, so I feel your pain.
You have made me laugh every single day of this year. You do or say something or give me a look that just cracks me up. I read an article about one of those pseudo-science studies earlier this year stating the youngest child is the funniest in the family. In ours, it’s true. Don’t tell your brother. Or do. It will bother him. Thank you for making us laugh on all days, but especially the hard ones.
You’re busy learning some hard lessons right now about how what we say and how we say it affects others. I want you to know it’s okay. It’s okay to learn those lessons now, as a newly minted nine year old. I witnessed many adults this year who didn’t care one lick about tone or word choice or anyone else. I also witnessed how the words of angry adults affected you. I’m sorry you saw the worst of our society, but I hope I did my best to use it as a teaching moment.
When a dear friend of mine met you in your own space this year, she said, “Oh, he has a giant heart.” You do. That’s why it bothers you so much that you sometimes choose words or a tone that negatively affect others; sometimes you forget to choose kindness and it hurts you to your core. Please don’t forget that hurt, and please keep loving with all of your soul.
There’s one more thing you did every single day this year, and it really made a difference in my life. You said, “I love you, mommy.” You’ve said it every day for so very long. Unprompted. In the car. Waiting in lines. In front of friends. In front of strangers. In passing. While cuddling. At bedtime. First thing in the morning. All day. Every single day. I love you, too.
I hope this next year brings you joy, because I know it will bring you love.