"Your son is the sweetest thing. No really. He is just the sweetest." A Mother at your birthday party on Saturday had pulled me aside to tell me this. I looked back questioningly, smiling.
"I know your invitations said just food bank donations but I told my daughter to ask him if there really was anything he wanted for his birthday...and do know what he said? He told her, 'No I don't need anything. I already have enough.' I mean - what 5 year old kid says that?"
I laughed but my heart was beaming with Mother Pride. What kid says that? I guess you do. Was I all that surprised by your response? Yes I was, if I'm going to be completely honest. Being that the no gifts idea was most definitely not yours. You had your moments not entirely embracing it. I'm not sure you ever fully loved or even liked the idea. But you understood it because had I made sure to discuss it with you on several occasions. A traumatic 6th birthday party was not something anyone wishes for.
The fact is that you really don't need anything. Your birthday wants would come from us because certainly no birthday of my boys would ever tick by without at least half a dozen gifts from the family. The thought of 15 more gifts from your friends made my stomach queasy. Material gluttony makes me squeamish, you'll come to know.
This Mother's story was not the first one I had heard regarding your response to your friends secretly asking if you really did want something for your birthday. You sure do make your parents proud buddy.
Looking down at your bright red screaming face, holding your 9.6 lb squirming body to my chest 6 years ago after almost 40 hours of very, very tough labour did I envision who you would be 6 years later? Of-course. Of-course Mothers do this. It's a nebulous outline always at the back of our minds whose form shifts and morphs with experiences and moments and gets more clarity as the years go by.
Every year leading up to your day of birth, the day you gave me the most epic role of a lifetime, I tend to reflect on the years gone passed. Memories that seem like a million years ago and ones that seem like they were just last week. I reflect on how our relationship as Mother and Son has changed and formed and how we've gotten to know each other. How I know you as a son. How I know you as a big brother. How I know you as a friend, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin, a neighbour. A person in his own right. Every year I wonder and cannot fathom how it's possible to love you even more. And every year my heart grows exponentially with a profound amount of love for you, my dear boy.
You've challenged me fiercely almost every day of your 6 years in existence. Lord knows you've challenged me. But you've also loved me the same way every.single.day of your life. Ferociously, affectionately and without judgement.
You've made me a better person and as trite as that always sounds there really is no other way to say it. You make me think, you make me laugh daily, you make me happy and wildly crazy. Sometimes within minutes. And you make me love harder than I've ever loved in my entire life.
Today on your day of officially becoming a 6 year old boy, I love you more than any day that's passed. Not because your six but because it's another day in which the love that I hold for you in my heart grows deeper daily. Simply because you are you. Because you are my beautiful son.
Happy Birthday Adrian Thomas. You really are one cool kid. And I'm one lucky Mumma.