At 11:59 AM my baby, the one and only Meatball, will be eleven years old!
I wish I had written my child letters on every birthday, starting with one while I was pregnant. I see people who do that and I think it is so beautiful, but I didn't do that with Meatball, and I feel guilty doing it for Beans now, so I really haven't. Thinking back, if I had written a letter to my Meatball then, I think it would have sounded something like this ...
I know we haven't really met formally yet, I don't even know if you are a boy or a girl. But really in the scheme of things, that is the least of our uncertainties. What I do know is that I love you more than words can say. I feel you kicking the absolute crap out of my ribs (I would so love a break from that by the way) and I feel the pain and discomfort of that, but I also feel love. Truly, because there is no one else in this world who could pummel the crud out of me without me pummeling right back.
I can tell, baby of mine, that you are a fighter. Which is awesome, as long as you aren't fighting me. We will take on the world together, you and me. I love you with all my heart and will fight for you and with you from this moment forward.
I think I didn't write a letter -- even if it had occurred to me -- because there was so much uncertainty. I was 19, single, and still in school trying to obtain my bachelors. Overwhelmed and scared to death are phrases that would have fallen wildly short of the mark in describing how I felt. But I had faith, me and this little wiggly rib-kicker, we were going to be okay. Partly because I had awesome parents who were so supportive, but also because I just knew it. We had to be.
Here I am eleven years later. So much has changed, he's a lot taller, has an incredible step-dad and little brother, and is in the fifth grade. I completed that bachelors and then some, and still have awesome parents. If I were to write a letter to my little man now, it would sound more like this:
Eleven years old! Oh my goodness, where did the time go?! I know it is a lifetime to you, but it was a blink to me. A blink that I have been so honored to watch.
You are truly an inspiration to me. Not only because you are passionate, smart and kind, but because you (and your brother, we can't totally ignore him) are the most perfect things I have ever been a part of. You are not perfect, in the traditional sense. Your feet smell, you never put your dirty clothes in the hamper, and your handwriting makes angels want to cry ... but you are perfect in so many other ways.
The way you see the world, and want to change it for the better at such a young age, well that is nothing short of amazing.
How you are constantly searching for answers and more knowledge is incredible. Your passion for learning and growth is something most adults can only envy.
Your enormous, kind heart. Leaves me speechless more times than not.
The fantastic sense of humor you have that enables you to laugh at yourself, no small feat I assure you, and find joy in every day.
It is this, and so much more that makes me love you and respect you. I always knew I'd be proud of you, right from the first time I saw you and you were all goopy and looking like a smooshed up George W. Bush. Despite the description I just gave, you were truly the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. You have grown more beautiful, more handsome, and more inspiring every day.
Thank you for the honor of being part of your journey. Thank you for being so awesome. And thank you for the retirement plan I am certain that brilliant brain of yours will be for me. Just kidding with that last bit, sort of.
I love you Bubby,
So to my little Meatball in all his stinky footed, Lego loving glory --
Happy Eleventh Birthday, baby boy!