The following is a letter to my son Michael. We spent the entire day together on his 5th birthday exploring Chicago last week. It was an amazing day I will forever cherish. I can’t wait to do it with Owen.
I can’t believe you are 5. I remember the morning of August 6th, 2007 like it was yesterday. I had labored through the night and the doctor said we should come into the hospital that morning. I was nervous, excited and of course anxious to meet you. I wondered, were you a boy or a girl? Would you have hair? Would you look like me, daddy or a good combo of both? A few short hours later (you made it easy on me through the delivery process, I can’t thank you enough for that) the doctor said those precious words “it’s a boy!” My eyes instantly filled with happy tears, and I stared in awe the first time I held you. My beautiful baby boy Michael. Shortly after you arrived, I remember Grandpa and Nana arriving at the hospital to mee you- their first grandchild! We were in our hospital room and I was holding you. Grandpa came in smiling ear to ear, kissed me gently on the top of my head and whispered “now you know how much I love you.” He was right. I had no idea until I had you just how much a parent can love a child. From the second I saw your face I was head over heels in love.
Fast forward a few years, and you are now 5 years old!! A few months ago I decided I would take the day off of work so we could spend it together exploring Chicago. We don’t get to go downtown very often and every time we do you have so much fun, so I thought it would be the perfect way to celebrate your big day. Mommy and Michael’s great adventure through the city.
You were so excited the night before your birthday you were giggling as I tucked you in bed. When you walked out of your room the next morning you smiled and said “it’s my birthday!”
What a day we had! I can say it was one of my favorite days of all time as a mommy. As I saw the city through your eyes I was transported back to my childhood and for the first time in a long time I remembered what it was like to be a kid. The pure excitement and wonder of the world around me. Spotting the little things most adults would never stop to notice. Saying what’s on my mind with such conviction and without a care of who hears me or what they think. Look at that bird walking around- I think I’m going to chase it! Wow, that crane is moving. Where’s the driver? Wer’e so high in the air on this ferris wheel, why can’t I see heaven? I wanted to see heaven. When are we going to have ice cream? I LOVE ice cream!!! Can I have kit-kats on it? My legs hurt, can I have a piggy-back ride? Why aren’t there seashells on this beach? Are there sharks in the water? Can I put my face in the water? A Beluga whale!!!!!!!!!!! Where is Michigan Avenue? Is the Disney Store on Michigan?
I could write a book about all the fun we had on your 5th birthday. I’ve tried to capture each moment here with some pictures so you can look back years from now and remember the fun we had and the precious time we spent together, just mommy and Michael.
7:45: Breakfast at LePeep. You ordered the usual (pancakes, eggs and sausage with milk) and I had an egg omelette.
9 am: Parked in mommy’s work building. We walked to Millenium Park to see the Bean and the “face fountains”.
10 a.m: The Shedd Aquarium. Mommy’s work had an event there so we skipped the line and got in for free! The Beluga Whales were your favorite. Mommy loved the Jelly Fish exhibit.
11:30: Water taxi to Navy Pier
Noon-1:30: Navy Pier- Ferris Wheel ride, speed boat racing, lunch
1:30: Ice cream on the beach
2:00: Explore the beach
2:15: Wait, did you say there’s more ice cream?
2:30: Disney Store. You picked out a Mickey Mouse doll and Mickey PJ’s.
3:00: Headed home
4-8 pm: Family dinner with Daddy and Owen, and just enough time to play baseball with my brand new bat in the back yard.
8p.m: Sweet dreams my 5 year old. What a day. Thank you for being you. I love you more than you will ever know.