Happy birthday, my son! Eight years old. When I look at you I can simultaneously see the child that came before and the man to come, wrapped in the body of an eight year old who is so excited to get older and just happy to be alive and with the ones he loves.
At age eight, your heart is your number one asset. Sure you have your intelligence, and an eagerness to keep learning, and you have your looks (must be from Mommy), and a good sense of humor, and you still have that youthful innocence and a tenacious loyalty to your friends, and you have some crazy dance moves to go with some vocal chops, basically you have the total package that will someday make you quite the catch...but your heart is by far the biggest and best thing that you have. You love deeply. You care sincerely. You cry hard. You laugh loud. You hug tightly. You snuggle softly. Your love, and the love we feel for you, is what helps your mom and I get through each and every day!
With a big heart, comes heartbreak. Even today, on a joyful occasion, you were in tears because you did not know that Sunday's birthday celebration was just planned for family. Your heart broke that all the friends you told could not come. Even though Mommy planned on Red Robin tonight for just us, and perhaps some time with a friend or two tomorrow if it works out, and the Sunday Frazier side small birthday, you were still hurt. It happens.
In the future, hopefully well into the future as you grow, things are going to happen to make your heart hurt even more. Family will pass on. Friends will move on. Promises will be broken. Lovers (well into the future) will leave. You will feel heart broken and curse this big heart of yours for the amount of pain it allows you to feel. You will feel like your biggest asset is your worst weakness. But don't stop loving. It is what makes you, you. Love is the only thing that can mend a heart that was broken with love. But that is in the future. Today, we celebrate and feel the love! So enjoy your cupcakes, however you like!
Sincerely with love from your dad,
P.S. The dream of having the Red Robin staff sing their birthday song to you, quickly erased any sadness and put an amazingly huge smile on your face!