To be honest, the only thing I want to give you today is your family. Your mom. The one person you never knew, but loved you more than life itself. And here I sit, watching the blank screen before me, as if I stare long enough it will somehow grant my one wish on your 8th birthday.
Frankly, this has been a rough year with you, and now here we are facing yet another year. You. A year older. It isn’t the kind of thing I would have expected to be writing about, especially on your birthday where I really just want to tell you how proud I am to be your uncle. But quite honestly, this year I havent been feeling very proud of where we have come.
Its been one step forward, ten back it would seem. And sure, a lot of that has been because of me. I really just don’t know how to handle some of the curve balls you throw me. I find it harder and harder to look into your deep eyes and read what you are saying. Its like you have shut everyone off. Or atleast me. Throw me a bone atleast, because I need a little help.
You start school in a few days. And while I am excited, ok, overjoyed, with the thought on the horizon, I am also worried. About you. Because no matter how tough you are to handle sometimes, I still worry about you. And want the best for you, even though it seems that no matter what I do lately, it’s the wrong thing.
I am honestly, worried about you. And the future with you. I don’t see the future looking very positive. Atleast not as we are concerned. Of course, right now the future doesn’t look to appealing anyways, but I just don’t see how we are going to get to the future with the way things are. Butting heads, and pulling teeth. It’s a loosing battle. And yet somehow, I am expected to get you through. I know you hear me and understand what I say to you, but that stubborn streak that runs so deep connecting us all…has taken its toll this year.
Which is why, more than ever, I wish I could give you your mom. I wish that on your 8th birthday I could open that door and yell surprise! And you would instantly be understood. Because if there is one person who would have understood you – understood EVERYTHING about you, every quirk and idea, and lack of words, it would have been your mom. Like the answer guide to understanding you, she would have taken the roll seriously and helped you out like no one can.
I don’t know if you understand that things are different here or not. I don’t know if you see other families and wonder what happened to yours, or if you don’t even think about those things. I don’t know what you think. I don’t know what goes on in that little mind of yours, but I know its something. Something deep, something serious, something intriguing. Something that would make all the pieces just fall into place.
Your serious look, your solemn and sobering attitude makes me think that you are processing everything around you, and that you are on overtime with thinking. That smile of yours can make the troubles of the world disappear, but it hasn’t shown up lately, and the troubles of the world are heavy on your small shoulders. Much like your mom, Im sure you process everything a hundred times over. And then some. And then only when it makes complete sense to you, do you let on to what was broiling on overtime.
But I cant give you that. I cant promise to understand you, because quite frankly I know I never will. I cant promise to always do the right thing, because lately I have failed over and over and over again. I cant promise you that things will be ok, because really, I don’t know if they will be or not. I cant even tell you that eventually, this will all work out – because as much as I want it, I cant give it. Its not mine to guarantee. Or promise. Or give.
I will say this – that as long as you are here, as long as you are here with me, and me with you – I will try my hardest. I will fight like hell for you when you cant, I will cheer you on and lead you where I think you should go, even if it means dragging you because you don’t want to go. I wont always stay calm, but I will never hurt you on purpose. And Josh, while I know you would benefit greatly from having the love of someone who really truly understands you, I cant give that to you. All I can do is love you – because as hard as life gets, and as difficult as things can be, loving you is not that hard.
On your 8th birthday, I hope that your dreams come true. I hope that the world is your canvas, and you live your life to its fullest. I am proud of who you are, and where you have come, even if this has been a rough year, there is always tomorrow. And tomorrow is always a new day. No matter what happened yesterday. And while it might be scary, and it might be hard, and it might be new and unknown – just know that I will be here to hold your hand, as long as I can.
Happy Birthday Buddy,
Love your uncle