Happy Birthday Little Man!Posted by Katrina Kennedy on Jul 28, 2014 in Blog, Personal | 33 comments
I read an intriguing article suggesting I write blog posts for a specific person. Not a type of person or the proverbial, “ideal costumer,” but an in my real life, breathing person. Of course, I write for you, but identifying my ONE real life person stumped me. Ian over heard this conversation and said, “you write for me, Mom.” Like most kids under 52 inches tall, he doesn’t have much income, but he does have a point. So today, on his ninth birthday, I’m writing for him.
Happy birthday buddy.
Nine years ago today you made me a mom. I wasn’t really mom material. I hadn’t planned to be a mom. I wasn’t supposed to be a mom. But, you had different plans for me.
Thank you for that.
Buddy, before I became your mom I thought I knew what parenting was about. I thought I knew exactly what to do and how to do it. I undoubtedly knew what everyone else was doing wrong with their children. I should-ed on a lot of people thinking I knew better. If they would just…
I knew nothing.
I could tell you that I’ve loved every minute of being your mom and that it’s been a blissful experience. But that would be a lie. It’s been long nights and longer days. It’s been messy and sticky and gross. You’ve pressed boogers against the wall and stuck things in places they didn’t go.
But I’d do it all over again. Well, most of it anyway.
You came into the world your own person. You had opinions and preferences and will power from the womb. I was baffled by your early independence. You squirmed when I wanted you to lie still. You pulled your arms out of your baby burrito when I had so perfectly tucked them in. You were awake when I wanted you to sleep.
And that was only the first week.
One day you were a six pound, seven ounce tiny bundle of baby and the next, you woke up a nine year old boy. I’ve attempted to etch each moment into my permanent memory, but so many have slipped by. I have over 50,000 images to prove it.
I don’t have enough memory space.
You tell me you’ll always be with me. But I know the truth. I know you’ll grow older, get chest hair, and want friends and space of your own. You’ll no longer settle for time with just mom and dad and the friends we enjoy being around. You’ll trade your costumes for clothes your friends say are cool.
It’s the way life is meant to be.
As a parent I’m making things up as I go. I’m figuring them out just like you. You’ve never ridden a bike before and I’ve never taught anyone to ride. You struggle to try new foods. I struggle to figure out how to get you to eat. You protest doing things you’ve never done. I torment over how to motivate and encourage you.
Every single time.
Some days I feel like I have this parenting thing figured out. I find the right words to say. I find the right tempo for our day and patterns to our routine. I find the way to nudge you into trying something new and Icelebrate my awesome parenting. And then things go south. And I’m reminded how much of this stuff is not me figuring things out at all. I’m reminded how much of parenting isn’t a me, but a we. Not a we made up of your dad and me, but a we created by you and me and dad.
I can’t solve everything. I’m learning that. It’s not my job. Things will be rough and messy and unexpected. No matter how hard I work, I’ll never be able to help your brain see words the way mine does. You’ll never use my strategies for remembering spelling words or for sounding things out. It’s not my fault. It’s not yours. It just is. We are wired differently.
We’ll figure it out together.
Eight was a big year. You jumped off a diving board and had your first sleep over. You were interested in coding, moving making, Legos, the Wii, and how things work. You gained maturity. And humor. And thank goodness, your jokes got better.
Most of the time.
This is the year that parenting experts say you move your focus and value development from your family to outside influences like friends at school. I’ve got to tell you kiddo, that terrifies me. Did I get it right these last nine years? Did I instill anything? And how is it at nine years old I am already worrying that I’ve lost the ability to impact who you are? I think I’ll put the “experts” ideas exactly where I put all of the parenting books I purchased between birth to two years old.
I’m glad the city recycles.
You are an incredibly awesome kid. You show empathy toward the people in your life. You have a gentle, kind spirit mixed with a stubborn, I’m going to get my way attitude. You have a huge imagination and a quick wit and memorize facts about things you love. You are like your dad and you are like your mom, but more importantly, you are like you. You’ll still hold my hand when we walk across the street and you’ll snuggle next to me in the evening. You are my favorite thing to see in front of my camera lens.
I think I’d like you even if you weren’t my own kid.
Nine is going to be a good year. Big things await you Buster Brown. You’ve got things to discover, places to explore, and experiences to experience. I’d create a list, because, believe me, I have ideas, but I know better. I know you are going to do this thing on your schedule.
You always have.
From the moment you were born I’ve been overwhelmed by the feeling you are leaving me. I get it. That’s supposed to be my goal, raise a good human and set him free into the world. Don’t go too fast though buddy. Okay?
Happy Birthday Ian! Thanks for making me mom material, even if I’m still figuring it out!