Tuesday, March 29, 2022

A Letter to August on his 6th Birthday

Dear August,

Happy birthday, sweetheart. I have such a soft spot for you, my baby boy. You’re my sensitive, empathetic, more reserved little emote and you feel all things BIG. You’re made to be a middle child, it’s true, but that doesn’t always mean it’s fair when your brother and sister demand all the things until you finally get some time yourself, which you lap up and cherish. Quality time is absolutely, 100%, your love language and there’s nothing I love more than when I get to spend some of it with you.

You started kindergarten this year, such a milestone. I was in no way ready and I held my breath that you would be after a few weird years hunkered down at home during the pandemic. You started the year off shy and reserved, slowly, carefully, peeling back your layers. We went 180 on that one, though, and now when I pick you up, I get updates on which voice you performed for the class all day or which character you played. You typically run out to hug me with a British/cowboy/robot accent, which I’ll take as a good sign (I think). You're every teacher's favorite now, and they always pull me aside to secretly tell me so. So far, you’re cruising right through academically, and even got put into an advanced reading group this period. I was so proud of you, but you were even prouder. Those moments of self-love don’t come super frequently for you because you’re always comparing, striving, and looking to your older brother, wanting to be at the same level as him on everything. The unfair burden of a younger sibling to bear.

I really wanted to find an activity just for YOU this year and enrolled you in an art class on Monday evenings. You’re already so creative and imaginative and love to doodle and draw, so I thought this might just be the perfect fit. I’ll never forget your face that first day, coming home with a Mario painted canvas, running around the house chanting, “I love art! I love art!”. You’ve had 5 months worth of classes now, bringing home your masterpieces week after week. Your confidence has soared being the best at something in our house—an area that Oskar doesn’t hold a candle to. I hope your love of painting continues forever.

I also set a goal for you to learn how to ride your bike before turning 6 and getting you to be brave enough to try was a battle we fought for months and months. We worked on this together for SO LONG, until one winter day you took off across the cul de sac on your own. I feel like this will be a core memory for both of us. Something we did, and overcame, together. I’ll never forget it.

You’re starting soccer again, something you’re happy enough to tag along to. I’m curious if this will become a passion of yours. For now, it’s so fun for Maren and me to cheer for you on the sidelines. She’s your biggest fan.

Speaking of Maren, the bond you two have made this year is just absolute magic and watching her take you by the hand to play is something I wasn’t sure would happen with a 4-year age gap. She is absolutely in love with “her August”, and wants you to play on the trampoline, to snuggle up with her on the couch, or to read with her in your bed. You’re the first person she asks for and sees when picked up from school. As much as you do play alongside of and try to appease a 2-year-old, most of your time is spent with your big brother, playing Nintendo, wrestling on forts you built downstairs, or playing outside. Big kid stuff. You spend plenty of time on your own, too, and are so imaginatively invested in your LEGOs and the worlds you make up. I can often find you with a chair scooted up to a buffet in the dining room, where you’ve sprawled out your favorite sets and make up dialogues between the good guys and bad guys.

You’re a lover and a pacifist and are rarely the one to get in trouble in this house. You slip away to your room any time you’re upset until you’re ready to reappear and have even starting journaling your feelings—a cue even adults could take from you. You lost both upper and lower teeth within weeks of each other, and now have the biggest, toothless smile that is just so perfect for a newly turned 6 year old.

You love so big and so hard, and those closest to you are the most important in the entire world. You make a few close friends and hang on tight and invest all of your energy into them. They love you so much in return, and I’m certain these friendships will be ones that last a lifetime.

You are SO excited to be turning 6 and have been counting down the days for weeks now. Your birthday might just be your very favorite day of the year, and I’m happy, but sad, to see you turning one year older. The eternal struggle that is motherhood. I can’t wait to surround you with all of the Mario, Luigi, and Star Wars a 6-year-old could dream. There’s no one that deserves it more.

I love you infinitely, my forever baby boy. I’ll never forget the day you were born and looking into that beautiful face of yours for the very first time. What a joy it has been to watch you grow for 6 whole years.




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