Here we are again another birthday where I scroll through photos, read through little iPhone notes and try and compile a year's worth of growth and memories. Hayes in nearly all ways is at his core, the same. He is good. He is kind. He is gentle. He wants to do the right thing, to please others, to make you laugh. Some of those iPhone notes for instance:
How he still calls a smoothie a smoovie.
While chewing gum naked (he is naked often at home), "I need pants, I don't want the gum to fall out and hit my weenie."
Asked him what he believe, so if he ever wanted to bear his testimony he would know what to say -- "I don't believe in anything, I believe in toys."
Talking about the first day of Kindergarten introductions and what he would say "My name is Hayes and my favorite color is red. Because its the color of blood and I like blood. It tastes like metal." (put a quick stop to that one!)
When he came out a hundred times one night and then exasperatedly said "My brain won't stop moving. Sometimes I want it to stop and it won't."
Which brings me to some new attributes this past year. Newly, he is a tease! He loves to tease Cal mostly because Cal gives the most outrageous reactions. He wants to be with his friends all the time! To not miss out. And then also not to be seen. Maybe a new feature of starting kindergarten. But to go under the radar, to not be noticed or called out or teased or be laughed at. Honestly, this it the first year I've written this letter feeling like I failed him. Feeling a lot of guilt and regret that I took a wrong turn somewhere that lead him another step closer, well, to me.
Let me explain...
Last week there was spirit week at school, each day had a dress-up theme and parameters and rules.
Hayes was excited but also sort of paralyzed by this. "What if no one else remembers?" "What if I'm the only one?" Wanting to participate but not so much so where he would be the wackiest hair, the most backwards outfit, the most decked out superhero. Just enough. Enough to fit in, not enough to stand out.
So much of my mother heart wants him to shine and sparkle for who he is. To be so comfortable and confident that nothing can shake him. To not let what others think or say or do effect what he truly desires and wants to do or be in this life.
But then there's this part of me that hears his words more like an echo. I remember thinking similar things when I was little, just like him. "What if no one comes to my party" (I still think that at 30 years old.) What if I have the wrong day and no one else is dressed up for ____."
That is the anxious side of me. The duality of two sides. Of feeling confident, original, an individual, someone who doesn't care what others think or say or do. Someone who can live and let live. And then the anxious side of me who worries about the worst case scenarios, ruffling the wrong feathers, a confrontation, letting someone down. That little girl who tiptoed and walked on egg shells at home and everywhere else.
I feel heartbroken that he somehow inherited that from me. I tried so hard to hide that anxious person from him, but it seems to have spilled out. And I watch those little glimpses and want to hug him and tell him it will be okay, and also run and hide because I know, sometimes, it won't. Sometimes it will feel like too much. Or like he's broken. Or like his body is a runaway train and he can't always control how he feels or reacts. To know that I don't have my anxiety all figured out makes me feel like the blind leading the blind. Like I am all wrong for the job, thank goodness for calm and peaceful Russ!
So if anything this is a letter to myself. To keep trying, for him. To find a way to make it okay for both of you. Whatever book, or method, or way, we'll find it.
Heaviest birthday letter of all time! So now for some pics from the last year or so to encapsulate the best of times with our Hayesie. You are such a light in our life. You make me want to be better in all ways and how blessed we are to have you!
A rare moment when Cal allows you to be sweet with him.
Monster Truck Rally:
Pumpkin Patch with that long hair that grows like a weed:
Face paint after a meltdown:
SO excited for Mexico! You make everything more fun and more exciting. You're such an easy adventurer.
Ikea silliness. taking a picture is your absolute least favorite thing lately.
Still taking and needing naps! I can't get you to take one everyday but we try a few times a week.
You're the king of being silly. Naughty jokes, bathroom words, wrestling, and vying for all of your dad's attention. Doing homework and math, reading like a a champ, working on projects, baking and cooking. Making lists (oh boy another one of my traits) making lists about lists ("Let's write down all the things we like about Christmas") Riding bikes and scooters and making "icky stew" with dirt and twigs from the yard.
I love you so much Hayes. More than I know how to show. The world is absolutely yours.