No Matter What
I’ve been thinking about to write all day, and no words would come to my mind. Instead, I watched you. When you crawled into bed with us at 5:30 and sang “Happy birthday to myself…” When I came downstairs, you were giggling with your dad over a plate of chocolate chip pancakes. When you stood at the front door with your backpack on, 20 minutes before you had to catch the bus, because you couldn’t wait to tell all your friends it was your birthday.
I watched you run down the street after school with your birthday cupcake necklace flapping in the breeze. I watched as you biked out front, with a huge grin on your face; a feeling of freedom. I watched as you told the neighbors that you’re six today.
I watched as you were helpful with the yard work. When I was mowing the lawn, you pulled weeds. When I carried the deck furniture around, you carried the cushions.
I watched you act like a big kid.
I had planned on telling you all the reasons why I love you. I planned on saying that when you’re around, I’m very happy. That your bright blue eyes make me feel alive. That when you curl up on my lap, I breathe in the scent of your hair, and count the days I have left to do that.
Today you turned six, and every time I pick you up, I wonder if it’s my last time.
You call me Mama, and I wonder, how much longer until it’s just mom?
Every time you stand outside and sing a song about whatever’s on your mind, I wonder, when will you think that’s silly?
You help me cook meals.
You dream super big.
You always take safety into account.
You always look after Audrey.
Not too long ago, you were just my little man. The guy who slept all the time, never made a peep, was super calm, danced a lot, and was just the kid all moms dream of having because you were so mild mannered.
Even when you made your sister cry.
But now you’re six.
My advice to you, on your sixth year, is always be proud of your accomplishments. Don’t worry about what the kids around you do, especially your sisters. You’re not them. You’re you. I like who you are, very much.
I like that you go at your own pace. You’re okay with taking your time. You have no need to rush.
But some day, someone is going to make you feel like your accomplishments aren’t enough. That you need to do or be better than who you are. You may get a feeling in the bottom of your stomach that makes you feel sad. I know that feeling. But when I feel it, I remind myself that I’m me. I am only in control of myself. You are you. And you can’t control how others feel about you, but you can certainly control how you feel about yourself or others. Never forget that. If you don’t like the way you’re behaving, change it.
But that doesn’t mean, that if someone says they don’t like how you’re behaving, you get to ignore them. Please remember to keep an open mind and question your motives from time to time.
Don’t ever be unkind.
My favorite thing about you, Luca, is that you listen. That’s a very rare quality, to be able to truly listen without judgement. It’s also a very important quality to have.
Time will pass, and the day will come where I can’t pick you up anymore and give you super big hugs, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t still try.
A few months ago I asked you if you’ll always love me, no matter what, even if you’re mad at me, and you looked at me with your perfect blue eyes and said, “Mama, I will always love you. No matter what.”