Happy Birthday, Finley.
Today, you are six! On the night you were born, this birthday seemed a million miles away. Everything seemed a million miles away. My world became much bigger and much smaller the moment I first held you.
I can still see the lights in the delivery room and hear the sounds of monitors and nursing staff rushing about. I remember, so vividly, the moment you were born and the suffocating fear that washed over me when they whisked you away, uncrying. It’s the same fear I felt when you got lost at the Superstore in Antigonish. When you finally cried and the doctor held you up for me to see, I couldn’t see you across the room because the nurses had taken my glasses.
The minutes between your birth and finally holding you seemed like hours, and we both know how impatient I can be. You were so tiny then, but you were tough and amazing right from the start. (And I should admit: I barely knew how to hold a baby. You were the first newborn I’d ever seen.)
On the night you were born, I stayed up late thinking about the life we had ahead of us. I wondered what kind of life we would have, who you would become and if I was ready. On the night you were born, I was really just a kid myself. You have helped me grow. And today, you are six.
Yesterday, you told me you wanted to stay five forever. And I get it. There are many moments when I wish I could stop the world and hold onto a moment with you always. But six will be special and – man, I don’t want to admit it’s coming – so will seven and eight and nine.
Today you are six and I have six wishes for you.
I wish you adventure and curiosity to explore and question and learn at every opportunity.
I wish you giggles and milk squirting out your nose as you create memories and forever friends.
I wish confidence, patience and kindness for yourself as you tackle new challenges. I know how hard you can be on yourself.
I wish you snow forts and sand castles, knees-ripped-out-of-your-pants, can’t-catch-my-breath-laughing fun.
I wish you quiet and calm, the sense of security knowing how very loved you are.
I wish hugs and snuggles, living room campsites, friendship and warmth. Remember: you are never too old for a hug or an old-fashioned blanket fort.
I love you.
Happy Birthday, Finley