Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On Elijah's 6th birthday


Dear Elijah,

It has been wonderful to witness your growth, curiosity and love this past year. I can’t believe you are six years old already. I remember when you were a baby, so happy and carefree.

Now, you’ve become a thoughtful, considerate, intelligent little person. You’ve gone from being frustrated by reading to loving it so much that you can’t get enough of words. You read anything you see. It’s fun to watch you ask questions and think about what is before you. It’s fun to watch you want more books or to take over reading when I’m reading to you. It’s a pure delight that you like all types of books. And it’s been one thing that I rarely say no to: if you want a new book, I’m so thrilled that you want it, that I have to buy it for you. I hope this love of books and stories just continues to grow and fill you up.

You’ve been very curious about the goings on in the world. Just last week, you came to me and said, “mama, how can the United States defeat Afghanistan, when the United States is so far away from Afghanistan? Look at my globe, see here is Afghanistan and here is the U.S. all the way over here. How can that be, mama?” You’re a thinking child. I know you will be an excellent critical thinker as you grow older. I’m curious to see what you will use your thinking skills and memory for. I just hope that we can continue to help nourish your strengths and excitement.

You’ve asked to watch the news on several occasions to see what Obama has to say. And when I was taking a picture of a sign advertising a fight party by way of a smiling Barack Obama picture, you asked “why are you taking a picture of that. “ I replied, “I don’t know why his picture is on this fight sign; what do you think about this?” You quickly responded, “maybe because he’s fighting for health care.” Just like most of your smart retorts, I shared this one too. Everyone loves hearing my Elijah stories and they too marvel at your intelligence.

The last amazing thing I’ve witnessed this year is your love for your baby brother. You insisted from the moment we told you we were going to have a baby that the baby was a girl. However, when you walked into the hospital room on February 13th, you eagerly asked, “what is it?” I said it’s a boy and you sulked, averted your eyes and walked away so disappointed. I was disappointed for you. Your daddy was able to give you a pep talk about the joys of having a brother and how you’d be like your cousin Stephen and very quickly you were over it. As soon as you held your brother your eyes lit up and you had this amazing smile on your face. We were all snapping away trying to preserve that moment through a perfect shot.

Ten months later, your face still lights up and now Ezra knows his big brother and his face lights up too, at the sound of your voice, when he hears running and especially when he sees you smile. This has been the greatest joy: seeing you two together. Once when your father and I were just glowing over Ezra’s smile, you chimed right in, “seeing him smile/laugh, makes me smile.” My heart was so full in that moment. Another moment was this summer when Ezra was in his bouncy chair and I was getting ready, you came running to me, “Mommy, when I say on Ezra, he just smiled.” I was able to find a laugh and tell you that maybe it wasn’t a good idea to sit on your brother. You have loved to hug him, kiss him, pick him up and make him laugh. I know as you both grow, your relationship won’t always be this easy. But I hope you two become the best friends and always remain loving to each other. I hope you continue to forgive and forget as easily as you do now. I’m excited to see how you continue to show love to Ezra and how your relationship will evolve.

Finally, I’ve loved when you want me to pray with you before bed. I’ll pray about something that is going on, safe travels for family or helping Elijah to be obedient, to sleep well, to be happy or sheer gratefulness at what we have. I pray in my heart, and sometimes aloud with you, that you will always be happy and loving. I pray that you will be a good man who loves, worships, and serves God. I simply want the best for you now and always. I love you when you eat your peas and when you don’t. You are my sweet, wonderful, smart, amazing child.

On your sixth birthday.



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