to barclay on his seventh birthday

oh my boy,

Seven years ago you were placed into my arms and I became a mama.  You are a gift.

I will not lie, this past year has been hard, hard, hard.  I have felt like I have failed you time and again.  You came out of the womb different than any child I have ever known and it is that something inside of you that we can't quite figure out that causes a lot of heartache as we try to love and parent you.  

Even though you are incredibly complex and hard to figure out, you are such a teacher.  You teach me more about myself and about the world than I could ever learn on my own.    

You have a spark inside of you that is special.  Not an "I'm your mama so I have to say that special" but truly something unique and needed.  I just can't even begin to imagine how you will change the world.    

When you want to be, you are the most delightful thing I could ever imagine having the pleasure of being with.  You're curious and confident and darling.  The same button nose that I kissed countless times as a newborn is now covered in freckles and wrinkles in the cutest way possible.  

You love your brother Sullivan so hard.  You also beat him up and wrestle nearly every second of the day.  This relationship is much of the heartache I feel, but I catch so many glimpses of brotherhood and camaraderie, I have much hope.  

Most of the time you are such a protector of your sister.  I often find you with your arms encircled around her neck to shield her from harm.  You "taught her how to walk"- you had "training sessions" and were completely patient and loving with her.

You are such a little casinova.  I constantly find love letters to girls at your school in your notebooks, backpack and scattered around the house.  A lot of these girls are a few grades ahead of you!  The way you talk about the girls you "love" is hilarious!  You get all dreamy and talk about their flowing hair or their sparkling eyes.  

You are not the bravest or the strongest or the fastest, but you do not give up.  

I will never forget watching you by the river as you timidly stayed on the safe ground and watched your younger brother leap and bound over a log that had fallen.  I felt a pang of sadness for you and thought maybe that you must feel so jealous, but instead you cupped your hands around your mouth and yelled out, "Sullivan the fearless!"    

You made a best friend this year in Gabe.  You and Gabe make up the silliest stories that I think sometimes you think are actually true.  One of them being that you hand cut and built a log cabin on the school playground.  Gabe brought a finger chainsaw from home to make it happen.  ha!

You speak fluent spanish and read and write in it thanks to your 2 year of spanish immersion public school.  You love to learn, I am so thankful.  

You went through a period this summer and fall where you had roller skates on your feet every second that you were home.  You are serious when you love something (something I think you got from me).

You have a sense of adventure that is contagious.  You can see adventure in everything and I know people will be drawn to you because of it.  

Even though I fail you over and over, and you fail me over and over, every time I reach out my hand, you fill it with yours.  

Thank you for your patience my boy.  I pray you will grow to be an incredible man despite my weaknesses and faults.  And I pray you will always know my love is so deep, the bottom cannot be found. 

With love, 

Your Mama