Today you turn 7. SEVEN! This number feels unimaginable. Nearly as impossible as reconciling that the boy in front of me is the same baby I took home from the hospital in the middle of the sweltering Iowa State Fair. You are a million things that I never could have imagined, yet more than I ever could have hoped.
For me, the most astonishing thing about this whole parenting gig is the fact that my children are becoming actual people - people different from me, with developing personalities, and independent little minds. (I’ve been told that this is a good thing. Jury’s still out.) You, my boy, are a person I’m oh-so honored to know; a person unlike any other I’ve ever recognized; a person who is more than I ever dreamed.
Seven years ago, I might have imagined all the bats and balls. But they alone are not you. You are the impetus, the intensity, and the energy it takes to swing, throw, and catch them. I might have imagined scraped knees, bruised shins, and grass stains. But those? They are not you either. You are the activity, the commotion, and the spirit that it takes to fall, tackle, or slide a thousand times...then get back up, and do it again.
My words don’t do justice to all that you are. You are the curiosity that questions, the cuddler that comforts, and the passion that drives our world. You are sweet, kind, generous and, by far, my most favorite boy on the planet. And you are all those things in spite of our parenting -- NOT because of it. You see? If motherhood has taught me anything, it is that control is just an illusion and all that I can reasonably expect is to give you direction, keep you safe, and PRAY. You are a very strange mix of bravado, curiosity, and trepidation. So while you will unhesitatingly play on a field full of guys twice your size, you still stress about school and prefer the comfort of our inner circle. You are my homebody, a boy contented by watching games, analyzing strategies, keeping statistics, and sharing stories.
Elijah Wrigley, I want you to know that I pray many things for you every single day. I pray that you will grow into a righteous man, one whose greatest desire is to serve Christ. I pray that, as you grow, your heart will remain kind and humble. I'm grateful for your spirit of leadership and pray for the wisdom to teach you how to also be a good servant, so you can continue to grow into a great leader.
Today, son, you turn 7. I'm no math wiz, but to the best of my calculations, that's approximately 2,555 days of being blessed by your infectious giggle, competitive spirit, and passionate heart. Please know that not one of those days has been taken for granted and that no matter your age, we will always be your biggest fans -- on the field, in school, and in life.