My sweet boy, I can hardly believe another year has gone by. Each year seems to pass by a little quicker now that school and sports and church activities have entered into your life. And although I can honestly say that there hasn't been an age that I didn't enjoy (although I'll admit to being a little more frustrated and just plain baffled by five), I think that six was probably our best year yet. You found your groove at school, you found your groove at Sunday School, you didn't fight me (as much) about sitting through church, you loved every sport you played and looked forward to practices and games, and you and I seemed to just...click...on most everything else. Of course there were times of frustration and yes, even anger on your part and on mine. But mostly there was fun and laughing and a general sense of comfort. This year it really felt like we were on the same page about things more often than not. Maybe it was just the routine or the fact that you were a seasoned Elementary School pro, but I was really happy with how we worked together. And although I know that won't always necessarily be the case, I want you to know that I have thoroughly enjoyed that feeling and hope that it will go on forever.
Over this past year, there have been so many moments where I sat back, watched you do what you do, and just felt proud. Like when you walked into school on your first day of first grade, or when you picked a flower and handed it to Annabel, or when you got up with the children's choir and sang at church, or when you played basketball and passed the ball to a person who nobody else wanted to pass to, or when you put away your dishes without being asked, or when you walked up to "The Maher" and received your "Eagle Excellence" award, or when you came over to me or your dad and gave us a hug for no reason. Although you're rough and loud and BOY, you have so many moments of sweet and sensitive and love that always seem to come at just the right moment. I'm proud of who you're becoming - thoughtful, kind, funny (with amazing dance moves!) - and of all of your wonderful accomplishments this year.
I want you to know that while becoming a mother is something that, in the grand scheme of things, was pretty easy and happened in only an instant, being a good mother is something I will always be striving to become. I'll be the first to admit to you that I don't always make the right decision or say the right words or know what you need in a certain situation. But what you don't know, and what you can't see, is that I pray for you and me and our relationship a lot. I thank God every day for making you a part of my life. I ask for guidance in our day-to-day interactions. I pray for patience and wisdom in dealing with difficult situations. I pray for you when you take a test at school. I ask God to help me teach you what's important in life, like family, love, grace, and kindness. I pray that I'll pick up on your talents and gifts and help you to use those things to the best of your ability. I pray for help and that I'll be the kind of mama that you need - firm but kind, consistent and understanding. And again, I thank God for making you a part of my life. I hope you'll take comfort in knowing that although I won't always get it right (and let's face it, we have a lot of years ahead of us of you not getting things right, too), I'll always be praying for wisdom and strength and patience and grace and love...for both of us.
As this, our year+ of transition, continues with yet more transition in the months ahead, I want you know that I've been really thankful and impressed with the way you've handled things so far. Although there were a few tough weeks as was expected and completely warranted, the way you handled our moves and different living situations was amazing and so helpful to me. When I was feeling overwhelmed and Annabel was upset and your dad was busy with work, you were always willing to play hide-and-seek or baby or monster with Annabel to cheer her up and make things a little easier for me. Although I worried about the age difference between you and your sister and whether or not the two of you would even play together, I know now that I shouldn't have. You're a fantastic big brother and although there are definitely tense moments, there is mostly fun and sweetness and love. It does a mother's heart good to see her babies play together.
Tommy, as we begin this new journey into the world of seven together, with a new school and soon, a new church, I can honestly say that there's nobody I'd rather blaze this trail with than you. May the year ahead bring new adventures, new lessons, new opportunities, and new blessings.
You're my most favorite boy in the whole wide world, and I love you more than you'll ever know...to the moon and back, to the moon and back.