Has it really been SIX years since you came into this world? Has it really been SIX years that I've been blessed beyond measure to hold you in my arms and filled with the grace and love that motherhood to a little boy provides?
Surely that can't be right. I know that if I close my eyes and blink hard you will become my sweet little baby boy, my firstborn son, wrapped in blue, who won my heart with a tiny smile.
There is so much to say to you as you turn six - so much I want you to know as you depart early childhood and move on to the elementary years. I want you to know how much I adore you - and how much joy you bring to the world around you. I love that your first response to most anything is laughter - complete with giggling as you see the humor in various situations. That is a true gift. I hope you never lose that sense of humor and that ability to laugh at the curve balls life will inevitably throw at you.
I love your sense of adventure and your spirit of curiosity. I realize that at times, it may seem that I don't want to answer all of your questions, or that I'm not interested in helping you figure out the world. Nothing could be further from the truth. The honest truth is that a lot of the time, there are no answers to the questions you ask, like how do you make rain? Similarly, there are many questions you ask that I simply don't have the answers for - like how big was the Angel Gabriel or what will Heaven be like? But you know what? Even if I or your dad or your priest or your teacher don't have the answers - I hope you never stop asking them. I hope you always have a questioning and curious heart - the questions you ask make the grown ups around you stop and think ... and that makes us better people.
Your heart is so tender, and so sweet, and you are such a giving child. You are rarely selfish - and I love that you so willingly share with your brother and sister. I simply adore how they are foremost in your thoughts - to the point that you will have a special 'date' with your dad and/or I or receive a special treat and immediately ask or wonder how your siblings are - and if your treat can be shared with them. You are a giving child - and I hope that you continue to give openly and willingly to those around you.
Of all three of our Party kids - you are my 'rule' follower. I know there are times when you don't want to do what I ask (like brush your teeth or pick up your socks.) But you do it - eventually - with minor grumbling and hesitation. I can't tell you how much that means to me - to be able to trust that you will do what I ask, despite your strong opinion not to.
I am continually amazed by your creativity and your artwork. Anna paved the way for the Long children by making a name for herself as quite the artist. You are just as talented - if not more so. I won't compare the two of you - but rest assured that your artistic talent is on par with that of your sister. The things you imagine and create in paper and marker, pencil and crayon, glue and tape are amazing. Simply amazing.
I think that your artistic abilities are what make you so detail oriented - which may be part of the reason you are always looking for random pieces of junk to pick up - whether we're walking across a parking lot or in a store, playing in the park or visiting a friend - you are prone to come to me at the end of the day with a pocketful of 'treasures.' Sometimes this gets you into trouble - physically - like when you ran smack into a parking meter when we were walking downtown because you were too busy looking for treasures and 'gold' on the ground rather than looking up to see where you were going. And sometimes it gets you into trouble when you walk off with pocketfuls of shiny things that belong to others, like Mr. Brian's loose change that you fished out of his jar and took home. But thankfully you are also honest - and did not hesitate or flinch to tell me the truth when I asked you where the $3 of loose change came from.
It's hard to see you growing so fast - and you are indeed growing FAST. In the last six months you've pretty much doubled in size - and we're having a hard time keeping you clothed. Every time I turn around you've outgrown another pair of pants or the sleeves have become too short or your pajamas and undies too tight. And I confess, I keep trying to stuff and squish you into little boy sizes - probably because I don't want to admit that you are growing up - and becoming a young man.
(That makes my heart hurt a lot and tears come to my eyes just typing that.)
But a young man you are - and although you've missed your daddy terribly these past six months - you have risen to the occasion and have become the true 'man' around the house - including taking on the role of resident bug catcher (thank GOD.) It was truly a happy day when after hearing Anna squealing that there was a bug in her room - I came upstairs and found you trotting to the bathroom with a wad of toilet paper and a squished up bug - heading to its watery grave.
Oh my sweet James - my Jamesy-Boy - how you have grown. How you have captured my heart with your sweet disposition and your sense of humor; your love for exploration and your desire to please. I hope you know how much you are loved, how much you are wanted, and how my life could never be complete without you.
Happy Happy Birthday my Sweet Six Year Old Boy!