Wednesday, February 28, 2007

My big kid

Yesterday Andrew turned 8. I write a letter to my kids every year on there birthdays that I keep tucked away in their memory boxes to present them with after the birth of their first child. This is what I wrote to Andrew this year

Dear Andrew,

Your Dad and I have been talking a lot about how we can't believe you are 8 years old. It feels like it has blown by so quickly yet I cannot imagine my life with out you. Just last week I was telling my friend Stasia how old you were going to be and she asked if I remembered that first pregnancy test I took when I found out you were going to be a part of my life

I forced Stasia to buy the test. We walked up to the Walgreens on Lagrange road. I picked out the one with the pink box because I thought it looked pretty. Those were the kind of thoughts I based my decisions on back then. I couldn't bring myself to take the box up to the counter. I kept twisting it around and around in my hands. I didn't want the cashier to look at me with judging eyes. She was an older lady with curly hair. I imagined that she was one of those ladies that slept in hair curlers and didn't leave the house without lipstick. Brave little Stasia with her skinny arms and baby face looking barely over the age of 14 brought the test up to the counter and paid for it. You could tell by the way the cashier shoved the pink box in the plastic bag and handed Stasia back the change that she was judging her. My elementary school librarian was in line behind us and asked me to say hello to my mother for her. It seemed so absurd. When we got outside both of us were laughing hard about the cashier and the librarian. Neither of us knew what kind of emotion to have so laughter seemed appropriate. At that moment I hadn't realized how intensely and beautifully my whole life was about to change.

I wish I could give the me at age nineteen sitting on Stasia bed with that positive pregnancy test a glimpse and the eight year old you. I wish she could see your little brown curls and those dirty blue converse shoes you insist on wearing nearly everyday. I wish I would've known at that moment, 8 years and 7 ½ months ago, that everything was going to be okay. Back then I wasn't sure how I would manage or even if I was capable of raising the you that you have become. You have become this wonderfully giving and sensitive person. I am constantly amazed by you and your insights. The quality I cherish most of all in you is that you will come to me candidly and tell me when you have done something wrong. This is something that at 28 I am still struggling with so to see you at age 8 able to recognize when you have made a major mistake and ask for forgiveness is huge. It makes me feel like maybe I have a few things to learn from you. You have been such a remarkable blessing in my life. I am very proud to call you my son.