Wasn’t it yesterday that I watched your gigantic eyes widen in fear and excitement at the start of kindergarten?
Or just last week that you learned how to walk without me holding your hands, without me hunched over as you toddled so precariously?
Surely, it can’t be eighty-four months since you became a real, breathing, human in my arms?
You seem at once so fragile and brazen. I see glimpses of the teenager you will become, but you still smell faintly of that powdery sweet babyhood.
You have a whole intricate world you’ve created with your friends; there are more secrets (though easily spilled) and a self-consciousness. Sometimes it reminds me of how I felt when you would cry and cry as a newborn, devoid of words.
At the same time, our conversations are so nuanced and honest and full of complex ideas. You are so loving and witty and have me in stitches daily with your well-turned, unexpected phrases.
You are still a champion snuggler.
I read you books every day, just as I have since the moment you were born. But now you take the book from me after I’ve finished a chapter and read the rest of the pages yourself.
No longer a baby, yet nowhere near an adult.
A sketched blueprint, an in-betweener, one foot planted in a magical realm and the other in reality, shrewdly observing both.
A gift in every way. That’s what you are.
Happy birthday, my seven-year-old.