This year, the day before you turned 7 years old, you lost your first baby tooth. And while there have been many signs along the way that babydom and toodlerhood are far behind us, this was the final billboard announcing to the whole world that you are in fact a young boy. A young boy who, to me, is devilishly handsome, with a cheshire cat-like grin, and a propensity to towards generosity that humbles me a hundred times a day. Whether it’s the matchbox car you’ve snagged that Luke begs to play with or a coveted piece of candy meant just for you that Ansley demands “too me” for or me needing your forgiveness for being far too impatient yet again — you give it away, somehow seeming to intuitively know that giving is the only way to gain.
These pictures frame you in my mind: the way you study books, know which letters begin each person’s name, love digging in dirt, always ask for walks down to the lake, perfected your frisbee throw, made friends at school, love movies almost as much as your daddy, can’t stand to be left out just like your mama, ask a million times a day to play hide-n-seek or tag, are delighted when someone sits down with you just because; and then your thick, wavy strawberry hair, your crazy hilarious dance moves, your throw a blanket over your head when the world outside is just a little too much — ruminating over these things makes my smile stretch wider, grows my love by a million inches, and fills me up to the tip-top with gratefulness that you are you. That you belong to us. And that life will always be better and sweeter because you are a part of it.
Love you biggest buddy!