My darling boy,
Today you are seven years old, and those years have flown by in the blink of an eye. You are growing and changing every single day, but at your very core, you are still the sweet boy you were on the day you were born.
Your sixth year was fraught with change and uncertainty as Dad went through all of his treatments. Throughout the process, you asked so many intelligent questions about what was happening, and you went off to think about the answers in your own way, in your own time. You were so brave even though I know you were scared. Like Dad, change is not your thing, but you handled everything with a grace and maturity that I didn't know you had.
You have done a lot and learned so much during this past year. You ride your two-wheeler like a champ, and you love to ride around the driveway in the morning before school. You lost some teeth, and your jack-o-lantern smile melts my heart every time I see it. Kindergarten was fantastic for you because you made so many new friends and came home each day with new facts. I loved hearing you say that you missed school during the summer because you wanted to see your pals. I think you enjoyed summer camp for the most part, but I also know that you were happiest at home with me, reading a book or finding shapes in the clouds. You have also learned to whistle and snap; I always know where you are in the house because I can hear you singing or whistling or snapping all over the place.
You have an innate sense of justice that I love; you can't stand to see anyone or anything mistreated. If you find a spider in your room, you always want me to catch it and put it outside instead of squashing it. Violence of any kind makes you sad, even when you know it's just a movie or something pretend. You are a creator at heart, not a destroyer. I think that's why you love playing Minecraft so much: you can build your own world just how you want it. And when it comes to your family, you give so much more than you realize. One of your favorite things to do is create a "store" in your room, and you invite us all to choose something to keep. We play along and put everything back at the end of the night, but your face lights up when we make our selections. You would give away your most prized possessions if you thought that would make someone else happy.
Of course, you're also a stereotypical little boy in some ways. Any sort of joke about a bodily function is enough to make you fall off a chair with laughter. You laugh with your entire body, and that makes me laugh even harder. Stinky feet pass for great comedy around here, and I often hear Lottie exclaiming, "DAAAAAAALLAS" when she is sick of your jokes. You two fight more than ever now, but you also stand up for each other with strength and fierce love. I am confident that no one will ever hurt you while your sister is around, and I know you will always protect her. One of my favorite things to do is listen you talk to each other right before bedtime because sometimes you tell her things that you haven't told me. I'm so glad that you have her in your life, and she is beyond lucky to have you as a brother.
If I had one wish for you in your seventh year, it would be this: continue to be exactly who you are. You're crazy-smart, kind, generous, funny, curious, and gentle. As you grow, you might start to feel that it isn't cool to be sweet, but I hope you can ignore that feeling. I love when you cuddle with me and tell me how much you love me. I love that you still hold hands in a parking lot. I love that you still try to sit in our laps even though you really don't fit. Basically, I love how strongly you love, and I hope with all my heart that you never lose that. Not too many adults, let alone kids, know who they are, and you are one of the lucky few to know that about yourself at such a young age. Hold on to that, baby, and don't let anyone try to change the beautiful boy you are.
Dad and I are ridiculously proud of you and the way you complete our little family. Thank you for bringing us so much laughter and love.
With all my love,