Wednesday, May 1, 2013

To Silas

To my older son, my dearest Silas,

Happy birthday, my love. It almost seems futile to be writing a post to you, because I know even as I start that words cannot describe the love and emotions that I have for you. I, who was never sure I wanted to be a mother, fell deeply and irrevocably in love with you the morning after you were born. The day of your birth was such a whirlwind, and I was overwhelmed with your arrival, my new responsibilities, my fatigue, and all of our loving visitors. That next morning though, Monday, May 3, 2010, I woke before your daddy did and I saw you sleeping peacefully in your hospital bassinet, and crawled out of bed toward you thinking, "Let's see what this is all about." And then I picked you up and held you skin-to-skin all day long, and by the end of that morning I knew that I had found my passion for life: being a mother. Your mother. The three years since that day have been the very best of my life.

You love your family and you have grown up in many social situations, since your daddy and I have frequently surrounded you with social activities, lunches, and friends over ever since you were a newborn. Your day is made when friends or family come to dinner, and you can't wait to show them your latest toys and your bedroom. You are insanely in love with your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousin Sebbie, and those are the people that you talk about the most. You have begun having delightful imaginary conversations with each of them, and you share those conversations with us. Your daddy and I love to see the way that your mind works. I have no doubt that you're a gifted little boy, and your memory and knowledge base floors me sometimes. You have known all of your colors for nearly a year and a half! You can count to 100, with a little bit of help on transitions from 69 to 70 and so forth. You recognize numbers by site through the twenties. You have known your alphabet for over a year and you easily recognize all of the letters. You have begun applying that knowledge to existing words, and now we frequently hear you sounding out words and making proclamations like, "Gorilla. That starts with G!" You can spell your name out loud and recognize it by sight, and you and I have been working on writing a few letters lately as well. You are working hard on your 'S,' and you are proud of yourself for mastering the 'I.' You have been in 20 of the 50 states, which isn't a bad start in your first three years. Someday your daddy and I plan to take you to Europe and Australia.

Silas, you are passionate about "construction vehicles," as you like to call them. Here is a video of you naming just a few of the ones you know.

We can't drive anywhere without you shouting detailed accounts from the backseat about the excavators (your favorite), bulldozers, impact hammers, front end loaders, backhoes, skid steers, and graders that you see, along with what color each is and if they're working or "on a lunch break." You just received your coveted feller buncher for your birthday, and you have slept with it in your bed every night since your party. You also love going to Thunder games, and you always clap the loudest for Rumble the Bison and Westbrook, whom you refer to as "Russell."  You love riding your tricycle and the motorized backhoe that Papa bought you, and I have sadly realized we will never be able to store this backhoe in Nana and Papa's garage as promised because you must have it every day at your disposal, which means it has to live in my living room. Your favorite color is still yellow, your favorite letter is now 'S,' your favorite food is waffles, and your favorite number is '3.' You love to talk about favorites of things, and when the conversation lulls you can be known to say, "So....mommy, what is your favorite (insert category here: construction vehicle, number, door, tree, animal, etc.)?"

Silas, I love you with all of my being. I love your soft, smooth skin. I love the way you cut your eyes to the far right or left when you are considering how to respond to a question. I love your inquisitive mind, your eagerness to be outside, and your love for George, which is so obvious. I love sitting with you and teaching you new things, and I love your willingness to learn. I love how you are battling to overcome your shyness, cautiously approaching strangers to say hello---all your idea! I love baking with you, sharing ideas with you, getting kisses from you (which you readily give), and hearing from others that you are my carbon copy. I love reading books with you and combing my fingers through your hair while we watch Bob the Builder and eat fruit snacks before your bedtime. Sometimes I even enjoy your brief tantrums when it's time to go to bed, because your face is so funny and your responses are so time-sensitive: I know that someday you won't stamp your foot and cry, so I better enjoy it now.

Silas, please know that your daddy, Georgie, and I think that you're the best big brother around. You're my firstborn, my awakening, the one who altered me from the inside out, the one who gave meaning for me to the Decemberist lyrics, "And all the stars came crashing 'round as I laid eyes on what I'd found." Little boy, you are the loveliest of lovelies. Thank you for being my son. Happy third birthday.



For those interested, below is a video performance of Colin Meloy, lead singer of the Decemberists, playing "The Crane Wife." It's the most beautiful ballad I know, and I've blogged about it before (see here). It is the inspiration from which I pulled the above quote. Part 1 is my favorite, the first five minutes of the video.

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