You're eight!!!! Can you believe it? Sure you can! You've been talking about it for months, but as much as you reminded me I always feel surprised when your birthday rolls around.
How in the world can you be eight?
It feels like I just recovered from you having colic your first six months, and now you're eight.
This year has been such a big year for you. You've grown so much physically and mentally. You just seem to be becoming a young man.
One of my favorite conversations we had this year was about tattoos. You love tattoos. Soon after you turned seven, you got an airbrush tattoo, and refused to wash your arm. I'm not kidding. For a week, you stuck your arm out of the shower curtain every time you took a shower. You were committed to this tattoo!
One day, you had about five temporary tattoos on, and you started talking about getting a real tattoo when you were older.
Now, I know you well enough to know that if I say, "NO YOU WON'T!" that later, you absolutely will, and besides I don't really mind tattoos. I might even get my own in a few years (shh don't tell Poppy). I did say tell you that a tattoo is permanent. You want to wait until you are older and know you want something on you for forever.
You thought for a second, "I love Star Wars."
I replied, "Yes, but you used to love hunting and tractors and what if you had gotten a tattoo of that?"
You didn't argue, but thought for a second and asked, "Does a tattoo hurt?"
I answered, "Remember when you got your flu shot? Well, every dot of color in a tattoo is like getting a shot."
After hearing that, you said in a very grow up voice, "Well, I need to strike that from my life list."
I couldn't help but laugh and then asked you what else was on your life list. I think you mentioned getting married to your "girlfriend" first. That was just one of many funny conversations we had. From the time you were a toddler, talking to you has felt like talking to a very small old man. You are just so sensible and quick witted.
We've also had many fun moments together this year. Out of all the moments from your seventh year, my favorite moment happened when we were visiting Mimi and Poppy in Georgia. While we were down there, you learned to ride a bike! Soon after learning, you and I would ride around the subdivision together.
Riding bicycles with you was a full circle moment for me. Many of my happiest childhood memories were on a bike riding through that subdivision. To ride those same roads and to make brand new memories there with you was a really big, meaningful moment for me.
One day, we were riding bikes with your cousins from Alabama. Being your mom, I could tell you were frustrated that they were faster than you, but c'mon! You had only been riding bikes for a week! Give yourself some slack!
Anyway, I could tell you were frustrated, but you decided to play it off. As you peddled to the back of the pack to me, you told your cousins, "Y'all go ahead. I'm just going to hang back here. I just want to spend some time with my Mom." Seriously!?! Bulling your way out of something is one of your gifts. You are so good at bulling, I wouldn't be surprised if you become a salesman, a politician....or a conman. .
Even though I knew "hanging with my Mom" was just your cover, I didn't mind, and enjoyed the time with you. As your cousins rode ahead, you and I peddled and talked. Somewhere in that conversation, you turned to me and said, "I'm really glad I have a mom like you."
You didn't say,
"I'm glad I have a mom that can cook all sorts of baked goodies,"
"I'm glad I have a mom that irons my clothes perfectly,"
or "I'm glad I have a mom that keeps an immaculate house."
You just said, "I'm glad I have a mom like you."
Brandon you just do not know how much your words meant to me. That was simply the best compliment you could have ever given me.
You see, earlier in the year, I decided to stop trying to be super mom.
At the start of the year, I decided to stop feeling bad about the things I wasn't and to celebrate who I was. I decided to believe that God gave me just the right strengths that you needed in a Mom, and to focus on those strengths.
Your words that day were validation for me that I was on the right track.
In the moment, I told you thank you and something kind back. In the moment, I didn't want to embarrass you by crying my eyes out, but I felt like it (and I did later).
B-man, I'm really glad I have a son like you.
A son who gets obsessed with tractors, hunting, and now Star Wars
A son who loves tattoos
A son who has a stubborn streak and a strong will
A son who has seemingly infinite energy
A son who has a huge heart that sees peoples needs
B, thank you for your words that bike ride. I will remember them forever.
I love you so much. Thank you for being crazy awesome you, and thank you for letting me come along for the ride.
I'm really glad I have a son like you,