Dear Calvin (or Ninja, Maniac, Naked Boy, or whatever nickname you’re going by today),
As the youngest in the family, I am really struggling with this particular birthday. I know that you’re excited, SO excited, about turning five. And I’m genuinely glad that you are. Even if a little piece of my heart is breaking.
From the moment that I heard your heartbeat for the first time, my gut told me that you were a boy. The sound was slower than when I first heard your sisters and of course the myth is that boys’ heartbeats are slower than girls’. I still don’t know why that is, especially since absolutely nothing else about you is slow.
When I was growing your sisters, they made me sick all the time. I couldn’t eat anything and if I tried, I saw it again almost immediately. But oh, not with you. You made me HUNGRY. I ate like you probably will when you’re about 15. Or how you eat spaghetti now… ravenously. I couldn’t get enough.
When we went in to see you on the big screen, we knew we would get to find out if you were a boy or a girl. After two girls, everyone assumed that Daddy and I wanted a boy. And honestly, going in, it didn’t matter to us. We already had all of the girl stuff. We already knew what we were doing with girls. But all I knew is that a boy would be a LOT of fun. So they put the warm goo on my belly and then put the magic wand on that helps us see everything on the inside on the outside. And the first thing we saw was… your penis. There was our answer… you were a BOY.
And in that moment, I got the thing I never knew I needed… a son.
And in the months that followed, you grew and you grew. You grew big and made my belly look like a giant basketball. You also grew when I had to say goodbye to your Gramps. You kept me strong during a time when I didn’t think I would be able to. During the time when I wanted to give up. But I had you. You needed me. You couldn’t survive without me. My little boy. I couldn’t give up.
And on May 30th, 2012, you decided that it was time to meet us. I roared you out of my body in 1 1/2 pushes and held all slippery 8 pounds, 11 ounces of you against my chest. I stared at you, in awe of the beautiful baby boy who in that moment, completed our family. You were it, your were my last. I was overjoyed. Maybe I should have been a little bit sad, but my heart was too full to feel anything but happiness.
We named you Calvin Mark Lewis Brewer. Calvin, after the mischievous and intelligent comic strip character. Mark, after your Gramps, who would have rough housed with you and introduced you to old music and made you laugh like no one else could have. And Lewis, after your Grandpa Brewer, who would have told stories of days past and fed him ice cream with chocolate pudding on top.
I vowed from the moment that I found out that you were coming that I was going to make the most of every moment with you. So I did. When we came home from the hospital, I put you in our bed, patting your little butt after I nursed you and we snuggled together and fell asleep. And where do you sleep now? Yeah, not much has changed. But I wouldn’t trade the bedtime snuggles for anything in the world.
You were my most talkative baby. You babbled and shrieked and made noises that I can’t even put into words. Daddy called you a baby velociraptor, which I think is pretty accurate. And your laugh… you had the best baby laugh. You were loud when you were happy. You were loud when you were sad. And you are still loud now. I sort of wish that you had come with a volume switch.
As soon as you were able to move around, you were looking for things to use as “cars”. Remote controls, hair brushes, your sisters’ Monster High dolls… whatever you could get your hands on that you could make slide across a surface. We were a house with two little girls. Not that I buy into gender stereotypes, but neither of them had ever expressed any interest in toy cars. I don’t know where your fascination came from, but it came naturally to you. So the moment that we gave you an actual toy car, your fascination turned into an obsession. And here we are, five years later, with countless cars, trucks, and trains, strewn all over the house. We could go into the details of some of the fancier cars that you have, but that’s a topic for another piece.
As you have gotten older, you have grown more rambunctious. More curious. You have a thousand questions every day and don’t have the patience to wait for the answers. Your body doesn’t stop moving and you are always ready to test out some new stunt moves that you’ve created.
I often complain about how exhausted you make me. But then I remind myself that there will come a time when tiny footsteps won’t be running circles around my house.
I often complain about how crazy you make me. But then I remind myself that there will come a time when loud sound effects won’t fill the house and it will be a little too quiet.
When I found out that you were a boy, I was so excited what life with a son had to hold. But I realized very quickly just how unprepared I truly was. In good ways and difficult ways.
But you know, even those difficult moments aren’t enough for me to wish that you had been anyone other than exactly who you are. You bring excitement, hilarity, entertainment, sweetness, craziness, and a whole lot of joy in all of our lives – don’t listen to your sisters – and you are exactly what I always wanted. Even if I might not have realized it at the time.
So, sweet boy of mine, enjoy five. Stay wild and happy and 100% you. Because you are perfect just as you are.