Happy 5th Birthday, Nicolas!

It’s your birthday today, Nicolas, and you are turning 5!    It’s been a rough stretch for you between breaking your foot and then, the instant your boot came off, getting so sick, with a fever, chills, stomach ache, lethargy.  It’s very early in the morning,  and I’m the only one awake yet, but I really do hope that you are feeling well enough to enjoy your birthday  today.

This all brings up memories of when you were just two weeks old, and you got so sick with a fever, and we had to take you to the hospital, and you were attached to all of this beeping equipment, and had this hospital bracelet that kept falling off because it was too big, and you seemed so frail and tiny.  You ended up being fine, you just had enterovirus, which I learned is a very common summertime virus.

Maybe what you (and Mariana now) have is a different strain of enterovirus?  Not that it really matters what the name is, I guess. I’m very grateful you are at the age now where a fever doesn’t require automatic admission to the hospital, because it would have sucked for you to have been in the hospital on your birthday.

I hope we can stay far, far away from hospitals for a long time.

Nicolas, this has been such a delightful year for you and you have grown so much.  It’s hard to believe that when we went on our trip out west, less than a year ago, that you really didn’t talk all that often. Now, you are just constantly talking and explaining the world to me, which I find just so precious.

For example, you’ll say to me, ” To get to Florida, first you drive through Kentucky, (whose capital is Franfurt), and then you’ll drive through Tennessee (whose capital is Nashville), and then you drive through Alabama (Montgomery), and then you to Florida, and its capital is Tallahassee.)”

In this year, you have also gone from having zero interest in reading (you used to say no when I suggested reading books) to loving reading, both by yourself and together.

You also have started being so excited to play cards.  You are just obsessed with Hearts, and you beg to play it every day.   I’m grateful we have the card-holder for you, because it makes such a difference. It is so much fun to play hearts with you, and you are really good at it.    I love it that you are at a point where you can play games with us that we all enjoy, and that you love them, too.

You are also such a caring person!   You really just love your baby sister, and you love taking care of her and keeping her safe and engaged.   You also completely adore your big brother and sister so much, and look up to them and have fun with them.

You touched my heart yesterday as we were going to sleep because you suggested that I stay far away from Mariana so that I wouldn’t get sick.  You came up with that idea on your own, and it was such a loving thought.

Being your mom has been such an honor for me, and I really hope to continue having this loving relationship and watching you grow as long as I can.  I am terrified of becoming a source of trauma or existential pain in your life.   Just yesterday, I stumbled onto a couple podcasts about adult children who were still wounded by the absence of their mothers. One mother had schizophrenia, and the other had early-onset Alzheimers.   If you feel unloved or uncherished by me, please try to open your heart to the knowledge that you are loved beyond belief.  You are amazing and special, and I would do anything to be able to continue showing you that for decades to come.    I am very, very grateful to be your loving mother.  Happy Birthday!

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