08 January 2009

happy birthday to james!

Dear James,

You're seven years old today. Seven years old! It hardly seems possible. But it's true; you're growing up. Things are changing in your world. You're slowly growing away from being a little boy, and starting to make your way to adolescence.

7 mini Dutch babies for a 7-year-old boy

Physically, you continue to grow up and up and up. Just last week we sent you to get ready for bed and you returned, totally oblivious, wearing your little brother's pajamas. Sure, they were short in the arms and legs, but they still fit you, you insisted. It wasn't until I really looked at the photo above, taken this morning, that I realized your face is growing up too. I think it's because your grandmother just trimmed your hair to allow us to see your face properly for the first time in months. Now, looking at that photo, I can see that all traces of chubby babyfat cheeks are gone. I don't know how this is possible when you're already out-eating me much of the time now.

You still look exactly like your dad, and you behave like him more and more as you grow older. You like to tease, tell jokes, play pranks. You are agreeable and cooperative. Anger and moodiness can often be cleared away in a matter of minutes. You're as curious and inquisitive as ever, always wanting to know how and why. Thank goodness your dad is a scientist with endless patience. He's been teaching you multiplication as well as some scientific principles that I would have expected to be too advanced for a first-grader, but you've proven me wrong.

Old age hasn't yet diminished your cheerfulness or optimism. When we were stuck in airports for so many hours over the holidays, you were the optimist. You were sure, every time, that we'd be on the next flight, that any minute now we'd be boarding an airplane. You played games with your brother, you befriended other kids waiting in the airport, you made your own fun and continued to enjoy yourself and boost our spirits when your dad and I threatened to get too disgruntled. You were tired, but you kept going, so excited about going to see Grandma and Papa for Christmas. When we left the airport after that first day of unsuccessful travel attempts, you were so surprised and disappointed that it hadn't happened. It was heartbreaking.

I feel like we don't see you much anymore these days -- you're at school all day long, and when you get home, most days you play outside until sunset. We get to see you for dinner and bedtime, with a little play in between, sometimes a bath, some homework,some chores, some reading. Your days are full and busy, but you don't seem to miss us much. I don't notice it most of the time either, how little time we're really spending together, until weekends or vacations when I get to spend entire days in your company and I'm reminded of how much fun it is to play games, to cook, to read, to snuggle with you.

I love you, darling boy, my sweet baby James. Happy, happy birthday.


Jessica said...

I always love your birthday tributes. It doesn't surprise me that James was the airport optimist, befriending other kids, he is so happy-go-lucky. He definitely looks older than the toddler I knew! Happy birthday James!

Yum, the Dutch babies look scrumptious!

John S said...

I already miss him. And the rest of you guys. Happy Birthday James!!

melissa said...

Aren't you just the sweetest? You and James are lucky to have each other.

By the way, you have great taste in books also. You should be recommending some to me.