Hudson turned 6 years old today. There's something different about this birthday. Maybe it's the lanky body that barely fits on my lap. Maybe it's Hudson's blossoming literacy. Maybe it's the fact that I now have to shop in the Boys' Department in clothing stores. For some reason, today feels strangely sad. Six no longer means baby or toddler, even though Hudson will always be my first "baby".
There have been many days, and many, MANY nights, when I have wished for him to grow up. Times when I prayed he would start to do things by himself. When will he put on his own clothes? When will he go to sleep by himself? When will he stay in his bed all night? As all of these life skills are mastered, I'm seeing less of my little boy who needs me and more of the independent boy I dreamed he would be.
Throughout these six years, Hudson and I have walked hand in hand throughout parenting. Without a manual, I learned to trust my gut and listen to his cues. He has guided me. There have been many times when I doubted my decisions and the paths that we chose. Today, he gave me a sign that we were doing just fine. We had his traditional Montessori birthday celebration at school. We talked about each year of Hudson's life. When we got to year six, his teacher looked at him and asked "Hudson, what is it that you like to do now that you're six?". I waited for the expected answer, that he likes to play with Legos or likes to watch football. Instead, Hudson replied "I like to play with my Dad. And my baby. And my sister". In that moment, as I beamed and blinked back tears, I knew we have done something right.
Hudson James, as you say goodbye to your toddler years and continue your journey through life, please know that I want nothing more than for you to share your kindness with the world. I see it everyday, from the way you tenderly watch after your brother and sister to the way you care for the other children in your classroom to the unprompted hugs and "I love you"s that you shower me with each day. Every day, stories of evil and corruption flood my newsfeeds, leaving me questioning humanity. Instead of feeling discouraged, I think of you and how the kindness you bring to the world makes it a better place. I pray that your kind spirit is what leads you through life. If there is one message I could give to you, it's that there is no amount of success, achievement, or accolades in this world that could replace your kindness. Please don't ever lose it.
Happy birthday Hudson James.
11 months ago