My dearest 5 year old,
I honestly can’t even believe I’m writing these words. Or that 5 years have passed since you came into our lives. If we’re being honest, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to be a mom when we found out I was pregnant. Even when I had taken the test and saw the second pink line appear, it didn’t feel real. Even when you began to squirm and kick from inside my belly, it didn’t seem possible that you were a real baby.
Was I even mature enough to be a mom? How could I possibly know how to take care of another human being? Would it come naturally? Would I feel an instant connection with you? What I fail miserably at giving you everything you needed? Would I make mistakes? What if I let you down?
But none of those things mattered when I heard you cry for the first time and held your tiny, fragile body on my chest. I didn’t know how to be a mom but I knew I loved you and for the time being, that was enough. I would learn the rest and all of the technical stuff as time went on. But in that moment, I just wanted to hold you forever and never let go.
Your Daddy went back to Afghanistan 6 days later. And then, it was just you and me. I know I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it forever; at that point in my life, I needed you more than you needed me. You helped me conquer the hardest time of my life. Even before you were born, you helped me tackle each difficult day while your daddy was thousands of miles away. And after you were born, you were what kept the pieces together when he had to go back.
You continue to amaze me everyday. You’re absolutely resilient and fearless. Moving isn’t easy and you’ve moved three times in your short 5 years of life. And every time we have to do it, you do it with grace and without even the slightest complaint. You’re wise beyond your years and have a memory like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Sometimes, not for the good!
Do me a favor and enjoy being little as long as you can, okay? You’re so independent and I know you love being a big kid, but I’m not ready for you to grow up yet. I know you’ll always need me but it won’t be the same way you need me now. Just like the same way you need me now isn’t the same way you needed me 5 years ago. I can tell you this though, I cherish each and every day with you. Even on the days you drive me crazy and I can’t understand what’s going through your head, I won’t complain when you ask me to lay with you while you fall asleep. And when you come into my bed, even though Daddy will get annoyed, I’ll never kick you out. Because I know time isn’t slowing down anytime soon and I want to cherish every single minute of it.
So happy birthday baby boy. You may be 5 years old but you’ll always be my baby. Keep being you, okay? I love you!