To Jim on his 7th Birthday
We came to your school today to eat lunch with you and bring your class cupcakes. It is fun to see you in this new environment. We were worried how you would adjust to the move, but you prove to us again and again how resilient you are. Your teacher told us that you are a delight. And that's true. You are a delight.
You wear your heart on your sleeve. Your emotions are always at the forefront. Sometimes it goes a little overboard, but I hope that you never learn to shove your feelings down. I hope that I can always see joy on your face when you're happy. I hope that you will be brave enough to let people know when you are sad and upset. You have a beautiful heart and it ought to be worn on your sleeve.
I cannot believe that you are seven years old. I remember that first day and I remember you: small and fragile, hope bursting forth into the world. We have watched you grow. You couldn't hold your head up then you sat up and stood, you crawled, stumbled, walked, and ran. Now you're reading and solving math problems. In the hall outside your classroom today, I read a short report you wrote about sea horses. I'm in awe of you. I'm also more aware every day that it is all gas and no brake. I hope I don't take this time for granted because it seems shorter each day.
Just to give you a snapshot of your life at this point: You love Legos. You are starting to get into Star Wars. I told you we'd try to watch the original trilogy sometime this summer and you were so excited. You still love superheroes and Batman is still your favorite. Pepperoni pizza and movie nights on Friday are your favorite part of the week. You are absorbing more and more Bible stories at church. You love to sing the theme song to Phineas and Ferb on the way to school in the mornings. It's all pretty awesome.
If there is one thing that I hope you carry forward, it's that you won't give up. When you hit a wall, you get frustrated and are tempted to quit. Don't do that. Do not compare yourself to others. Do not sell yourself short. I personally know that those are dead end paths. You are incredible and you bring something unique and beautiful to this world. Don't ever give up.
You frequently tell us that you love us. Sometimes you tell it to us two or three times in a row. Jim, I want you to know that you are loved. You are loved more than you'll ever realize by your Mom and I. You are loved by your grandparents, aunts and uncles. You're loved by your cousins and many other family members and friends. Even though you guys fight sometimes, you are even loved by your little brother. You are loved by God in a way that eclipses everything else. I hope you always know that you are loved. Never forget that. Happy Birthday Jim! I am so lucky that I get to be your Dad and I can't wait to see what the next year holds.