Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Little Bear

You are twelve years old today my son. What a long time we have been together. I remember my pregnancy with you was not always easy. I hated the smell and taste of chicken. We lived in Hawaii, and so it was hot all year round. I carried my bulky body with you inside me through that heat.

I remember having been fired that summer because I am Caucasian. But it didn't matter, I was going to have a baby.

My 21st birthday came and went. And while the people around me laughed and became silly, you and I remained sober. I think that was my first experience of not drinking at a party and I was able to see how ridiculous it was. Thank you for that.

After you were born I was told that you would need to wear leg braces for 4 months because your hips were dislocated. I remember seeing you in those little leg braces to keep your legs in place. I wish that I had kept them...because they were so small, and you are so big now.

I remember your first best friend. We were living in Idaho. His name is Anthony, and we have photos of him. You two were inseparable when you were 4 years old. You missed him dreadfully when we moved to Japan, and I felt horrible for it.

Sometimes I wonder if we can get in touch with that family again so that you can talk to Anthony about everything that you have experienced since that parting. That was the first time you lost a friend because of a move.
You have lost many friends this way.

The cake dish that I will put your birthday cake on was given to me by Anthony's mother.

When we lived in Japan one of our Japanese neighbors peed on your foot. He was probably 5 or 6 years old. But I didn't care--he made you cry, and I was going to seek justice. I brought you over to his mother's house and broke the language barrier and "told" them what their son had done. She knew what I was trying to say, and became mortified...apologizing profusely to you and to me.

I want you to know that I will always be there for you, and stick up for you...even if it means pantomiming to a Japanese woman that her son peed on your foot.

When we came back to Michigan it was just you, me and Abi at first. I wish that it would have stayed that way for a long time, but it didn't...and I am so sincerely sorry that my insecurities brought a person into your life that told you that it was not okay to cry. It is okay to cry. Don't ever believe that it isn't.

When we were on our own...I expected a lot of you. You are the oldest. You are a boy. You had to be reliable, responsible and strong. I was once told that a 10 year old boy has no business doing the laundry, and my immediate reaction was that a 21 year old man has no business not knowing how to do his own laundry...

I still stand by that thought, and I do not regret teaching you how to be an independent individual. This is because someday, you will want to be on your own. I know that at least you can cook and clean for yourself if you should ever need to. It is my responsibility as a parent to teach you those skills.

Regardless, I will always be willing to wash your clothes and cook you dinner if you want me to. I know that someday I will ask to do those things for you, just to get you to visit me.

I know that our relationship isn't always perfect. But I am so happy that you know that you can come to me with anything. I am thankful for our talks, and that when you need to tell me something you don't seem to have any reservations about it. I know about your friends, and the girls that you like. I know about your heartbreaks and your heartaches--as well as your triumphs.

I am glad that when I become upset with you, I can tell you that I am sorry...and you forgive me, and I will do the same for you.

I think that if you know nothing else about me, it is that I am not perfect...but I love you like I have loved no one else in the world. You are the only boy in my life that has not broke my heart...

I see you growing up and taking your steps towards independence. I see you with your friends, and I am proud that who you are with them, is who you are with me. I am proud that you can be the same boy wherever you are, and whoever you are with.

I know that you are growing up...and someday you will leave this childhood and transition to a time where there will be more days that we fight than get along.

And after that you will be a man...and someday a husband and a father...but those times have not arrived yet...when they do, know that I will be here for you to ask advice about women, just as I have been here for you to ask advice about girls.

I will always be on your side, I will also be honest and fair...but I will never be perfect. However, if you get into trouble or if you are hurt, I will pantomime if you need me to.

Thankfully, I don't have to think that far ahead...

Today you are only 12 years old.

Today we still celebrate your childhood.

Today, you still dance with me to silly songs, in front of people...

Someday I will need to let you go...never comepletely...someday...but not today.

Happy Birthday Zachary-I love you!


At 11:25, Anonymous Nathan Logan said...

Very sweet. Happy birthday Zac - you've got a great mom.

And you guys lived in Idaho? I'm in Boise. =)

At 11:36, Blogger Kassi said...

Boise is a beautiful city. We loved it there. I have photos of us going tubing down the river, and going to the zoo. Many good memories of enjoying the they still have that restaurant where the waiters and waitresses sing?

At 11:36, Anonymous kalki said...

What a beautiful tribute to your son. It sounds like you're both lucky to have each other! Happy Birthday Zachary!

At 11:41, Anonymous Nathan Logan said...

Kassi - yeah, it's great here. I love it.

I'm not sure about the restaurant you're referencing. They sang to us yesterday when we were at Red Robin for a friend's birthday - is that what you mean? *wink*

At 11:47, Blogger Kassi said... wish I could remember the name of it...! It was like a 50's diner style...oh well. Good times anyway though. I did all my white water rafting there in Idaho.

At 22:34, Blogger ducklet said...

bravo, kassi. what a great tribute. i'm curious, did you print this out for him to read?

At 06:26, Blogger Fin said...

Happy (belated) birthday to Zac... he's such a joy, Kassi, you've done a great job with him, and he's done a great job being a wonderful son!

At 08:11, Blogger Kassi said...

Brando-yes I did...he read it right when he got home from school...we both had tears in our eyes and he gave me a hug.

At 09:41, Anonymous Scott C. said...

I think I may be one of the few people reading this blog who remember Zachary as a newborn baby.

I remember him being in this baby seat type of thing (some kind of convertible crib to carseat thing, I think) and him looking up a me with big, curous eyes at this strange and hairy creature looming over him. Somehow I think he liked me more than he was scared of me...even as a baby. :P

I have some pictures of him as a newborn in my photo album and will bring them on my visit.

At 09:48, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a truly touching post. Your son is very lucky to have such a wonderful mom, and your lucky for such a wonderful son. I wish you all the best.


At 10:01, Blogger Kassi said...

Scott: I remember when you claimed that you would never hold a baby. I tricked you once, handing Zac over to you claiming that I had to use the bathroom...and instead came back with the camera. I still have that photo.

...thank you everyone for your kind thoughts regarding the post to my son!


Post a Comment

<< Home