A Sixth Birthday

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When you were born, I could not believe how tiny you were.  You were not tiny, mind you, at 8lbs, 1oz, but compared to your older brother, who weighed in at 2 lbs more, you were itsy bitsy.  I held you and cried and marveled at your tiny, skinny legs.  You were my easiest birth, which is approximately the last time you were my easiest child at just about anything.

mischief O

Your determination and persistence and unwillingness to bend was evident early on.  The things you liked to do you did with great concentration and attention.  The things you did not like to do you simply didn’t do, and nothing I could do or say could coerce you.  Not much has changed.

Little O

You weaned yourself at five months old because you liked the bottle better.  You climbed out of your crib at fifteen months and never stayed in it again.  You realized at eighteen months that there was nothing keeping you in your twin bed and for the next year we battled nightly as you got up over and over.

4 babies 2011

But your determination also enabled you to ice skate on your own at 2.5 years old.  To swim 25m across a pool—in a swim meet—the day before your 4th birthday.  To read at 4 years and 3 months old.  To ride a two-wheel bike at 4.5 years old.  To ski and snowboard at 5 years old.

owen sledding

Once you decide you want to be able to do something, your focus and intensity is humbling to see.  You are not deterred by failure, only spurred to try again.  Your frustration never makes you give up; it only makes you push harder to master whatever it is you want to do.

Based on what you’ve showed us so far, I can only imagine what amazing things lie in store.

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You are the child who can most easily make me lose my mind, it is true.  But you are also a child who I know can handle anything–anything–that you’re faced with.  You don’t need encouragement or positive reinforcement or approval from me, your father, your peers.  You know your own mind and that’s all you need.

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You are my most shy and reserved child–you absolutely do not speak unless you are comfortable with the people around you and the situation you’re in.  Some people probably think you’re mute.  Your family knows better though, because at home, you never shut up.  Honestly.  There are days when I think my ears will bleed if you ask me one more thing.  But the questions are usually pretty interesting and well thought-out, so it makes it easier to endure the incessant talking.

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You love little babies and children, and I am always amazed by your gentleness and attentiveness around the little ones.  When you first met your youngest cousin and held her, you told me that you loved her so much you might pop.  You held her and fed her a bottle and kissed her over and over and would never have given her up if Auntie hadn’t needed her back.

O loves CEJ

You are a loving, sweet, shy, determined, persistent, fiercely competitive little boy.  You make me want to rip out my hair and you make me want to sing with joy, all depending on your mood.  I love you as much as outer space, because as you once told me, outer space never stops and I will never stop loving you.

O sweet hair

Happy 6th Birthday to you, my little blonde boy.  Happy Birthday to you!

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