Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dear Donovan,

Last night as we ate baked ziti, you pointed your fork at me and, in the voice that indicates you might be about to ask a delicate question, said, "You never finished telling me how babies come out."

You were referring to a conversation we had in the car on the way home from soccer about three months ago. You had stopped me when I mentioned the birth canal. You were stunned to find out that women had three holes (lucky!), "Wait. So...the hole isn't very big right?" I confirmed this, and you asked, "So does it hurt when a baby comes out of there?" I confirmed this emphatically, telling you it is the most pain I have ever been in. You sat in silence, looking out the window. After a couple minutes, you asked a question that made me love you more than ever, "Mommy? If it hurts so much, why do women have more than one kid?" Thank you for being so perceptive, bud. I told you the answer: It hurts something awful, but we love children so much, we endure it. "You were worth it," I finished.

I want you to always remember that: you were worth it. You ARE worth it. You have learned a lot and grown in ways I only previously imagined. This year you were baptized and started cub scouts. You're getting smarter and funnier by the day. Your imagination is both irritating (clean up your forts! stop constructing delicate towers right at the foot of the stairs!) and inspiring (so many books! your sisters can always count on a good time!).

You delight in bathroom humor and consider logic all in the same thought. I love that your thought process, at times, seems beyond your years. You are loud and social, but you also look for me in times of less self-assurance. This year you went to a birthday party at a roller rink; you've never been rollerskating before, so I wondered how you'd fare. You weren't overly confident, but you threw yourself in. Later you admitted to having butterflies of anxiety. I love that you still wanted to participate.

You started piano lessons this year, and this has been both frustrating and hilarious to watch. You are absolutely convinced a piece is impossible until it is SO EASY. Just extremes for you. Kind of like how your room will NEVER BE CLEAN and then 10 minutes later it's perfect. Too bad you wasted half an hour whining and crying about it. Just do it, already.

You tell me I'm the best mother in the world because I'm awesome at playing video games. I believe you, and not just because I am pretty good. I believe you because it's what we do together and when we laugh or yell indignantly together, I can't imagine a better place to be. I hope we will continue to play together for a very long time.

This year, your skills on the football field increased, and you became a valuable player on the team. My heart leaps higher than I do when you get a safety or score a touchdown or prevent the other team from getting a first down. I mastered the art of ringing our cowbell WHILE blowing the vuvuzela and I love that you give me opportunities to do so. Soccer is my personal favorite. You are fast and you are aggressive, and you have a giant kick that surprises the other team. I love that. I like officiating your home games, but I'd rather be on the sideline cheering for you.

You've become an avid reader this year and almost every night, I kiss you goodnight after you've torn your eyes away from whatever book you are reading. You love to be read to, but right now you're avoiding "Johnny Tremain" for reasons your dad and I don't know but find hilarious. Reading "Johnny Tremain" is, in your opinion, the worst. I hope we get to finish it this year.

On New Year's Eve, you decided to make a snowball. You and Gemma worked on it in the backyard for a couple hours. I thought you had gone into the front yard to play, but when you asked me to help you push your snowball to the backyard, I discovered you had taken your snowball in search of more, well, snow. I love your determination and creativity. I also love that you made it so big it was too heavy to push any farther. It was so heavy, and required so much work, that your quadriceps and abdominals were sore for the next couple days. I love that you throw your whole self into whatever you're doing. It makes for some dramatic moments, but it also makes for some really awesome ones. That snowball was my probably my favorite thing you did for all of 2013.

I get a little sad that your cheeks aren't quite as soft and squishy as they once were. I get a little sad to see how much of your bed your body takes up. But I get really, indescribably, peacefully happy when you put your arms around my waist and say, "Sometimes I wish I could stay here forever."

You're a good kid. I love you more than you'll ever know. Please always remember that you were worth it.



loewymartin said...

Ok, I need to remember that I may cry while reading your posts. Off to fix my makeup.