Aiden, Aiden, Aiden.
I can’t believe that my birthday boy is turning eight years old.
You, our Jedi-Ninja-Warrior-in-training, have had quite an interesting year!
In April, you fell out of a tree at your dad’s house – and fractured your back! As Daddy Joe and I rushed to meet you and your brothers at the emergency room that Saturday morning, icy cold fear clenched my entire being.
When you have a baby, it’s as if your heart no longer resides deep inside you. It forever exists outside of your body – so vulnerable and so fragile. All that I have ever wanted is to protect you from the hurt in this world. Every mother’s worst fear is for pain to come to her child. You and your brothers are my heart. One day, if you have children of your own, I know that you will understand.
I couldn’t do anything but send up silent prayers, wishing that I could somehow take your pain onto myself. I would have given anything for it to have been me who was hurting – and not you. I wiped away your giant tears, I held you in my arms, and we waited. Thinking about how close your injury came to being so much worse…it still makes me tremble with fear.
Thankfully, your little body healed beautifully with weeks of rest – and now you are stronger than ever! Climbing our walls, leaping from the heights, and zooming around on your bicycle. Your only question for our doctor at the last checkup – “Can I climb trees again?”
Boys. I love you more than life itself, but I’ll never quite understand your boundless energy.
You tell me how much you hate your “stupid old seizures.” Fighting back your tears as you open up your little heart to me, “It’s just not fair!” Honey, I know it isn’t fair. And I would give anything to change it. I am so sorry that you have had to go through this during your little life, but you are so strong. And so brave. Let’s keep taking your yucky medicine – and someday those seizures will be gone for good!
I know that you are so excited to drink your first sip of Dr. Pepper as soon as your doctor says that you can have caffeine. Even though it’s hard, you have been such a patient boy. I promise, as soon as your brain doctor says the word, I’ll happily see that you get your much-deserved treat!
I knew… I knew before you were born that you were your own little person – swimming against the flow, marching to a completely different percussion section. The name Aiden means “Fiery One,” and I am so happy that you, my strong-willed middle child, did not disappoint! I wasn’t sure that either of us were going to make it through your toddler years, but we did it! And now I can see how your fiery and independent spirit is actually a blessing, a gift, and one of the things that I love most about you. Every single day has been an adventure with you in my life!
You are such an old soul. If I believed in reincarnation, I would be convinced that you were a goofy and opinionated 80 year old man. Your commentary on life never ceases to entertain me – and I can’t wait to hear the next Aiden-ism to come out of your mouth.
You challenge me and have made me grow. You have made me a better mom and a better person – and I cannot imagine life without my wonderful Aiden.
Your smile makes me melt. Your laugh makes my heart sing. Your kind and generous spirit touches so many different lives around you.
No matter where you go, or what you do in your life, please hold my words close to your heart ~
I will always love you to infinity and beyond…
I am so very proud of the young man that you are becoming…
And I am the luckiest mom in the whole world – to call you my son, and for you to call me your mommy, has been greater than any gift that I could have ever imagined.
I can’t wait to see what this year holds for you! Happy Birthday, my big dude!
*Photos 1, 5, and 6 are courtesy of Joanne Funk.
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