to sullivan on his 8th birthday

oh my little valentine,

Today you are 8 years old. What a sweet little mystery you are to me. You are usually very quiet and engaged in something you love (drawing intricate dragons, finding bugs or fish or reading usually). We’ve had your hearing tested several times because you simply do not hear anyone when you are engrossed like that.

This summer Daddy and I took you on a special solo trip to visit Aunt Jaja and Uncle Daniel in Colorado. You came out of your shell so much and talked almost completely non stop. We went to the most amazing zoo where you had your fill of animals but your favorite part of the trip was their hot tub. Every night you would jump in by yourself and just chill.

Sullivan, this past year has been SO HARD. Barclay has needed almost all of my attention and you my precious one, have gotten the scraps of me. You never complain but I see you sinking deeper into yourself, retreating from all the hurt and I just want to dive in and save you. I only have so much though. I am praying and dedicating this year to learning more about you and pouring myself into loving you. I want to draw you out and let you grow.

Because you don’t get all of me during our chaotic days, you slip into my bed in the wee morning hours and curl your body around mine. We go in and out of trying to get you to stay in your bed but deep down I know you’re just quietly filling your love bucket in the ways you can.

Your gentleness is one of my favorite parts of you, Sullivan. I love when we get a break from Barclay and it’s just you and Lucy. You talk a sing song baby talk to her and are always protecting her and teaching her.

You still love animals and exploring. When we went to the PNW you were always wet , head down in a tide pool. You can find the tiniest creature out of what looks like nothingness.

You have my mental energy…you frequently “just cannot do things” (hills being one of the things we “cannot” do), you don’t like mornings and you barely can talk when you haven’t had food recently.

You are so kind at school and have lots of friends. You wanted to get this special award at school and you worked hard and got it. You came alive with recognition even though I just assumed that it wouldn’t mean much. That’s what I’m talking about. I need to know you more deeply. I want to know you more deeply.

Sullivan, thanks for binding up wounds, whispering your love to me when I can’t lift my head and making me laugh. You are complete love in human form and I am always, always, always in awe that you are mine.

mama