Today is my birthday. I’m 41, which I realize may seem like a very old age to you. I don’t feel that old. I really don’t feel that much different than I did when I turned 21 and that was twenty years ago (which seems a little crazy to me). Maybe I should be more mature or more…oh I don’t know, ADULT. But I don’t feel like I’m there yet. Right now Hopper you are 3 and Rowan, you just turned a year and a half. This is our second Mama’s Birthday together. I would have written you a letter last year, but last year I was still only getting about 4 hours of sleep a night, and I wasn’t up to writing letters very much. So I’ll start this year. You are probably wondering why I’m writing YOU a letter on MY birthday. I’m going to be hokey for a minute and tell you it’s because you two are the greatest gift my life has ever given me. My boys. There is nothing that even comes close to the love I feel when you are both trying to jump on my lap at the same time, Rowan bobbing up and down giggling, Hopper is shrieking and almost cracking my ribs while you two barely miss headbutting each other. It is the best. Go ahead and roll your eyes. I mean it.
So, on this birthday I want to tell you about how you are because you won't remember very much about it, if anything at all and me: I don't want to forget.
Last Sunday we were at the pool and I was sitting in the shallow water watching Rowan go down the slide face first—you must have done it fifty times in a row. There was a dad sitting not too far away from me. He watched you throwing your little body down the slide over and over for a while . You’d laugh when you got to the bottom, even if water went up your nose then you’d grin at me, turn around and slosh back over to the ladder to do it all over again. The guy says to me, “You have a very handsome young man. And apparently, he’s not afraid of anything.” It’s true, I told him. It’s pretty terrifying. You’re not afraid of most things. You never turn around and look for me to help you climb up anything. You’ll walk right over to the edge of the pool and jump right in even though you don’t know how to swim. Most of the time you get away with crawling to the very tip top of things or hurtling yourself off of furniture. I can count on one hand the amount of times you’ve banged yourself badly enough to need me (like when you bit through your lip a couple of weeks ago), so it hasn’t really occurred to you to stop doing what you’re doing or you might get hurt. In fact, you just kind of laugh it off for the most part. To be honest, I sortof hope you’re always this fearless when you grow up. But as your mother, I’d like you to maybe take a second to gauge the height to ground to How-Much-Is-This-Gonna-Hurt-If-I-Fall ratio. I’d appreciate it (because I really love your face).
You may also want to stop smashing Mooshu Pork into your hair at some point.
Hopper you are a little man of strong tastes. You feel things very keenly and sometimes you don’t know what to do with all that emotion. You love counting things (even though you pretty much always miss the number 6), trains, chocolate and robots and good god, if there was ever a giant chocolate robot train to be had, your head would probably pop right off. You hate going to sleep at night and will avoid it for as long as humanly possible, but you also hate being woken up in the morning unless it’s on your own time. You maybe get that a little from me, but mostly from your dad. You and your dad both talk in your sleep, which is not something I thought 3 year olds were capable of, but you do it all the time. You like to put things in a particular order and ownership in your mind. According to you, Rowan is Mommy’s (the couch is also mine, apparently), but stories are always Daddy’s. People who don’t know you very well (or don’t pay attention) wonder why you are so dramatic about things sometimes, but I know it’s your way of exerting control over your universe and that given options and some patience, you’ll always work it out in your head. And if that doesn’t work, tickling you til you scream does.
You are both so different already, but so much the same. You laugh at exactly the same things, especially at each other. I know that some time in the future, you may not feel the same way but for right now, it’s pretty awesome.
I am 41 today. Maybe it doesn’t seem like 41 to me because I have the two of you . I hope that I’m around long enough to see both of you turn 41. That would make me very happy. Love, Mom
My name is Lee and I live in Austin, TX with Hudson, Possum, Mr. Bean and Sam. One of those is my freakishly tall husband, the other three are short and fuzzy. In March 2009, we welcomed our little offspring Hopper who is so cute he'll make you think he poops Jolly Ranchers. Then we opted to press our luck and along came Rowan the Red in 2011. We're very rich in furballs and half chewed legos.
And here are 35 random things about me that I'll have to get around to updating one day. Not today, but one day.