To Charlie on your 8th birthday

Every year I say it. And every year it’s true.

I can’t believe you’re another year older!

They say, “It goes by too fast.”  “In the blink of an eye.” And, boy, do I feel it. You are getting older and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. I always thought that I would look back on your baby years and miss you, but as I sit here with the seven year old version of you sleeping upstairs, I realize that I love and cherish you at any age. You are growing into the most amazing boy I have ever met. Each year brings a newer and more awe inspiring version of you. It has been such a pleasure watching you grow.

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You are kind and soulful. You have a wisdom beyond your years. We have always called you an “old soul,” which two-year-old you would parrot back, “an old sould.” You have the courage of your convictions, which is so rare in an eight year old. We like to say that it’s because you are “little Daddy.” But, I hope you know that while you have all of the best qualities of your Daddy, you are still your own person. You are free to grow and be whomever you are meant to be.017

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You are the spunkiest, most animated and enthusiastic kid I know! You have a willingness to try anything that I hope doesn’t get you into trouble in college! I always call you, “Charlie C: lover of life” because there is nothing you won’t happily do. Minutes before you were about to go on stage at the Mr. Oakcrest pageant, you said, “Mommy, do you think everyone in this room wishes they were me?” I said, “Of course, Charlie, but why?” You said, “Because I get to go up on stage!” I thought to myself, “this kid can do anything.”

Doing your "Adam Richman, Man versus Food" face!

Doing your “Adam Richman, Man versus Food” face!

You are the best big brother! You are so patient with Finn and the babies. I know there are plenty of age appropriate shows you could be watching, but you never complain that we watch “Barney” all day. When I banned “Phineas and Ferb” because Finn was copying some bad words, you didn’t bat an eye.

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Always willing to play “horsey” or “fuffa” or whatever the babies ask of you. Even though, sometimes you wind up getting hurt.

I love watching you interact with the babies. Henry is your little doppelganger. You carry him around the house on your back like he’s your little spider monkey. And Tallulah! Oh boy! She is the apple of your eye! She could show you the silliest thing  and you make her feel like she is the center of the universe. (That’s exactly how I fell in love with your Daddy, so it’s definitely a charm you will want to keep.)

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I know it’s hard sometimes having a brother with autism. It’s a big concept for an eight year old to comprehend, but like I said, you’re an old soul. I knew you “got it” when you were five years old and I asked if you thought Finn had autism, and you plainly said, “yup.” And you’ve been rolling with the punches ever since (even quite literally sometimes… Finn packs a powerful punch!)

I know it feels like Finn has a different set of rules. I know it feels like you always have to be the flexible one. Your sacrifices do not go unnoticed. We are all learning and growing as we go. Our road isn’t always easy, but I know we are stronger for it. Things will get easier. I promise.

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I hope you always know how much I love you. I know I am supposed to be the one teaching you, but you will never know how much you have taught me. Thank you for being you. You are going to change the world some day.  You’ve already changed mine!

Happy 8th Birthday, Charlie.

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8 thoughts on “To Charlie on your 8th birthday

  1. Happy, happy birthday to Charlie and to you. It’s amazing to me that we have 8 year olds – when did this happen? I hope that he has a fantastic day!

  2. Charlie, I wish I had the opportunity to meet you! Your mom leaves us, as readers, wanting to be one of your good friends! I actually feel like I am. Happy Birthday to a special old soul.

  3. Oh my gosh, this was so lovely. What a beautiful young man you have raised! Happy birthday {late} to you, Charlie!!!

    Hey, can you e-mail me at abreezylife {at} gmail {dot} com so I can get your tickets to the Liberty Science Center to you? 🙂

    I am so, so thrilled that you entered- I might not have had the chance to “meet” you and your beautiful family otherwise! THANK YOU!

  4. Reading your blog always makes me want to be a better mom. I love your outlook. Thanks for that and Happy Birthday Charlie 🙂

  5. We are so glad we have the pleasure of knowing and loving the talented and wonderful Charlie. He will be successful in anything he tries. He is always a pleasure and a real treasure. Happy 8th birthday, Charlie, we love you; we are so lucky to have you and your family as
    Part of our family. Xoxo pop pop and mom mom

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