. . . ago today, you, Gunnar, came into this world and changed it(well technically, in a few hours). There is nothing ordinary about you, rather you are the most extraordinary person I know. And I cannot believe that for a minute I had something to do with creating you. But you are from me, it’s undeniable, especially when people notice your right ear and remember my right ear. We’re pretty connected.
I wasn’t really ready to be a mom at 21, but you made every change, every restriction, every new experience, everything, completely and utterly worth it. When I was pregnant with you Nana told me not to be alarmed when you were born, “all babies look like mashed potatoes”. And I totally expected a smushed and smashed up baby, especially after the 8 hours of hard labor I endured in the shower at the hospital. But you came out and they wrapped you up and put you on my chest and you were not smashed, or squished, you were. . . the most beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes on. Don’t take my word for it. Ask anyone. I couldn’t go to the grocery store with you without having at least a dozen different people approach me and tell me that I needed to put you in a magazine, or on a TV show. You were stunning. And you still are.
You had to do everything so early, and I just thought that was normal. I thought all babies roll over at a few weeks old, all babies crawl when they are supposed to at 6 months, and walk at 10 months. Nope. You are just extraordinary. You developed a sense of humor so young, you would crack up and laugh at anyone and anything. Just to see your smile would melt anyone’s heart. I remember after you were born Tati would just cry and cry. All day, everyday. She couldn’t handle loving someone as much as she loved you. You brought such joy to all our lives, I don’t think you will ever know the extent you changed each of us.
I have never seen my father act the way he did when you were born. A grandson. A sweet, beautiful, almost 9 pound being of perfection. He would come over almost every day, even just for a few minutes, to hold you. And you two still have a bond that is like no other. Nothing makes you happier than to spend the day with your Papa golfing, or at a football game. You two are kindred spirits. When you were little you wanted to be a builder, like your Papa. At 2 years old he would pick you up dressed in your hard hat and take you to a job just to watch the tractors work. And YOU, my love, were the first baby he has ever diapered!
I was told by many and read books that said when your little brother was born you would be jealous and act out and become violent, and that it was okay. Only ONE time did you ever harm Sawyer. I remember it so clearly, we were driving to Malibu and you were both in the back seat, Sawyer was a few weeks old. He started to cry and I asked if something happened and you just looked out the window. When we got to the beach I pulled Sawyer out of the carseat and saw a big scratch on his leg. We had a big talk, and didn’t stay at the beach very long as your punishment, and you never did it again. Today, you both fight and battle each other almost daily, but when Sawyer was little, you just protected him, loved him, did anything you could to make him smile.
It’s hard for me to describe the pride I have when I look at you. You are the kindest, most caring, generous spirit I know. At your last teacher’s conference your teachers described you as the kindest child in class, a gift, she actually said you are a “mitzfah” which is an act of human kindness, a good deed. And that is what you are exactly. Sometimes daddy and I look at each other and ask how in the world you became so honest, so tender, so sweet. I honestly cannot take the credit. You were born with this nature and we are blessed to help mold and steer you in the direction you already go.
You have only lied to me once. And as soon as the words left your lips you broke down weeping. I didn’t even have to reprimand or discipline you. You felt so horrible and so ashamed I actually had to tell you it’s okay, not a big deal, just to stop the tears. As a student I could not be happier with you as my child, you are so bright, so studious, the pride swells in me every single day. Just last night you beat me in Chess fair and square. It won’t be long before you beat daddy too. I can’t wait for that one!
Gunnar, you are the firstborn that every family prays they have. In fact, if every family just had one of you the world would be a different place. I feel fortunate not to just have you as a child, but fortunate that I am your mother. I get to spend every day with you. I get to kiss you in the morning and tuck you in every night. I get to listen to you read. I am the one who gets to hear your laugh every day. I am the one who gets to say, “Gunnar is my child”. I could not wish for anything different about you. I would not change you. I just want so badly for you to stay who you are. But at the same time I cannot wait to see the man you become.