|tugboat - 4 years old - January 16, 2014**|
happy, happy birthday to my tugboat, my big ol’ man!
i don’t dare call you my baby, or my little man. you will quickly correct me and tell me you’re not a baby, you’re a big man. you’ve always had a special, engaging, unique personality, but this last year, you’ve blossomed in a way that I don’t think we expected. you are a talk, talk, talker when you are finally comfortable with someone. you reserve judgment at first, but once you’ve checked someone out thoroughly, they are in for it.
i love your stories and your imagination. you have developed your own way of compensating for the memories that you don’t have of a time before here. when ray talks about things he did before he came here, you tell us some fantastical story about your ‘grandfadder’ and what you did with him. onetime you told me that you and your grandfadder caught a shark and the shark bit you, so your grandfadder put a band-aid on it for you. you are so earnest when you tell the stories too. you are developing your imagination and trying to relate, so we listen with interest to what will come up next.
this past year has been one of giant-sized strides for you as far as growth and development. you are a completely different kid from the scared, angry 2-year-old who first graced my door.
you took gymnastics in the summer and didn’t seem terribly interested in doing much but running circles around the room, so we didn’t keep you in when fall session came around. you played soccer on the sharks and your dad was your coach. You didn’t always want to play but you were a trooper on a team full of criers! you kept running back and forth on that field and stuck it out. we were so proud of you! early in the year, you also played blast ball, which was a cluster. we’ll have to see what shakes out as your main interests. we’d love for baseball to be on the list, but I think soccer will also make the short list.
i cannot even begin to tell you the relief we felt on november 15 of 2013 when the adoption was finally final and we knew that we could exhale. the earth shifted and settled into place with a deeply satisfying clunk that reverberated through our hearts.
you are forever, tug. we are forever family. my heart flows deeply with gratitude and a ferocious love for you. happy birthday my boy.
*pay no attention to the dying plant and garbage bag full of fort-making tools behind him!
**can anyone give advice on how to avoid 'possessed' eyes when taking a flash photo with an iphone?