I think about that May day you were born. I went to a reflexology appointment and within hours had to head to the hospital. You came quick, but what you’ve taught me is to slow down. With each year, as you grow in height and smarts, I grow a little less accustomed to moving fast and obsessing over getting everything right. I wish I would have had this down the day you were born. The day, fourteen years ago, when your sister was born. But it wasn’t so. What is so is that as you grow each day, so do I. I grow to love you more. I care less about getting it right and more about loving you and our family right. You’ve taught me so much about love. About stopping to hug. About stopping to kiss. About stopping to say “I’m sorry,” and quickly forgetting all about it. I’ve tried to teach, these past two years, you about being the Beloved and it is you who have taught me. When I ask you each night, “Who are you?” and you say back, “Beloved!” Your eyes so blue and full of unconditional love locked on my heavy browns are like a little reflective pool of the unconditional love of the Father who each day, calls me Beloved, too.
You are sunshine. You are laughter. You are cool. Like, one cool kid for real. You are extremely expressive and your face always tells a story that I want to read and capture and keep in my heart for always. You are kind and friendly and funny. You are so funny, Rocco.
I’m sure each year your birthday post may sound somewhat redundant: “How is that you are six?” “Can you please stay five?” These questions will follow around the youngest and the oldest forever and always, I’m sure. I still get that even as a grown girl–a grown girl who is the oldest. I don’t like to think of you as “no longer being five” or as “the last six-year-old” I will have. Rather, I like to think of it as a year to experience “six” with eyes wide open, fully aware of the magic and the possibility that I sometimes skipped past, just juggled, or barrelled through with your brothers and sister. I won’t be perfect. I won’t notice everything. But I will do my darndest to be present. To look into your bright blue eyes, the right one that squints ever so slightly more than the left when you smile with your entire perfect little mouth.
Six is going to be a great year. I feel it. We are going to make lots of memories and laugh more than we ever have, dear boy.
+You still, every so often, mix up your pronouns and I’m still very ok with that. “No my don’t!”
+For breakfast you like to mix two kinds of cereal. Say, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Frosted Mini Wheats. Whatever suits your fancy.
+You still are very decisive about fashion. No fat jeans (meaning you will not wear any jeans unless they are skinny jeans). You also only ever want to wear jeans–even to the trampoline park or when it’s 90 degrees out.
+Your favorite food is pizza.
+You have are enthusiastic about collecting Pokémon cards.
+At dinner you have changed up “Best Part, Worst Part” for let’s go around and say something nice about each other.
+You like the cat better than the dog. You ask me almost every day if I like the cat or the dog better. And then say, “I love Theo the most because he is so soft.”
+When you eat dinner, you sit halfway off your chair–one leg standing on the ground.
+You are still a little artist who loves to color. Each week after church you make us pick Liam up from his class first so you can get a coloring sheet from his class to take home.
+”Do not be misled…Boom Boom Boom. Do not be misled. Bad company corrupts good character.” You love memorizing scripture.
+You loved swimming in the ocean for the first time, this year. I can’t wait to see you swim in the sea again.
+You love the minions and they kind of remind me of you.
+You have learned to read without a hitch.
Every morning when I drop you off at school, you say, “One more kiss mom. One more kiss.” Always, Rocco. Always.