Today Jack turned seven. It feels monumental to me even though I know seven isn't really a big deal. I mean it isn't his golden birthday or as big of a deal as becoming a teen or anything, but for me, it seemed big.

He seems big. He is halfway through first grade and I feel like we are racing so fast that middle school is just a blink away. I know it is cliche to say, but it really does feel like it was just yesterday when I had him. He was a special little guy being born early, so tiny in our arms. He was (and still is) our sweet little turkey.

As I have said in years past here and here, Jack is not an easy kid, not that I think any child is. Lately, he seems bigger and older and has had an attitude to go with that. Some days are rougher than others, today was one of those days. So I am sitting here, writing my son his birthday letter after putting him to bed angry, yelling at him for bad behavior and listening to him cry.

It was not a good way to end a birthday. It was also not a proud parenting moment. Here's to hoping seven is luckier.

Dear Jack,

I adore you. I love the sound of your endless giggles when I pretend to eat the freckles of your cheeks and I love the feel of your growing arms wrapped tight around me for a hug goodnight. I can not get enough of you reading to me or telling me stories that you have made up in your head.

You are smart. Really, when you tell me you aren't smart and you can't do your spelling words I want nothing more to remind you, over and over again, that you are smart but you are just being a little too lazy. I love seeing you work hard.

You have a whole posse of friends and you are so lucky that you have the best friend in the world in your brother. You have even been able to successfully talk Joey into being your "butler" and he does whatever you ask of him 90% of the time. This goes back to how smart you are! Nice? Maybe not so much in this case, but you are so loved by your little brother.

This year you played baseball, flag football, continued swimming (which you can do with no swim belt anymore!) and hockey. You also participated in science classes and camps and went to zoo camp at the Brookfield Zoo. You are doing awesome in school and besides homework, it has been a great experience for you. It has been a busy year and you are not showing signs of slowing down anytime soon!

With all the good that you are, there always is some bad. You are hot-headed and boy, do you have a temper on you! You struggle with compromise and not always getting what you want, when you want it. I wish you could see just how lucky you are and how fortunate you are to have all you do. I am not sure if this behavior is because you are the older child or just plain old spoiled. My guess is it is a little of both. It is hard to teach you to be better because your Dad & I love giving you things and doing things with you. Unfortunately that is hard to do sometimes because you can get wrapped up in always wanting more. I hope as you mature you realize how much you have and how very loved you are.

Some of the moments I have felt proudest of you this year was when you wrote a letter to Santa and instead of asking for gifts for yourself, you asked him to bring the boys and girls who don't usually get presents a gift. Then on Martin Luther King Jr. day when your teacher asked you what your wish was for, you said that everyone in the world was safe. This, my love, is why you are incredibly special to me. Beneath all that spoiled kid is a kind-hearted, genuine person. 

I wish you so much always, but I guess this year in particular I wish for you to continue to become confident in yourself and to not be afraid to stand up for yourselves or others, even if it isn't the cool thing to do. You are strong and brave and you can be a leader.

As for today, I am so sorry I put you to bed angry and that you were sad. It was a tough day for you and I am sorry you felt your special day was ruined. I hope tomorrow can be a better day for us both.

Happy Birthday, Turkey.

I love you to the moon and back,


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