Dear Connor,

Ok. It’s time to come clean. I’ve been thinking about this since we got home from Mexico. Caroline brought home the email address of a new friend she has been keeping in touch with over iMessage. Changing the settings on the iPad to attach her email address was truly the catalyst (that means that is what started it all because I know you are probably already forcing me to pause this to ask, “what is a catalyst??” You do that now, every five seconds and it is both breathtaking and impossible because at my advanced age, I don’t know the answers for many of your questions). I had to go back to the email address Dad and I created for your sister when she was born to verify it and since I was doing it for her, I just hopped over to your account as well to check in. Yes, you have an email address. I know. Yes, you have had it since you were born. I don’t send messages there… until now. I sent your sister an email about tech safety with rules and consequences and expectations and then I sent you both an email about nothing in particular. You can see it there when you are old enough to check email which isn't by the way when you turn six. I’ll start writing to you there more often. I think that is where things like this will belong. I wonder how many more of these birthday posts I will write to you before it feels like you and Caroline are too old for something so personal to be out here in plain sight of the Universe? It seems these days I maintain this account not to add to it, but to savor in the past... and for these annual posts.

I have been writing about you all this time, though not at all recently on account of how busy you and your sister keep me. It’s time for me to stop talking about you and instead tell YOU all these things. So this year on your birthday, as I have for every one of your birthdays I am sharing this directly with you. Since you only recently learned to read, I will also video this so you can hear it. That only seems fair.  

Yes, I have written a lot about you. I have shared at least annually your accomplishments, how much you have grown, the funny things, and even sometimes the hard things. Your first year wasn’t exactly puppies and sunshine, but since then, oh my chicken, how you amaze us.

Today you turn six, little man. I got teary eyed in the supermarket yesterday when I shared with a family fiend that you were turning six. Yup, right there beside the Goldfish crackers, your mother's eyes welled up to almost overflowing. You grew up so much in this last year. You didn’t cope with all the changes, you thrived in them. You left preschool, attended summer camp for the first time, and started kindergarten. Kindergarten opened up something inside of you that is difficult to explain. You gained confidence, found your voice. Your thirst for knowledge is insane. Connor, you despised organized hockey outside the confines of our basement to your very core and I now cannot believe my eyes watching you on the ice. You are so much more confident than last year. I love watching you play with a big smile and I love hearing your laugh from the ice. I love watching you embrace your friends after a goal and I love watching you fall and get back up. You learned how to read, completely without any assistance from me. You want to read things like Harry Potter and I know how much it frustrates you that your ability does not yet match your interest level. It will. You create amazing intricate pictures of goalies, robots, Harry Potter, or anything else that strikes you as remarkable. You add layers upon layers of details and you caption things in a way that is not only legible, but seriously brilliant. I am held hostage by your many drawings because unlike any other kindergartener I have ever met, you insist on going back to them again and again to add more. Most kids your age ask for more paper, but not you, you want that very specific picture of a robot you started with a friend at school. Where is that robot you brought home two weeks ago??? Your interests are as varied as your ability to maintain them. We can barely keep up with the things you want to learn about these days; Science, technology, robotics, Harry Potter, sports (every EVERY kind of sports), Star Wars, Lego, math, reading and recently animation. Anything you learn about you dive head first into and you want to learn everything you can. I honestly don’t know much about many of those things, but I am learning along with you.

Just yesterday we finished watching the original trilogy of Star Wars and I had the most fun seeing you get excited for "the next one!!" You loved Empire, you loved Return of the Jedi more. Those darn Ewoks won you over. I loved sharing it with you, something my brother and I had loved so hard when we were your age. Scary isn’t it. You snuggled up close, laughed at all the right spots and hid your face from the scary Emperor and it was AWESOME. I loved sharing it with you and Caroline.

You are kind. You are a rule follower. You are sensitive. You are quiet. Your laugh breaks me. You are a good friend. You are soulful and reflective. You found yourself this year and you have deep thoughts you are still willing to share. You love to snuggle. You give the best hugs. You cheer me up when I need cheering. You are most difficult on yourself, feeling so badly when you know you have done something wrong that you punish yourself, often with your words. You challenge me more than anyone else I have ever met. Your stubbornness echoes your father’s and mine combined making you the most stubborn person on Earth bar none. We used to worry you wouldn’t sleep and I suffered such anxiety over exactly how many times and with what force you would wake throughout the night. Now, we tiptoe around you in the morning like a little prince who must not be disturbed. I announce to the house, “I am going to get Connor now, please don’t bother him.” I mean this not as a guideline, but as a directive. The course of our collective morning rests solidly on how well or not well you rise from your lovely slumber. The boy who would not sleep would sleep in until 8am everyday if schedules allowed. I cannot wait to see the beast you are before noon in a few years’ time.

You are exactly and ever evolving you and we are so enjoying getting to know this bigger version of Connor, the one you will become. I can already see shades of the man you will be years from now. Not only are you handsome, smart and fun to be with, but it is clear to everyone who knows you that you truly are something special. I cannot wait to see what you do next, but please, have mercy on me with the QUESTIONS.  

Video for Connor


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