It pains me to admit that
Every cliché about parenting is true.
“It will be both the greatest challenge
And the greatest joy
you have ever known.”
“It changes everything.”
“You will feel more love than
you thought possible.”
I am a writer.
I hate speaking in clichés.
So how I can speak to you in a way
You two boys and your papa
You are my everything.
You inspire me to rise like Venus,
The goddess of love,
even when I only want to lay flat upon the bare Earth.
You are my moon and my sun.
You are myth and magic.
My love for you
overfills my chest and floats out the top of my head until
It lights the whole sky.
You delight me with your laughter,
Your constant “seek and destroy” exploration
Your everything that is you.
Even your cries of sadness, anger, “I want”
Make my lips turn up in a grin.
You are the sensitive artist
Swaying to the music.
The nature boy who always stops to
touch the flowers to
gaze at the sea.
You get lost in the pattern of a carpet or
The pictures in a book.
You are cautious
Yet daring, pushing yourself
To try what seems a bit scary at first, and
I admire you for that.
With your long eyelashes, thick curls and sultry lips,
You earned the nickname Handsome Z.
You can be serious, reflective
Yet often you explode with giggles,
Rolling on the floor in sheer joy for
no reason at all.
May your love for this wild blue planet never diminish.
May no one ever tear your gentle heart to pieces
(If they do, I will be here to help heal the wounds).
May you always carry such a sweet, soulful spirit.
You are my fierce fearless explorer
The baby scientist, intent upon figuring out
how everything works.
The super athlete
who never stops moving
Who climbs his stroller like a monkey
summiting a palm tree.
Who obsesses over kicking his ball.
Who rejoices in learning new skills.
With your dimples and giant grin
You devour life like someone starving
eating every kind of food, but also
savoring every person you meet, every new place you see.
May you always be filled with that
Grand adventuresome spirit.
May you never let fear or insecurity
Interfere with your relentless desire
To understand people and the world around you.
May you always see with curiosity
A world alive with wonders.
You are mine, yet you will never be mine.
You will only be mine to admire and adore.
This is your journey, and I am honored
You chose me, for a while, to be
One of your many guides.
Happy, happy birthday.