Recently, I made the mistake of telling you the story of you, including my initial desire of wanting a girl.
You know, so that as siblings, you could do all the things sisters do ...
Share a room ...
And secrets ...
I thought it was pretty basic stuff. Pragmatic. Pedestrian, even.
Why would anyone want to have to buy all new stuff just because everything we owned to appease humans who had yet to reach the height requirement for bumper cars was awash in pink and purple?
Turns out the newly six-year-old you didn't have any idea what I was talking about.
You heard "I wanted a girl," and that was it.
“It wasn't like that,” I stammeringly tried to backpedal. “You weren't a disappointment. You were a happy surprise. I had no experience with boys … no brothers … I had no idea what an amazing experience having a boy could be.”
But you didn't believe me. You couldn't take my word for it, not after the words “I wanted a girl,” tumbled so easily from my mouth.
The damage was done.
You trudged up the stairs, packed a suitcase. Filled it with toys and books and changes of socks.
Lugged it downstairs ...
Bumpety, bump, bump, bump …
“I am leaving and never coming back. You will have to feed the dog yourself.”
But you just stood there. A wonder, wearing three pairs of shorts, two shirts and three hats.
I knew laughter at that moment would have dug my hole deeper, so instead I dug a jagged finger nail into the palm of my hand to keep from laughing.
You have always been your own person: A pajama-wearing, squeaky-shoe hating kid who likes fruit bats and chimpanzees.
You are a wonder of incongruity, who astounds us with your child-given brilliance as you argue the power of deities with your atheist father:
“God does bad things to you if you don't believe in him,” you warn.
“Well, I DON'T believe in God,” your dad fired back. “What will happen to me.”
“He'll make you frustrated and always fighting with mom,” he replies with a grin. “See, he IS real.”
You are nobody's fool. When the Little League coach tried to get you to use the only bat available – a light pink aluminum beauty – by using the twisted logic ... “your mother would use a pink bat, therefore if you loved your mother you'd use it, too” … you didn't fall for it.
“Don't love my mother and I won't use a pink bat!”
It didn't hurt my feelings. I know you better than that.
Six years ago, when you joined our family, you were a wonder, too.
A boy who always kept us guessing.
Would you be healthy?
Would you ever eat food?
Ohmyghad, what would you say to strangers?
None of that stuff is easily explained. At least, not by me.
But it was a dear friend, who took one look at you and said: "Silas is golden" that put us all at ease.
Because it was simple and because it was true.
And if ever you don't believe it, you can go here and see for yourself.
Happy Birthday, baby of mine. You really are golden.