Oh Owen, you're 5. How did that happen?
I remember sitting in my hospital bed looking at you in the clear plastic hospital bassinet from across the room and thinking to myself "What the fuck am I going to do with that?"
Looking back, I was clearly petrified of you. I think you were the first newborn I'd ever held and at the end of a painfully worrisome pregnancy, I think I honestly had trouble believing that you were so perfect. When you go through ten months of hearing the words "fetal demise" at every OB appointment, it weighs on you. My first words when I finally saw you were "All that trouble for that tiny thing?"
Five years ago:
I didn't know what it was like to push confidence onto someone.
I didn't know that a boy could be so gentle.
I didn't know a giant big brother could be so sweet to his little sister.
If you'd told me five years ago that I would be able to name every train from Thomas and Chuggington, I would have hit myself in the heard with a brick.
I would have never believed that the kindest most authentic person I have ever met in my life was a five year old boy.
I could have never foreseen the glee I feel when my son asks to hear Johnny Flynn and sings his words. For a child with a learning disability, this is earth shattering.
I didn't know that I could worry so much for one person.
I had no idea that a 5 year old could have that much hair.
I thought I knew what it felt like to stand up for someone.
I would have never believed that one of my children could teach the other assertiveness while the other taught humility.
I would have never believed that I'd have a five year old that was so proud of his own ass.
I thought I had a clue when I saw parents with kids acting like assholes.
I would have never believed that my five year old son would sneak out of his room while daddy was reading books to check on me and ask "Are you OK Momma?" when I was in bed with a headache.
I never knew a five year old could teach his sister such sweetness.
I never knew how much I'd like kids. Not just my own, but their friends. Owen and River have some really, really sweet friends with solid parents. All the "friends" I chose for myself since Owen was born weren't worth the effort but the ones that were, are pretty fucking awesome.
I had no idea that people would make smart comments under their breath about a five year old. It's hair people, get over it!
I never knew what a vicious Momma I could be when the situation called for it.
I didn't know that a three year old could have a crush on his teacher.
I never knew a kid could blow through a size 10 shoe in three months.
I didn't know how fun it was to rediscover yourself both through, and for your children.I never thought a kid of mine would be "THE most sough after friend in Pre-K."
I never thought walking into my 4 year old's Pre-K class and seeing a blind Autistic girl rubbing my son's hair for comfort would bring me to tears.
I never thought a kid could be so happy to see his sister.
I would have told you that boys were made of snakes, snails and puppy dog tails. I was wrong. My son is made of a kind heart, a gentle soul and a penchant for loving that is unparalleled.
I never thought my daughter would spend so much time in timeout and that my son would start crying with just the threat of it.
As proud as I am of myself, I had no idea what pride was before you came along.
I never knew at 36, I'd have a child and be able to say to him, "I want to be just like you when I grow up."
I never knew that my son's hair could be my secret "Fuck you!" to the world.
I was always told that children would calm me. I find that I am less patient, more liberal, less conservative and more of an asshole than I've ever been. Good for me!
Some advice for my son to hold onto as he enters his 5th year of life:
Never and I mean never, let anyone tell you that you aren't worthy of what you want.
Pay attention when you're at home because if you think you're getting out of my house without being able to cook, clean and wash clothes, you're deluding yourself.
Your sister thinks she knows everything. Just smile and nod your head.
You show people how you are to be treated. Don't take shit off of people. Life is too short for other people's shit.
Put the toilet seat down. It's just the right thing to do.
Be honest. Even if it's painful. Life is so much easier and people respect honesty.
Pay attention at school and if you're confused, don't be embarrassed to ask for help. That's what teachers are paid for. One shitty teacher can ruin your schooling. (Mrs. Grant, 5th grade) Don't let that happen. If I could change one thing about my schooling, I'd go back and punch her sleeping ass in the throat.
Take responsibility for your actions. Don't give everyone else the credit for the crazy shit you do.
Choose your friends wisely and when you've found you've made a mistake, fix it.
If someone gives your sister shit, defend her. Kick them if you have to. I'll expect the same from her.
Shake things up whenever you get the chance.
Don't ever let anyone tell you not to colour outside the lines.
If you feel the need to tell someone to kiss your ass, do it. It's liberating.
Make stuff up sometimes. It keeps people on their toes.
Work hard. It makes you a better person.
If you ever feel down on yourself, go into the bathroom by yourself, close the door, look into the mirror and say these words. "I'm a good boy. I'm smart, I'm funny and I can do anything I set my mind to!" Yeah, you'll feel stupid and you might even giggle but if you do it enough, you'll eventually believe it.
Love your family. We (I) may embarrass you but we love you very much. Besides, it takes so much energy to act like we're not related. It's easy to give into the insanity.
When you walk into a room, make sure people sit up and take notice. Some may hate you, others will love you. Make sure they never forget you.
Stick to the story. Remember, as far as anyone knows, we're a nice normal family.
..is shocking to me. You are the coolest, most fun boy that a mom could ever wish for. You're sweet, you're kind and everyone loves you..and I mean everyone.
We're do proud of how much you love school and reading books. I love that you see a package on the front porch and get excited for your Birthday gifts. I love that you pat me on the back when you think I don't feel well. I love that you look at the Strawberry Shortcake blanket I 'm making for your sister and say "Oh, Momma, this is so nice!" I love that you're such an amazing spirit filled with such kindness.
A few promises from your Momma:
I promise to always be your biggest advocate and your biggest cheerleader.
I promise to love you and kiss you no matter how old you get and how much you ask me to stop.
I promise to get excited about the little moments because I know some families aren't awarded such treasures.
I promise to be on your school's ass to get you the best possible education. You deserve it.
I promise that I will help you learn when you do not understand.
I promise to tell you "I love you" every single day of my life.
I promise to never stop taking photos of your beautiful face.
I promise to never push religion on you. Politics, we'll talk about it....
I promise that I will hold you when you cry.
I promise to always go out of my way to surround you with the very best people.
I promise that you will succeed. You will get through this because we're doing it together. You will have the life that you deserve because I will never give up on you.
I promise to allow you to discover your own passions.
I promise to fight for you even when you don't understand why I'm fighting.
I promise to never give up, in your name.
I promise that when I look at you, I will always see that newborn I was so afraid to bring home from the hospital but I will never use that as an excuse to hold you back.
I promise to make people hate me if that's what it takes to get you what you need.
I promise to always love you unconditionally.
I promise that no matter what challenges life brings, I will always be there for you.
I promise that you may not always get what you want, but you will always get what you need.
Happy Fifth Birthday Baby Boy!! This is your last Birthday with this much hair.