I will never forget the moment you were placed in my arms. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. We spent the next four days - mostly just the two of us - getting to know each other and creating a bond that lasts to this day. A lot has changed since those very early days...
...but so much has stayed the same.
From the first days and weeks, I could tell that you were a calm, thoughtful, peaceful child. That hasn't changed at all. It humbles me sometimes.
I could tell when you entered toddlerhood that you had a fun personality - and an infectious laugh. That quality remains - and I hope it never leaves you! A sense of humor will get you through many things in this life.
I could tell as I watched you care for Gavin - and now care about Hope - that you have a compassion that belies your age. I hope you never lose that...and I hope when you look back at your life, you see how much you've made a difference already.
I hope this was a birthday you'll remember!
I had fun sneaking into your room last night to decorate - and set a crepe paper curtain for you to walk through in the morning! You were really surprised when you walked out to find Daddy and me in the hallway saying Happy Birthday!
Your "Elf on the Shelf," Scout, got into the fun and wore a party hat and a cupcake outfit - it totally cracked you up.
While getting into your uniform for school you asked me if I thought you seemed different today. I mean you were six, after all. I told you I thought you seemed bigger, wiser, more mature. You felt confident that you were a faster runner - and proved it by running from the front door to the bus! Sure enough - you were right!!
I surprised you by showing up for lunch duty with birthday cake for your dessert after lunch... and plastic candy canes filled with sweet tarts for each of your classmates.
Granny came over for your birthday dinner!! We let you pick your own birthday dinner and you requested a toasted bagel. Coming right up! It is your birthday, after all. You only celebrate turning six and becoming a faster runner overnight once, right?!?
We all had a good laugh when your candle just wouldn't blow out!! I'm sure that's good luck or something. Although it might have been bad luck for the rest of us who had to eat a cake with...ummm...extra toppings. Ha!
You loved having Granny here to celebrate your big day - and she really spoiled you with a bag filled with fun gifts! My personal favorite? Superman pajamas!! Very fitting.
Hope gave you a timely book...
...and scored BIG points when she surprised you with a hot wheels race track!
Sister of the Year.
Daddy and I gave you a house! Well, a cardboard house. Actually, a pretty cheap cardboard house that's probably too small for your age - but you were PSYCHED!
You love anything to do with art - coloring, drawing, painting - so this "blank canvas" house instantly sparked your imagination! I could see it in your eyes. And when I told you it would be perfect to attach to any forts that you make every day around the house... your smile lit up the room!
You and Hope instantly got to work.
But the big present was really big! A real house...
A BOUNCE HOUSE!!!
I couldn't get a reaction shot because it's still in the box. When I bought it I thought it would fit in our house. I really did! Turns out my measuring skills were worse than we thought. That's the bad news. The good news is, it will fit in our yard! So on the first clear, dry, not too cold day - we're going to set this puppy up and bounce our cares away!!
It really was a fun day.
Brian, you make me proud every day. I love the person you're becoming and I'm so grateful to be your Mom.
Going to bed, I was thrilled to tell you that we reached "step three" in our fundraiser! That $1,000 will be sent to help build the all abilities playground at "Gavin's hospital."
It's so important to us that you grow up knowing that no matter how much money you have, you have the power to create change. My Dad - your Pop - taught me the importance of helping others. That, in doing so, you end up helping yourself as a bonus!! I want you to always keep that selfless, thoughtful part of your personality, Brian. I know, without a doubt, that you will change the world.
We love you so much!
Happy 6th Birthday, Monkey-doo!
Look at how you've changed...