Tomorrow, you will turn seven. And while inside I'm quietly freaking out for selfish reasons (like, how the hell did I suddenly have a seven-year-old???), I'm also amazed at the person you have become.
You've had so many challenges over the past seven years. Repeated illnesses, and not just your boring run-of-the-mill cold or anything like that. I was thinking about it yesterday as we were walking down the hall at the hospital - there really aren't any areas of that hospital untouched by your presence. But for my sanity's sake, let's keep it that way, okay?
Last week, we found out that you have asthma. You sort of understand what it's all about, and maybe I understand too much. It's hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that not only do you have your peanut allergy to deal with your entire life, but possibly asthma too. It just seems so unfair, although in the grand scheme of things you've gotten off pretty lightly compared to a lot of other kids. But, just like your peanut allergy, you will figure all of this out and you will be able to handle it just like you handle everything else - with cautious confidence and the knowledge that we are all looking out for you and your best interest.
Health issues aside, you amaze me with the broad scope of information that you have soaked up like a sponge. You are like a Renaissance man for the first grade in your school. While most boys your age are into sports or video games, you have this thirst for knowledge about everything in the world. I have to admit that this thrills me more than just a little bit because it reminds me of myself when I was your age. I wanted to touch, taste, feel, and experience everything - there were no limits to what I wanted to learn about. I want that so badly for you, because my life has been so much richer for all of the experiences that your grandparents gave to me. And I hope I can give that to you, too.
But other than being sick (a lot) and being pretty darn smart, you are truly one of the most wonderful people that I know. Your heart has no limits for loving everyone and you are so compassionate for every living creature that it makes me cry a little thinking about it. There will be a day at some point when someone or something will disappoint you and break your heart, and as much as I want to keep that from happening to you it will make you grow stronger and more determined to love.
Your dad and I have so many dreams and hopes for you. But most of all, I hope that you will continue being the wonderful little boy that you have always been. You are smart, funny, and loving. There are times when you drive us a little crazy, but we know that you are a normal boy and that brings with it all the fun and not-so-fun stuff like testing the limits of our sanity. We get that, and we will do our best to be there for you not only in the good times but in the bad times too.
There will come a day when you won't even want to be in the same zip code with us. Well, at least that's what I hear and what I remember from being a teenager. I hope when all is said and done, that you will always remember that your dad and I love you more than anything in the world.
PS - By the way, if you ever need bail, call your Uncle David. He's way cooler about it than anyone else in our family would be.