To Eli, on your sixth birthday

Dear Eli,

I’ve noticed something happening in the past couple of months. It started one sunny day while we were playing outside. I was heading for the mailbox and you asked, “Can I get it?” I hesitated for only a moment before answering, “Sure.” You walked to the end of the driveway, looked both ways to check for cars, and proceeded confidently to the mailbox. It was a small thing, but it didn’t escape my notice.

A few nights later I checked on you before I went to bed. You were stretched out and I realized how much of the bed you take up now. Your feet don’t reach to the bottom yet, but they really don’t have much farther to go. And your pants. Oh, your pants. Since there’s only a few weeks of school left, I’m giving them a pass, but with each day that goes by they’re looking more and more like high waters.

Then of course there was the incident that really made me stop and think. You, Samuel, Annelise, and I were heading to your school carnival. Before we left home you said, “When we get there I was thinking that you could go with Samuel and Annelise and I could go on my own to play the games” What?!

Suddenly all those moments converged in my mind and I realized: You’re not a little boy anymore. To the naked eye you still look like a little boy, but you’re changing; moving into that next stage. I don’t even know what the name of it is. You’re too old to be called a little boy, yet not old enough to be called a young man.

Whatever we may choose to call it, I am so proud of the person you are. You have many wonderful qualities, including the soft heart necessary to smooth the ones that are still a little rough around the edges.

I will miss my little boy, but I can’t wait to get to know the new boy. The one who still looks an awful lot like the old one. The one who wraps his arm around me and plays with my hair just like he’s done since he was a baby. And the one who has big dreams and unlimited potential.

Happy sixth birthday, sweet boy. I love you.

Love, Mom (but you can still call me Mommy anytime you want)

Eli on swings Eli poetry contest Eli teeball

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Lauren Cormier

About Lauren Cormier

Lauren is a 30-something stay at home mom who doesn't have it all together and she's pretty sure you don't either. She hopes that by sharing her real life (not the glossy made-up version) she can encourage you to drop the act and get real. Lauren lives in Hermon with her husband and their three children. She also blogs at www.ohhonestly.net