What I Hope, Wish And Pray On My Son’s Sixth Birthday

I don’t tell every story of my boy on this blog because some are his stories to tell and some are boring stories only Scott would appreciate and sometimes there’s just too much to write about that week or month so a story doesn’t make it to my blog. But on his sixth birthday, I can think of no other story which illustrates who my son is than a few days after he lost his first tooth:

The tooth fairy came and gave him $2. She did not always plan to give $2 but the first and last teeth are special.

Both kids had also been saving change they found and earned to buy toys so when we reached $16, I thought it was time to shop. I gave N her $8 from their shared savings and E his $10 from their shared savings plus his tooth fairy money. My son turned to his sister and said: Here’s one of my dollars from my tooth. So we can have the same.

My heart broke for the sweetness of the moment and the gesture. I want him to always believe that sharing is better than keeping. That more is not always what we need and helping someone smile is worth more than all the money in all the world.

I want him to remember value. The value of a dollar. The value of a hug. The value of a life. I hope he always knows how precious his life is. I hope he remembers how quickly life can change. That he was a toddler not long ago and that most miracles are never further than a few cups of coffee.

I hope he knows that fear is never a good decision maker but without fear we have no need for courage. Without doubt we have no need for faith. But we are also not only dichotomies. We are sliding scales neither unique nor alike. I pray he knows what the word “dichotomy” means.

I pray he is never afraid to wear a tutu. That he never compromises who he is for who the world wants him to be. I pray he remembers that love is better than hate. For everyone. I pray he learns the difference between himself and God and he knows how big God is compared to the anger and confusion of men and women.

But most importantly, I want him to know that all I want, hope and pray for him are unattainable. He will never be okay with himself all the time. He will make bad decisions. He will hurt others. He may not care for God or people or the word “dichotomy.”

I hope he forgives himself for being too human to live up to everything I want for him. (I could never do it either, sweetie.) But I pray he always knows that I’d take him as he is, I’d take him as he wants to be, I’d take him different from who I think he is.

He is my son, and I’ll love him at every age and every crossroad whether I’m holding his hand or holding him in my heart.

Happy Birthday, Boo. May life be everything we dream and more.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

19 thoughts to “What I Hope, Wish And Pray On My Son’s Sixth Birthday”

  1. Oh Alex, this was so gorgeous, the heart of you and that beautiful little boy of yours. May we, as mothers, say this prayer with you, may this wish travel to each home and each hug of our own children.

    happy birthday to your son and thank you for sharing the sentiment of love with all of us. HAPPY “BIRTH” day to you my friend.


  2. Happy birthday to your guy! I hope he always is everything he wants to be, but I love that you emphasized that you will always be there even during those times he might not be.

  3. That is the most beautiful piece I have ever read. It tells so eloquently what a Moter feels for her child. Happy Birthday Emerson. And I love you Alex

  4. I love that he gave his sister a dollar so they would have the same amount and I love all of the pictures of them together. This made me shed a tear or two.

    Sometimes I am struck by how lucky kids are today to have their lives documented in this manner. Someday he will get to read how you felt about him on his 6th birthday. How cool is that?

    Cat sleeping on your head? Hilarious.

  5. Oh Gosh, I just cried. This is so lovely.

    But more importantly, where did you get that GIANT giraffe! My daughter needs one. Truly.

  6. That story with the Tooth Fairy money is EXACTLY what I’ve always hoped for my own two children.

    And the rest of this post?
    Is my favorite.

    You took the words right out of my soul.

    Happy day to your first baby.
    To the one who made you a mama.

    THIS mama.

  7. Such a special and thoughtful post. A great one to print out as a keepsake for when he’s older. Happy birthday buddy!

  8. I know at first you will think someone scraped this post when I copy and past it and use it as my own for Eddie…and the truth is…yes. yes i did scrape your post.

    Let’s not let things get awkward between us about that, ‘k?

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