Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dear Donovan,

This year you've really grown into the boy I've always wanted. Can I tell you a secret? I think your jokes are funny. I think your mischievous personality, sprinkled with the borderline crude, is magical. Sometimes I really am tired of your toots and obnoxious comments. But the majority of the time when I am shaking my head, it isn't from disgust or annoyance, but from wondering how I got to be so lucky.

You are SO different from your sister. And maybe you knew you'd have to be. It's not just that you are a boy, but that everything set before you is something to be accomplished. You play, sleep, work, help and love harder than it seems like your body could possibly allow. You have this curious habit of moaning about not wanting to clean up your room, but actually cleaning it at the same time, refusing any and all help. You'll collapse from exhaustion when we play soccer and announce, "I'm too tired, I can't play any more," only to jump up, seconds later, and sprint across the field (in attempt) to beat me to the ball. You'll yell that I'm the worst mom in the world and you don't want to go to your room while walking up the stairs to your room, only to return within minutes to wrap your arms around me and tell me you love me.

You are quick to offer, "What can I do to help you?" and to thank me when I put dinner in front of you. When we do the simplest of things, like read books snuggled in my bed, or watch a movie together, or run around the track, you are quick to lavish me with love and praise at being the best mom in the whole world.

You have become a good little soccer player and my heart cheers when you score, but leaps when you search the sidelines to see me jumping up and down and your self-conscious smile tells me you're loving it. You are mesmerized by all things dinosaur and knights. You ARE a knight. You protect your sisters (when you aren't terrorizing them) and call me miwaydee while sweeping an elegant bow. You think everyone is here to be your friend and you don't disappoint. Most recently, I have appreciated your exuberant display of Christmas wishes as you belt out "We wish you a Merry Christmas" to anyone we pass.

After lunch, you see the clock says one and you run upstairs, into your room, and stay there playing (mostly) quietly for the next two hours of "quiet time." By three, your room is a total disaster, but I don't care. Can I tell you that I love to listen outside your door for a moment or two as I hear you narrating the battlefield inside? I love hearing your imagination. And then there are days that I'll notice there isn't a line of light coming from beneath your door and I know that you've decided you're tired, closed your blinds, climbed onto your bed, pulled up a blanket, and gone to sleep. Some days, you KNOW you're tired before you even head upstairs, and you'll coyly suggest, "I'll take a nap if you rub my back." It only takes a couple minutes, and I love watching your face slowly relax into semi-unconsciousness.

It's in those moments that I look at how your cheek doesn't have quite the curve it once did, though it is still the softest most kissable cheek I've ever met. I see how much space you take up on your bed. And I look around your room, the cars and knights and dinosaurs evidence of how you've moved past the Little People and soft toys of toddlerhood. I get nostalgic, thinking of how much joy you've brought into my life and how each day is an adventure. I even start to get a little teary when, inevitably, as you fully relax, evidence of your stinky boyishness is released and I have to get up and leave the room for some fresh air.

You are a cheerful wonderful helpful inquisitive affectionate stinky boy and I love you more than you know.