Dear Michael,

I’ve been having flashbacks to my labor with you, which isn’t fun. Labor was never my jam, and yours was quite fraught.

It also doesn’t seem quite fair to you, my little boy, my last baby. You are truly the sweetest child. You hug everyone, you spontaneously kiss me, you are thoughtful, and empathetic, and funny.

You do not understand the cruelty of the world, and that worries me a little bit. I don’t want to see you get ground down by how mean people can be. At the same time, I am reluctant to tell you to toughen up, advise you to protect yourself.

Because, frankly, I’d rather you be empathetic and try to help than be tough and look out for yourself. Maybe I’m being selfish.

In any case today is your birthday, and I can’t believe it’s been eight years since you were a wee peanut. At six pounds, ten ounces, you were actually my biggest baby. I loved the time I got with you as an infant.

Now, we have things just for us, mostly reading books together. You enjoy reading the Dogman books to me; I enjoy reading A Series of Unfortunate Events to you; and we especially love reading Elephant and Piggie books together, out loud, emoting our hearts out.

We also enjoy the farmers market when it’s open. Your sisters would rather spend Saturday mornings being lazy, but you get up early (7:30), and say bye to your dad as he goes off to work. Then we head to the farmers market around 9 or 10, where it’s coffee, pastry, and veggie shopping for me, and popcorn, lemonade, and honey sticks for you. And you always pick honey sticks for your sisters, too. 

You are mostly a pleasant and cooperative child. You work hard in school. You hate getting yelled at (it happens). You like riding bikes, going on walks, Marvel movies, playing video games, and family movie night. You are looking forward to basketball season and guitar lessons.

I am hard pressed to think of something you don’t like. Homework, I guess, and waiting. Just like every other child in the world.

Today, we are heading to the Children’s Museum, and then having some family and friends over. I asked if you wanted to have a classroom party, but you chose a small gathering instead, naming your four local boy cousins and our friends you wanted there by name.

You seem to be on a good path. I hope your dad and I can help you stay on it. Your sisters help too (maybe a little too much; Kate tends to be a mother hen).

Stay open, my sweet son. Keep your eyes facing forward, and let your light shine.

I love you.


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