happy birthday, baby

on the 6th of this month, i wrote the following letter to my nephew. i told him about it, that i’d give it to him when he was 18 because right now, he wouldn’t be able to fully understand it. i’m hoping one day i’ll actually tear it from my journal and hand it to my oldest nephew. someone please remind me.

Dear Caleb,

In two days, you’ll turn 5. When you were a baby in your mommy’s belly, we decided to write you letters for all your birthdays, 1-18, at her baby shower. I think I wrote you one for your 7th birthday but it felt so forced and awkward. It was because at that point, I didn’t know you. And I think I picked 7 because at that point, 7 was my favorite age. Now I understand that whatever age you or your brothers are is my favorite. I’m hoping that when you’re big enough you’ll find this letter and know how much your TiTi adores you.

I have been lucky enough to get to see you almost every day of your life. I’ve seen you roll over, crawl, walk, run and this year, ride a bike without the training wheels. You are such an amazing kid!

Over the last year, you’ve learned how to read. I don’t mean little words like “cat” or “ball,” but full sentences and story books. You know how to add, subtract and even multiply (thanks to Yahtzee) and you’ve always wanted to know “why.” That’s a question I expect to get from you anytime you’re given an instruction. You obey, of course, but you always ask for an explanation. And I love that about you.

I love your orange hair. I love your big brown eyes and the dozen or so freckles you have on your nose and cheeks. I love how you ask me to time you when you do any task, whether it’s putting clothes away in your drawers or going potty or running from your room over to me on the couch. For you, life is a competition and an adventure. Please never lose that mindset.

I love to hear your tiny voice on the phone when I call. I love to tickle you just so I can hear your giggle and I’m pretty sure your smile is my favorite thing about you.

I’m so thankful that you’re my nephew. My prayer for you for this next year of your life is that you know from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet that every inch of you is special and wonderful, because you were made by God.

Happy birthday, Caleb.

TiTi Kyla