Happy Birthday Cayden!
Today, you my son turn nine and I want you to know that I am oh so happy to be your mommy. I need to say mommy, because of course these days you insist on calling me Mom. It's your way of showing how you are growing up and becoming BIG. Although I act like it is not okay with me, it really is. I want you to grow up, and I want you to become the amazing man that I know you will.
Nine is hard for me. It's one birthday away from double digits and it's almost like a half-way mark of my parenting. Yes, of course I'll always be your mom and hopefully you'll always need me for something. I do know that in nine more years you'll be 18, and that my son is when you will be BIG.
The past nine years have been my favorite years ever. You were the child that brought your dad and I into parenthood. You started this whole Ivey clan off to a great start. You have become a big brother 3 times and although those weren't the easiest transitions in the world for a kid, you have handled them great.
When you are feeling like it, you are a great help to your sister. You show her things, and help her with things that little 5 year old girls need help with. When you are feeling like it, you keep the brothers in line and include everyone to play your games. You are growing into a leader, and I pray that God will continue to mold you into that role as biggest brother. They all look up to you, and that's a big deal. Remember that as you make choices.
The thing that I loved most about your year #8 was that this summer you told your dad and I how you wanted to trust Jesus and walk with him forever. You've been asking questions about God for a long time, and I have seen God draw you towards him with such great intensity this past year. It was one of my favorite nights when we prayed by your bed and you told us that you knew you wanted to follow Jesus.
In the next nine years you will change drastically. You will grow hair in places you never thought you would. Your voice will crack and you'll get embarrassed. You'll find a sport that you love and excel in it. You'll find an instrument that interests you and probably get free lessons from your dad. You'll have good days, and you'll have bad days. You will start to look at girls in a new light and I'm fairly confident that one will break your heart, and in turn I will want to spray paint her hair blue for the way she hurt your heart. You will go on trips without me. You will want to not tell me things. You will go on a trip with your dad and he will tell you all you need to know about being a man. You will pick a college. You will cram for tests. You will then leave me.
To say that my heart is not ready for the day you leave for college is an understatement. I know I have nine more years before that happens, but these nine years have literally flown by. It seems like just yesterday we found out we were pregnant, having a boy, and then you made your grand entrance into the world. All 9lbs 11 oz of you. I will for sure remind you of that weight and that long day of delivery when you mouth off to me one time in front of your friends trying to be cool. I know you will do that. All 15 year olds do.
Cayden, thank you for letting me love you and I pray to God that I love you and your brothers and sister well. I want you to know that I love you, will fight for you, and will always be here for you. Even when you go to college and fall in love and replace me with the girl of your dreams. I know my place will change, and another woman will hold your heart, but know that I will always love you and 9 years into being your mommy I'm super proud of you.