When we first moved to our little mountain farm in North Georgia, Nikolai was 3 years old. Today he’s officially 7. My wonderful husband picked up cupcakes to deliver to his classroom at school tomorrow to celebrate. He opened a gift from us yesterday evening and I got to spend some quality time snuggling away the last of his 6 years on the sofa. It’s cliche, but I really don’t know where the time went. We’re spending his school day doing laundry, filing paperwork for our lawyer to get us closer to closing, and packing up the car for a birthday celebration in Gatlinburg. I’m praying we get lost in a sea of Christmas lights and that perhaps this birthday will be as magical to him as the day he was born was to us. The day we brought him home from the hospital in the Mojave desert and it snowed for the first time in 45 years. The boy who saved his mother’s life by gifting her better health and is constantly in the middle of the most miraculous situations. Even before he was born he proved the doctors wrong when they thought he was dead. His heart beat was the strongest I’ve ever heard. He is the most lively, hysterically funny, breath of fresh air. Always the one to be respectful, kind, and loving. So we’re left continually wondering where the days went when our boy was just a tiny bundle within our arms. Where the toddler turned into boyhood and boyhood is quickly approaching double digits. Everyday he needs us a little less and his independence becomes a little more. That’s the goal right? To watch them spread their wings and fly away from the nest? I’ll never be ready for it. Can I bottle up the feeling of his small arms around my neck? Can I box up this memory to relieve it long after it’s faded away? I think I’ll end up in a pool of tears at some point today. It’s basically inevitable. Happy official birthday to our gorgeous 7 year old boy at 12:25 AM. May you forever be exactly as you are now and keep your open heart.