happy birthday, little man

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Nine years ago, at 1:55pm, you stormed your way into my world.

And since then, you’ve turned it upside down. You have a wickedly funny sense of humor. You’re an expert cuddler. The rare nights you crawl into bed with me, you know that the very best way to do so is to be such a stealthy and expert spooner that I won’t notice you’re there. And I don’t. Until I do. And then I savor each moment. I know they are numbered.

Every morning, you hold the screen door open for me, my arms full of bags as I fumble with the keys. (By way of contrast, your brother lets it slam behind him, right onto my shoulder.) I know you want to ride shotgun all the time. But in spite of what you think, while it’s true I worked in the Senate, I don’t make the laws. At least, I didn’t make the laws that dictate what age you have to be to ride in the front seat.

You’re messy. But you’re sweet. Sometimes sticky. Quiet and loud at the same time. (How do you do that?) You have not met a piece of trash you don’t think is beautiful. (Please don’t become a hoarder.) You are the only one in the immediate family who can carry a tune, and for that reason I apologize on my and Jack’s behalf for our bad car singing.

Speaking of, I could live the rest of my life not hearing Eye of the Tiger again and be fine, but it makes you happy. So we listen to it. On repeat.

You are our cat whisperer, the only one who can pick them up and cradle them in one arm without them twisting down and running away. You’re growing up so fast and are almost as tall as your brother. But you still cover your eyes when a kissing scene appears in a movie. I’ve tried to tell you that kissing is fun, but I can’t say I’m looking forward to the day that you decide to take my word for it.

The idea of loving someone so much it hurts was definitely conceived by a mother. There are days I look at you and I never want to let you outside where you will face life’s cruelties. But then I want you to be part of the world’s adventures, so I let you out the door in the morning.

The door you hold open for me. In so many ways.

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