“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”Gilda Radner

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Twinkle Little Star

This week Joey is the Star Student of his class. I don't want to say this is meaningless, because his awesome teacher makes the week extra special for each child whose turn it is, but it's not like he had to do anything to earn it. Everyone gets a turn, regardless of merit. At one point, Joey was all sad because he was told it was centered around when birthdays fell, and he's a summer birthday. I calmly explained to him that day that I was sure, absolutely certain, he would have his chance to be Star Student, and now that time is here.

I won't waste your time with how nervous I am because every plague-ish illness under the sun is rampant both at Joey's school and out in the world, or how unlucky things always seem to happen in our family at important times (Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays). Instead, I'll say how a lovely part of the Star Student project is that the parents are asked to write the child a letter.

I completely rock at writing letters. It's kind of my thing. It all started in high school when I wrote never-to-be-sent love letters to boys who would never love me back (except Joe, what a sucker). Then, when I found out I was having Joey, my mother gave me a book called, "Letters To My Child." It was blank inside, except for inspirational quotes and songs. I started writing to Joey while he was still in my belly. I know some people are a big fan of being surprised about whether they are having a boy or girl, but Joey's very existence was such a surprise to me that I kind of needed to know ahead of time that he was a boy. I loved knowing his name, and learning all about his personality while he lived in my giant round tummy. Our bond started very early, and has only kept growing.

It should come as no surprise then, that when I wrote his Star Student letter last night, I started crying. I cry at Kay Jeweler commercials and anything with triumphant, "You Did It" music, so it's not saying much, but clacking away at my keyboard and reflecting on the person I see in my son, I was just overwhelmed by how lucky we are to have him. He really is as close to an angel as any person will get. He's a little flaky, has no attention span or coordination, and trips over air, but he is sweet and considerate and generous. And I'm totally his favorite person. In fact, part of his project was to say who he most wanted to be like when he grows up. The answer was totally his dad, but because I was sitting there, he dutifully wrote "Mom" on his paper. I thought my heart might burst. "Joey," I said gently, "I bet you can't even say WHY you'd ever want to be like me."

He was offended. "Of course I can," he said. "Your favorite color is purple and you're the best mom ever."

"But you can't ever be a mom," I pointed out, "and your favorite color is red."

He looked away.

"What do you love about Dad?" I asked.

"That's he's an amazing scientist, is good at math, works really hard, and is the best dad ever."

I smiled. "It sounds to me like you have your answer."

He nodded and started to walk away, then turned back for a second. "It IS really cool that people are afraid of you, though," he said, and skipped off.


Anyway, in the interest of Star Students, and wishes that have come true, and the magic of everything special in my world, I thought I'd share my letter here. I'm a writer after all, so I don't mind.

Dear Supremely Awesome Child (Also Known as Joey),

Your teacher, Miss Teacher, has asked your father and me to write you a letter. You may not know this, but I have been writing letters to you since you were born. It is one of my favorite things to do, so I am thrilled for yet another chance to write to you about the person I see in you.

Every single day, you find some unique way to make me feel proud of you. You are generous, thoughtful, and loving. I can always count on you to do the right thing, especially with Noah. He is lucky to have you for a brother and a friend.

You are incredibly intelligent. When we read together, watch movies, or just talk about something we both find interesting, you always manage to impress me with some fantastic connection, or a new idea I never thought of. I feel so lucky to have a son I love talking with. I tell people all the time, and I believe it’s true: with how smart you are, and all the goodness inside of you, you are meant to change the world and make it better. In the words of Ollivander the Wand Maker: “We can expect great things from you.”

But none of these qualities is a match for the gigantic heart inside you. It is what I love about you the most. You love with everything you’ve got. You see the good in everyone and everything. It doesn’t seem to matter what challenges you meet, you always get right back up and smile. You are only seven, and you have more goodness and love inside you than anyone I have ever known.

I hope you will always know how very much I love you and always will.


P.S.—You’re also super handsome, but I didn’t want to embarrass you.

And yes, I typed it. Not unlike another letter from long ago, not written by me but TO me by my own crazy mom, which is a blog for another day.

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