My dear Levi,
Last night I kissed your 7-year old head for the last time.
This morning you are eight.
8 years old.
I am not really sure how that happened.
Wasn’t it yesterday that you entered the world wailing at the top of your 7 lb 4 oz lungs?
Wasn’t it yesterday that we welcomed you home to a Colts football nursery of khaki and blue?
Wasn’t it yesterday you snuggled your baby sister with cuddles and followed your big sister around with wide-eyed abandon?
Wasn’t it yesterday we were on the lookout for mail trucks and backhoes during every drive around town?
Wasn’t it yesterday that potty training required Hot Wheels and Duplos as an incentive?
Wasn’t it yesterday that our dialogue revolved around Diego and anything related to the animal world?
No, it wasn't yesterday. It just seems like it.
In reality, yesterday was the day you were 7 for one last time.
It was the day your imaginative self told me the pile of plush felines were participating in the Stuffed Animal Olympics and the “Cat Delegation” had to take a train to Illinois and then walk the rest of the way to Iowa.
It was the day I watched you run across the yard with a God-given speed that amazes me.
It was the day you asked me to play Mario Kart with you.
It was the day I listened in wonder as your usually shy self audibly answered a question asked from someone at church.
It was the day I watched you join in Mega Sports Camp without clinging to my side.
It was the day I saw your smile fill up with two permanent teeth in the top of your mouth.
It was the day your sensitive soul hugged my waist when you realized the twinge of sadness I was carrying knowing you would only be 7 for a little bit longer.
It was the day you asked to sit on my bed so I could read you a story.
It was the day you wanted to make sure you didn’t get to close to my pillows and get my “germ juice” from recently having had a cold.
It was the day, I swept your bangs to the right, hugged your precious neck, and tucked you in for the last time as my 7-year-old son.
And it was all a privilege.
Yesterday, I went to bed a little sad at the quick pace of time that leaves you ready to blow out more candles.
But this morning, the sadness is gone.
Today you have the opportunity to be 8 years old for the very first time.
You have the chance to wake up and be a brand new age.
A whole different year of your life is starting.
Another 365 days to discover, explore, uncover, and embrace your beautiful self.
And your dad and I are blessed to have this coming year to share, instruct, and celebrate with you.
Yesterday, I was missing 7.
8 is awesome.
Just like you, buddy!
I love you, Levi.
Always and forever.