Today is Liam's eighth birthday. Eight! Whew. I told him this morning that on the one hand, I can't believe he's eight years old already but on the other hand, I can't remember a time I didn't know him.
I actually wrote that in a card and gave it to him along with his gifts. I never gave him a real card before but I realized last night that he's big enough to read paragraphs full of cursive and ready, I think, to have something black and white and sentimental to hold onto.
His smile as he read it to himself told me I was probably right.
I remember sitting next to a kid on an airplane a few years ago who was maybe 9 or 10. He was traveling alone and when he first got on the plane he pulled a letter from his mom out of his backpack and as he read it to himself, I couldn't help but read along. It was sweet and mature and I couldn't imagine having a kid like that who could travel by himself and read long letters and not freak out when the lap baby next to him projectile vomited (that would be my Finny).
Now? It doesn't seem weird at all.
Not that I'm sticking Liam on a plane by himself anytime soon. But I could. I would. And I know I wouldn't have to worry one bit.
We had a very small birthday party on Saturday. Liam's choice. The guest list was carefully chosen, each friend vetted for age, sex, and previous play date compatibility. The last thing Liam wanted was for anyone to feel left out. Even though there were other kids he (and I...) wanted to invite, he thought it would be better to be safe than sorry.
I don't know why I ever doubt him. He's usually right.
When he opened a few presents after the party, he automatically found a way to share them with Finn. I told him that was incredibly nice but he certainly didn't have to do it. "I know," he shrugged. "But he's my brother." And then this morning? He did it again.
He seems to understand at a base level that when there is peace and harmony, everyone wins.
He's a wise old sage, this one.
Thank you for being my son and our teacher and Finn's brother and your own best friend. I love watching you grow and learn and embrace who you are meant to be. You amaze me. I love you so much and hope you had a very happy birthday. I love you, buddy.