Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Caedmon

Dear Caedmon,

All is quiet in our house after a very full and fun day of celebrating YOU. The presents have been unwrapped, the cake has been eaten, the friends have gone home. You and your brother are now sleeping peacefully in your bedroom just down the hall. Your dad passed out halfway through the movie and headed to bed. So here I sit on this couch, surrounded by Star Wars decorations, thinking of you.

I wish I had the words to describe how much joy you bring me.

I love the way you dance your goofy little dance, and the fact that you'll do it on command. Daddy made you dance for us before you could open your present this morning and we all laughed hysterically.

I love the way you laugh at yourself in instances where others would be embarrassed. That is such a wonderful quality. It sets people at ease in awkward situations. It makes people to feel close to you.

I love the way you say the funniest things without even meaning to. Today something smelled so I said, "Caedmon, do you need to poop?" And you said, "No. I just don't know why I can't stop farting. That's really weird, huh?" Where do you come up with this stuff? So funny.

I love the way you show great courage and boldness relationally. You make friends quicker than any child I've ever met. We could be at the playground for 5 minutes and you will make a new friend. The first day I picked you up from preschool this school year, you had already made a new best friend. You love people, and that makes people love you back.

I love the way you go with the flow when it comes to playing with your friends. It used to really bother me that you would imitate what other kids were doing instead of taking the lead. I thought that that meant you would be a follower and easily swayed. But now I see what an incredible gift it is. When you are with another child who has a strong opinion about what to play, you are happy to jump right in the fun with them. You are the kind of kid that everyone wants to play with because you don't always demand your way. You are a great playmate.

I love the way you are a self-declared "big kid" sometimes, but then the next moment you'll be asking me if you're still my baby. There is such tenderness in your heart. I love that you still let me hold you and we may kiss each other upwards of a hundred times a day. I told you this week that even when you are a grown man, you will still be my baby. That never changes.

I love the way your messy head looks in the morning as you bound into the living room. I told you once that your hair must have had a party while you slept. You liked that, so we say it often.

I love that you love books.
I love that you think you're "faster than anyone", but you're really not very fast.
I love that you have a great memory.
I love that you can get hit in the face with a dodgeball and laugh instead of cry.

Ahhh, Caedmon, I am so in love with you. You have captured my heart.

As I was reflecting upon the embarrassingly large amount of hours I spent preparing for this 2 hour party of yours, the thought occurred to me that I have absolutely NO idea what my parents did for me for my 5th birthday. I know they did something great because birthdays were a big deal around our house. But I have no memories of it. Not one. In fact, I probably have a grand total of about 5 memories from my whole 5th year.

The reality is, you probably won't remember this either. Today, you were on top of the world and you may remember it for a few years. But when you're 30, this will likely not be one of your top childhood memories.

As I considered that I thought to myself, "Why in the world am I doing all of this?" And the only thing I could come up with was that I just cannot get enough of your smile. I would do all kinds of crazy, ridiculous, never-do-it-for-anyone-else-in-the world things just to feel you be happy in that instant. I had such deep joy watching you today.

So maybe the party was just as much for me as it was for you. To be honest, I need moments in mothering that I remember just how great it feels to love a child all the way to the depths of my soul, and to know that that child is pretty smitten with me, too.

Caedmon Elliott Wood, this journey of getting to know you and who God is shaping you to become has been one of the most fascinating experiences of my life. In my heart I know that God has something incredible in store for you, but I have no idea what it is. With every new glimpse I catch of your personality, every new insight I have into your strengths, it is like God gives me one more piece of that puzzle to see the man you will one day be. God is going to use every single unique nuance about you to glorify Him and to change the world, if you'll let Him.

This year you'll play at a ton of playgrounds, eat more peanut butter than could possibly be healthy, and learn how to bathe yourself (responsibly). We'll play indoor dodge ball, capture evil villians, and have lightsaber wars in our living room. You will learn to read this year and the whole world will open up to you because of it. You will start kindergarten this year, and because we are still up in the air on what to do about schooling, I will keep in mind that this could possibly be my last year to have you at home all day with me. And while there have been moments that I have longed for the "freedom" that dropping my kids off at school will bring, I find myself digging in my heels as the day more quickly approaches. The thought of someone else hearing all your one liners and seeing that smile for 6 hours a day sends a ping to my heart. So on the days when I'm about ready to sell you to the highest bidder on Craig's List, I will remember that you won't stay the 5-year-old version of you very long. But I have this moment, and I will cherish it.

Happy 5th Birthday to my favorite Jedi. I love you more than words.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a sweet birthday letter! I know he will cherish it always, especially since his Mom has been there for him all of his days! Happy Birthday Caedmon! Love, Lisa