Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Dear Ryder,

It’s here. The day I’ve been dreading for the past 364 days…your 7th birthday. You think it’s funny when I tell you you’re going to be 5….again….for the 3rd time. If only it were that easy. But NO, you keep insisting on growing and changing and getting older. And while I enjoy this sweet age you’re at and am cherishing every minute most of it, I know 7 is kind of the turning point. The turning point in boyhood where you’ll need us less and your independence more. Which really means that you’ll be getting dirtier (if that’s even humanly possible) and wander further out from under my wings.

Very early in the morning 7 years ago today, two weeks before your due date, Daddy and I walked into the hospital only to be told you weren’t ready to be born yet and that I should go home and enjoy the rest of my pregnancy. As you well know, Mama is not a morning person so for me to get out of bed, get dressed, get pretty and make Daddy drive me to the hospital at the crack of dawn should tell you that I KNEW it was your day. Since you were my 3rd baby I was kind of an expert and was not the least bit happy at being told otherwise. Your Mama got a little bit sassy w/ the entire early morning nursing staff and as I waddled sashayed out of there after being discharged I yelled back over my shoulder, “This isn’t my first rodeo I’ll be back TODAY, mark my words!” and guess what? We were and those nurses cowered when they saw me walk through those doors a few hours later in HARD CORE LABOR. Serves them right. That was your first dose of “Mama is always right”. Don’t ever forget that, little man.

The minute you were born, I was smitten. And it wasn’t because of your good looks, because let’s be honest you kind of looked like a little old man. You were so tiny and wrinkly from being early, with hair and eyelashes so blonde you looked bald. Not to mention those huge blue eyes that took you a good 3 months to grow into. But holding you for the first time I just felt complete, like a deep sigh of contentment in my soul that said, “this is it, he’s exactly what we’ve been waiting for, our family is whole now.” Or maybe that was the epidural talking, either way life was good, really, REALLY good at that moment, and still is actually.

That seems like a lifetime ago and 5 minutes ago all at the same time. You’ll understand that sort of parental nonsense someday. The older you get the more I realize that the days of you automatically reaching for my hand to hold or the way every time you talk to me you begin and end each sentence with “Mommy” are numbered. Soon enough you’ll be too cool to hold your mama’s hand and Mommy will evolve into just Mom. Ouch, dagger to my heart.

I’m so proud of the little boy you’ve become. You’re one cool kid. I mean, even if you weren’t mine I’d still want to be around you. I see a lot of myself in you which is probably what makes you so cool. J You can turn on the charm when you want to and just as fast you can turn on the attitude, majorly (all me). This attitude multiplies times 10 when you’re hungry…WOW. You’re quiet and shy in new or uncomfortable situations (your Daddy) but once you’re comfortable, you have no problem talking, laughing and making new friends (me). You’re smart (me, and ok maybe a little from your Daddy), even though being the baby I spent way more time cuddling you than I did working with you on your ABC’s so I gotta tell ya, I was worried for a bit. Your teachers assure us you’re one of the brightest kids in the class and are reading way beyond your years. You can thank your big brother and sister for that. You’re an athlete in the making (me, I mean your Daddy) who plays sports more for the pure enjoyment of them than the competition, much unlike your brother. You two balance each other out nicely, he’s always pushing you to make you want to win and you’re pushing him right back telling him to chill out, it’s just for fun. Should make for some interesting high school years when you’re playing on the same teams. Speaking of your siblings, let’s talk for a second about your relationship with them shall we? It can be best summed up by saying, when it’s on it’s on and when it’s not well then OH MY GOODNESS THE WORLD IS ENDING AND YOUR LIFE IS TERRIBLE. Did I mention you can be a bit of a drama queen at times? I live for the times you and Blade are playing catch in the yard and giggling about “boy stuff” or when you and Dakota are squished together in the computer chair working on a Pokemon Power Point presentation or some such craziness. I however, do not so much enjoy the times when you are being picked on by them and then retaliate by ear piercing screams or constant tattling. And before you go feeling sorry for yourself let’s be clear on something, you KNOW their buttons and you push them…A LOT. Dakota humming a song under her breath? Gives you a headache. Blade beating you at checkers? He’s cheating. And heaven forbid, they chew with their mouths open at the dinner table, because that my son, sparks a rage deep inside of you. It’s odd that you are such a stickler for table manners and etiquette considering you have been guilty of POOPING IN THE YARD. Yeah, you’re never living that one down. In the long run, I hope you will one day realize that your brother and sister are your built in best friends and that you will always be close.

Thanks for filling our home with your energy, spunk, and sweet smiles.

Happy Birthday buddy. I hope you know that no matter how old you get you’ll always be my baby. Love you to infinity and beyond.



  1. Wow, great letter. I'm inspired to start writing these to my kids, too. Especially the parts of what they like/how they act with their siblings, etc. I do well at taking lots of pictures, and I kept a calendar of stuff their first couple of years, but not much beyond that. Sigh. So much to do as a mommy.