On this day eight years ago, you were gently lifted from my body at 3:30 am. Certain you were my Mia Rose, I slurred liar! when the doctor announced you were a boy.
Anesthesia and I never did get along.
You didn’t come into the world the way I had envisioned, and you weren’t the dark-haired baby girl Dad and I had named months earlier. Do you know how hard it is for two school teachers to name their own children?! You didn’t nurse the way I had hoped, and with your shocking blonde hair and crystal blue eyes, you didn’t favor me or Dad, which meant there was no shortage of, “Where did that kid come from?!” Motherhood was already off to a “I did not expect that” start.
In retrospect, it was the biggest favor you could’ve done for me.
Here we are on your eighth birthday and you’re still granting favors of which you’re likely unaware.
Dad and I joke that we really didn’t have to baby proof anything for you. We told you to stay away from the top of the steps, your old soul eyes registered understanding, and that was that. Of course we had gates and outlet covers and basically bubble-wrapped the whole house because hyper-sensitive first-time parents, but you required so little.
You still require the minimal with many things, like your homework, which allows the necessary extra attention to go to your sister’s. You mastered riding a bike without training wheels and catching a fly ball in a matter of moments. You don’t forget anything EVER so I rarely need to consult a calendar to remind myself of dates and events–you are my memory bank.
It’s like you were made to be in constant motion, which can be pretty exhausting, except that you’re as content playing by yourself as you are playing with a group of friends. I mean, how did we get so lucky?!
We try our best not to place arbitrary expectations on you, yet somehow, you manage to exceed our secret hopes for you. Two years in a row, you’ve earned the Principal’s Award at school, recognizing your work ethic and character. You’ve tried out for and earned spots on traveling and tournament teams, hustling and proving you’re a coachable player. You have so many friends; there’s never a shortage of kids in our back yard!
When you were a baby, a woman once called you “intense,” and I remember feeling offended. Intense?! I wanted her to say the things people normally say about babies! Just tell me he’s adorable, lady! But she was right. You’re very serious, very thorough, very…intense. In time, we’ll iron out the wrinkles in the big emotions that scare you, and keep reminding you silly time is important. And although so much comes easy to you now, I hope you won’t give up when it doesn’t. Successes and failures alike help you grow, and I want you to be as confident in yourself as the rest of us are.
Thank you for making me a mother, kid. So much of this crazy ride hasn’t been what I thought it would be; part baptism by fire, part on a wing and prayer, part I just pretend I know what I’m doing. From day one, you’ve allowed me the opportunity to become acclimated to Motherhood at a pace that was right for me, and that is something I don’t take for granted. You were meant to be my first, which is why you were not our Mia Rose, and I am grateful for that all the live long day.
As you get older, the ride will get bumpier, but I know we can do it. For now, though, you still fit in my lap and aren’t embarrassed by hugs at the bus stop, so I’ll hold on to today as tightly as I can. Happy 8th Birthday, Blue Eyes.