it's official, you're our bonafide big kid.
As every single year that your birthday rolls around, it's astonishing to us that we've made it all the way around a year again. Your birthday is particularly striking for us as your parents because - not only does it mean we get to celebrate all that is YOU, but also all that we have become as parents, as we didn't exist as parents until your original birthday.
It too is a moment for us to check our bearings and brace our feet, as each year on your birthday, we're becoming parents of a new, older age child for the first time ever. It can be overwhelming stuff, little man, especially for your momma. And thank goodness for your Dad, who recognizes how monumental it is for me and senses when I'm on the brink of tears and offers up a hug and an encouraging, "you're doing awesome, hang in there."
The truest thing is, Grey, you make us so proud.
You make us a crazy too, you know that, but mostly you make us so, so proud.
You are a good boy, a solid decent human being that people of all ages don't mind to be around...which is actually a huge compliment and feat in today's world. You're polite and generous and thoughtful and every bit of all of the good in Dad and Me. I know how much pressure you have on you as our first born (I think it's just the way with first borns, I feel ya, dude) but you deliver nearly every time and we are so very grateful to you for that. We know your younger siblings are watching you and they could not have a better role model than their big brother, Booboo. (thank you a million times, our sweet, silly Greyson Rudy).
I know I can trust you and that brings so much peace to my soul. You are honest with a knee-jerk reaction in kindness. Granted, you tease your sister Gemma more accurately than anyone on this whole earth will ever be able to do, but even she announces during the school day, "I miss Grey," so your torments to her are still palpable with the love you two share. Violet adores you and the two of you and your silly antics deserve their own comedy show. And Rusty is the luckiest little brother anywhere - the way he makes your eyes and smile light up is enough to crack my heart. He will learn so much from you and what a gift that is for me, to know my babiest son will hopefully grow up to be like my oldest son.
You are funny and goofy and still run on turbo speed all day, everyday. You love sports - your hand-eye coordination comes straight from your Dad's DNA and it's incredible to watch you play anything. You have a very long life ahead of you at fields and courts, that much is obvious - so we are doing everything we can to make sure you learn about being humble and being a leader and an encouraging force for your friends and teammates.
We also want to make sure you know that being a great athlete is not the best or most important thing about you - it isn't my darling - it is awesome and something to be proud of, but it is not the only thing about you - it's just one little cool piece of a million other incredible traits!
Don't you worry, I'm learning all about the way boys pull away from their mums, a lesson I always knew was coming, but this year it's showing itself in bigger ways than ever before. I know it's about growing up and it has nothing to do with me actually, and so I'm trying very hard to be patient and gracious for the practice now in small doses.
You spent the night before your birthday sleeping over at fishing camp with your Dad, uncles, and cousin and I knew how much that would make your greatest birthday to date - to wake up at fishing camp and spend your first day as a seven year old reeling in fish and playing in the dirt. That makes me happy too, to see you so joyful - but I was aware deep in my bone marrow that you would wake up an older boy and I would not be there to see it.
Of course, it wasn't my absence that made your day great - because I imagine, as all children are certain - your own mother is never actually absent because her love clings to your skin and follows you around wherever you are - it only hurts the mother to be away from her children. And so, my sweet first born, thank you again for these little practices in learning how to be a mom to older kids that are confident in my love enough to leap off our little branch and fly on their own. I am definitely going to need lots of tiny practices, so please move slowly, my baby.
You are seven, and many times that seems too young for you in the way you act, speak, and care. I often times need to remind Dad and I that you are ONLY seven. You are a big kid - our biggest - but you are still only a boy. We want so much to do right by you, Grey, because you are so deserving of every good, fun, silly thing on this Earth.
Thank you, Grey, for being exactly you.
We are so very lucky to be your family.
I love you forever
even when you are so big, even bigger than me!
my sweet booboo.