On that winter day years ago, when it was so cold out we didn't leave the house for a second, I am so glad I said yes when you asked me if you could ride the vacuum cleaner and pretend it was your motorcycle, instead of saying no, it'll burn the motor out. You haven't asked to do that for years.
When you came to my side that morning of busy laundry folding, and told me that you wanted to be the giant of your own city and asked me if I could do that for you, I am so glad I put down the clothes and made you a city of your very own. Though you've forgotten about your train tracks since then, I haven't forgotten your smile from that day.
When you just turned three years old, and told me you could read and could you show me? I am so glad I didn't say no, Auggie, you know you don't know how to read yet, but instead sat down cross legged in front of you, looking right at you while I listened to every word you read to me.
Even though snow-blowing the driveway is faster, I am so glad I tell you that I don't like the way the snow-blower smells, either, and that I agree, it's much nicer to shovel with you instead. Thank you for your idea to clear the driveway together -- you do do it just as fast. Your little red shovel is almost too small for you now, but I keep it leaning against the garage wall, just in case you ask again.
I hope I never forget how your face lights up when I call your name and tell you that no one scrubs potatoes better than you do, and can you please do the whole bag for us for dinner? You tell me that no one scrubs potatoes the way that you can, and that's the reason why I only call you when that job needs to get done.
Remember when you told me you wanted to have a lemonade stand? In the winter? I'm so glad we figured out a way to have that happen. You made $3.00 that day. The cardboard lemonade stand hasn't been moved from the spot in the basement where we packed it away two years ago.
I thank God that He made me just not care about mud and shoes and wet days, so that when winter turns to a hopeful mushy spring, and you begin to ask if we can go to the classes at our Nature Center, we do. This spring, you surprised me and turned shy and no longer were the little boy pressing his way to the front of the group, the place where you used to always want to be. We've been staying toward the back now, instead; you told me you like it better there.
I laugh when I think of that day we went to the pumpkin farm last fall and you chose a perfectly round but LARGE pumpkin to bring home, and I told you we couldn't, I'd have to carry it for you it was so big. You answered that you knew you could carry it alone. I'm so glad I let you at least try, even though I was sure it was too heavy for you. You know what? You did carry it alone. I think of that lesson often, right before I almost tell you that I don't think you can do something.
Remember that park behind our house, and how every day we'd walk to it? You'd climb up by yourself on this great big boulder and tell me you were climbing to the top of the mountain, Look mama! I'm so glad that when I looked at you, I never told you that it was only a boulder. It was a mountain... you made it a mountain.
I am so glad that when your dad tells you that he doesn't think you can empty the pool with your splashing alone, that each year you try to show him you can. I don't know what I'll do when the day comes and you turn to him and say no one can empty a pool just by splashing.
I hope that whenever we ride on a sky tram together, just like in this picture, that as soon as we're up in the air and alone, you still quickly grab my hand and turn to me and whisper too loud the way that little boys do, Mom, when we're up here, I can tell you things I don't want brothers to know. Please, will you always do that? Even when I'm a crooked old lady?
Do you remember the day we painted on the kitchen table with your brothers, and you asked me why I didn't care if some paint spilled? And I told you I didn't know, I just didn't, and you told me it must be because I don't see stuff when we're having fun. I think you're right.
On that day that you watched the movie KungFu Panda two times in a row, and then turned to all of us and announced that you were ready to give kung fu karate lessons for 25 cents each, I'm so glad we had a bowlful of quarters on the kitchen counter. We had lessons up until dinner time.
One day at lunch last summer, you decided that you didn't think you needed to get a cup to drink your juice with your meal, you would just use the hollowed out shell of the watermelon we were having. All I could think to say was, sounds good to me.
When you woke up one morning last winter, you asked me why couldn't we just do home school in the big bed all day? I couldn't think of a reason not to. You ran and got your Transformers pillow, and it was one of the best days I've ever had.
"I think birthdays should start right at the very beginning of a day, just like your life starts right at the very beginning of you," you told me. And so, just like that, sunrise birthday parties on your birthday, began.
You've made me so smart, my beautiful little boy, and I've learned so much from you. But out of all that you've taught me, the one lesson that makes my throat so tight that I can hardly swallow, the truest thing I've learned from you, is that only for a golden moment, are the days of waking up to pirates sleeping in my bed, mine.
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