It's the little dude's birthday. I never said he wasn't a rascal, or occasionally ill-behaved, or didn't make awfully dangerous and/or disgusting choices, but: this morning he has awakened us early with admonitions to not argue or have any strife, for it is his special day. He has loved on us with pure, unadulterated sweetness and been so tender with his sister. He is grateful for his gifts (roller blades...agh) with effusive joy. He is happy and open-faced.
Seven years ago he came into the world with a lot of trouble and not a little late, but every year since has been a fascinating and enjoyable adventure. The only vision I had for myself as a mother, really, was one of playing outdoors with a little boy - one of my favorite jobs as a camp counselor. I had forgotten how bad they smell, how infuriating they can be, and how sometimes they are too cool to be near you. But I never knew that a little boy could really really love his mom, that after about the 50th time of telling him something he would get it and embrace it, and that he would just exude exuberance from every pore at just about every moment.
Until he slows down, finally at night, and falls asleep almost immediately, and looks just like the angel he is.