Today, you turned six years old. You woke up to our birthday tradition of streamers hanging from your bedroom doorway and dinosaur presents on the kitchen table. Because, yes, you are still obsessed with dinosaurs. We just had yet another dinosaur-themed birthday party for you last weekend, which makes it the fourth one in a row. Although, to be fair, you added a twist this year: Dinosaurs and dragons. Maybe you’re branching out a bit?
It’s been a big year of change, kiddo. You said goodbye to your foster brother, you got a new puppy who needs a lot of attention, and you started full-day kindergarten. Through it all, you have displayed a grace and strength that fills me with awe and pride. As your mom, it should be my job to teach you about the world, but most days, I feel like I’m the one learning from you. You are a classic old soul with a giant heart and the wisdom to match it.
You are so full of life. You are both hilarious and intense. You are brave but you know your limits. You love to learn new things but you want to be an instant expert. You are more forgiving of others than you are of yourself. You are the electricity that lights up our home, our lives.
As you continue to grow, I want you to know this: It’s ok to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them. It’s ok to fall, as long as you pick yourself back up. It’s ok to be exactly who you are, as long as you accept in others the same.
It’s easy as a parent to be nostalgic over the stages our kids leave behind. It’s easy to miss the days when I could cradle you in my arms and rock you to sleep. It’s easy to miss the toddler who would raise his chubby arms in the air and ask, “I hold you?”
But I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I love each new stage more than the one before it. I love watching you grow and learn. I would never want to go back in time because it doesn’t get any better than right now. It doesn’t get any better than knowing tomorrow will bring me even more joy and leave me more in awe than the day before.
You make me laugh every day. You make me proud every day.
I am forever grateful that I get to be your mom.
Happy birthday, Ry. I love you.
Previous birthday letters to Ryan: