Monday, October 24, 2016

Now you've grown so fine and come so far

My dear sweet Ezekiel,

I realized today, when thinking about you turning nine years old, that we have essentially reached the halfway point in the time that I get to claim you as fully mine, before you spread your wings and fly out into the world as a quasi-adult.

Obviously, you will always be my baby, my first born, my best boy.  But then you will go to college or off to fulfill some dream of adventure and start your own journey. Maybe, as my brothers and I have done, you will settle somewhere away from your parents. Thinking about that possibility - of not being able to see you whenever I want - makes my heart ache and my eyes fill with tears.

I'm getting ahead of myself, I know. But it goes so fast. It's such a cliche to say it, but it goes so, so fast.

I look back on pictures of you as a baby. You were so beautiful, with your dimples and your twinkly blue eyes and your wonky right ear that sticks out a little bit at the top - your dad dubbed it the "wingnut," which always made us giggle.

You have lost all of your babyish qualities. You are lean and strong. Your feet keep growing and stick out from the ends of your legs like paddles. You work on your six-pack abs.  There are no soft, baby-fat-ish curves in your face. You still have the outrageous dimples and the strikingly blue eyes, the freckles on your straight nose, the open grin. Setting aside any bias I have as your mother, objectively you an incredibly handsome kid.

From the beginning, you were strong and agile and coordinated and fearless.  You love hearing the story about the doctor was checking you out when you were first born, and marveling at how powerfully you kicked back when he pushed on the bottom of your foot. That strength and agility and athleticism has never abated.

This year, your interest in soccer has become particularly pronounced. On my weekends with you, one of our favorite activities is to go to the park and play soccer. Usually it involves me being permanent goalie while you try to score, or we'll run up and down the field doing passing drills.

You keep me young and healthy.

You have always been smart and interesting to talk to, but I'm seeing that intelligence and curiosity intensify. You're at the age I was when I was tested to be placed in a gifted program, and you're exhibiting some of the frustrations that I had at that age - being a bit bored in school, feeling like everything is a little too easy. Wanting to absorb as much knowledge as you can. You're doing gifted testing next month - I'll be curious to see how it goes.

Sometimes when you're lying in bed and we're talking, you'll ask me about history. Who fought in World War II? What were they fighting about? What's an ally? What's this song from the Hamilton soundtrack about? Who's singing? Who was that? Who are they talking about on the news? Who's the guy that has the disease but knows everything about black holes?

One day we were thinking about what to do on a beautiful Saturday.  "What do you guys want to do?" I asked. "Let's go for a hike in Boulder and then go to the science museum," you responded.

I love that.

We read together. We watch football together. We talk about life together. We have conversations about Greek mythology and poetry.  You're interested in everything.

Recently you and Josie and I were watching Project Runway together. Josie was looking at one of the designs and said, "that looks like a Valentino."

I gave her a skeptical look. "What you you know about Valentino?"

You said, "is he Italian?"

"Yes," I responded. "He's a famous Italian designer."

"How come so many great artists and designers are Italian?" you asked.

"Who else are you thinking of?"


"Yes, he was a great Italian artist and inventor."

"And Michelangelo...."

"Yep," I said.

"And who's that other guy? Starts with a "d".... Dona-something?"

"Donatello. How do you know Donatello and these other guys?"

"Ninja turtles!" you responded.

I cracked up. And then you cracked up. We both started to laugh and laugh.

"You goofball," I giggled.

We laughed some more.

It's been an incredible nine years. I don't ever want to let you go, even thought I know someday I'll have to.

You fill my heart and make it sing.  Happy birthday, sweet gorgeous boy.

All my love,


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