Dear Patrick James,
You are my Karma Kid. I see so much of myself in you but you are this marvelous updated 2.0 version of me. You really do amaze me everyday. At your birthday party you gifted two of your presents to your brother and sister without being asked. You always want to share your joy… until you don’t. Then you like to spread the anger and resentment to all. I guess you are equally generous with joy and rage. And boy can you rage. Sometimes I get a kick out of your fits, and struggle not to laugh at you. And sometimes I count well past one hundred just to get my heart rate back down to normal. I love you.
You are unique in so many ways. Your favorite song right now is Adele’s Set Fire to the Rain. It has been your favorite since our vacation to Hawaii. You belt out the chorus like you wrote the song yourself. You have never seen the music video and I am pretty sure you are imagining someone in a torrential down pour with a lighter or some other fire starter. That worries me only slightly, but then I remember your empathy and compassion and I don’t worry… too much.
You are undoubtedly the worst thief but best liar in our family. This makes for a rather confusing and head spinning process of accusation. All evidence eventually leads back to you. Case in point:
You had green frosting in your finger nails, your tongue was faintly colored green and you are a repeat offender when it comes to stealing food off the counter. Just today you ate the tablespoon of butter I had softening on the counter-dinner just wasn’t coming fast enough and I turned my back for one minute. But back to your birthday cake and the case of the missing frosting… When we asked you if you stole (scrapped it off with your bare hands) the icing from the cake you looked up at us with innocent eyes and replied with such righteous indignation, “I did not do it!” that both your father and I find ourselves questioning all the evidence. We more than questioned, we felt guilty that we accused you and turned to your non green brother and questioned him. Our heads told us that you did it but you pull at those heart-strings and it is like we are putty in your manipulating hands. When we came to our senses you were sent to time out. I usually end up having to leave the room because I think that your ability to lie is quite charming. Your father, who hates when his logical mind gets thrown off tract, doesn’t find it funny. He takes charge of the sentencing and punishment. I would never high-five you over a lie, but I do have to tip my hat to you. You have an uncanny ability to make all those around you bend to your will.
Your smile kid. I tell you. It will take you far in life.
In school, kids want to be your friend. Many kids want to play with you and you oblige. You are kind and are eager to take part in all the fun that school has to offer. You love music but are shy to sing in front of people. You love art and do not like to be interrupted when creating your masterpieces. Your imagination inspires some awesome Lego creations. But when it comes to school, hand down, your favorite part of your week is swimming day. You, Patrick James, are a fantastic swimmer. I wish there was a way to fit swim lessons into our schedule all the time but it just doesn’t work right now. I have no doubt that you could be a competitive swimmer if you were interested. You are a natural. You have always loved that water. Even when you were a baby, in the bath you were happiest. I hope that never changes. Soccer, on the other hand, is a different story. If you ask to play again next summer I will sign you up but I can guarantee that I will be sneaking a little something into my ice tea before every practice and game!
Loving water and swimming every chance you gets has turned your body into a furnace. Your body chews through calories faster than I can peel a string cheese wrapper, butter toast, peel an orange or open a box of crackers. Kid, you will eat us out of house and home. The amount of food I have to pack in your lunch to fuel you through your preschool day is double what your father packs in lunch, even on his weight lifting days. You can eat and yet there isn’t an ounce of chub on you. What chub you used to have has stretched away over the last year. Especially over the last few months. You have grown out of all your pants and are now sharing pants with Michael again. Your legs are like a giraffes. Long and lean. It is no wonder you only can muster up short bursts of energy on the soccer field, your body is using every calorie it takes in to grow. You will be tall like a Clute or a Lawton. I have no doubt that you will be taller than your dad by your mid teens.
To save on our food bill and to help your furnace of a body have some down time you like to watch TV. A lot. You love TV and movies. I let you watch way more than I should but you love it so much I have a hard time turning it off. You love watching everything from Power Rangers to the Food Network. The other day I caught you telling the chef on the TV, “You are stirring the icing to hard. You will ruin it!” I would have to agree with you on that one. She was using a cordless DeWalt drill and it did look like a bit of an over kill for some cupcake frosting. One of my absolute favorite things to do with you is to grab a blanket, throw on a movie and cuddle up on the couch with you. You are the best cuddler in our family. You wiggle and nest yourself right into our arms and will stay snuggled like that for as long as we let you. I know this will change over the coming years so I plan to take full advantage of my cuddle buddy as long as I can.
What might melt my heart even more than the pride I feel when you show your generous and empathetic side, is that you are quick to say, “I love you, Mom.” You are always are excited to tell us all about your day. You are my open book. I always know how you are feeling and I cherish that. You are not afraid to love with all your heart or throw a shoe when you are angry. I love you for ridiculously wide range of expressions that cross your face at any given moment. I know that you love me and your father and your brother and your sister and even Lucy. And Patrick James, we love you too.
Happy Birthday Patrick. I hope year five is as fun for you as year four was for us. You are light. Pure light.