Six. (Or, Happy Birthday, Kai!)

“But now I am Six, I’m as clever as clever. So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever…”
― A.A. Milne, Now We Are Six

January 18, 2014

Dear Kai,
Six years ago today, you were being born. I was not there to see it. I do not have a wonderful birth story to share, no memories of bringing you home, no “you were such a cute baby” – other than a few baby photos I’ve seen, I never did see you as an infant.

But I did see you when you were three. My first memory of you is of you telling me not to get the carpet dirty. You always were way older than your years. Perhaps now more than ever.

I don’t know if five-to-six is so dramatic a change in everyone. You had some really hard things happen this year, so I don’t imagine it to be so.

This is the year you lost your first tooth, that you deepened your reading skills, that you made more friends, that we really started “focusing” on homeschooling, that you learned to read to yourself silently, that you started reading chapter books all on your own. This is the year you first got allowance and spent it – sometimes capriciously, sometimes saving for weeks for things you wanted. This is the year you stopped sucking your fingers. This is the year that you moved out of your toddler bed. There have been no nighttime accidents in a few months.

This is also the year that Mama died, that changes were made, that life looked very different. Once again. There’s been some stumbling, but you get back up and keep on going.

The other day, we went to the indoor gymnastics playground, you and I. When you turn six, you age out. So we went one last time. On our way out, you told the staff that it was sad that you couldn’t come back, but that you’d have fun getting to do other stuff you can’t yet do.

There are things I’m feeling wistful about. My little boy is getting older, growing up, outgrowing things. But I’m so looking forward to the fun things ahead in our lives. And I’m so lucky to be a part of your family.

I love you so much, Kai. Thank you. Thank you for being a part of my life, for being my son, for sharing Daddy with me.
Happy birthday, Kai. I hope you have many many more happy ones.

And may the odds be ever in your favor.
Family picture January 2014

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