Vincent is 7. Years. (Yes, SEVEN)

My youngest living child turns 7 on June 30. I’m processing. Hold Please.

Vincent is 7. Today, June 30.

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First of all, happy birthday to you, Vincent — my babiest baby! Yes, your sisters say you’re rotten and it’s all because you’re “the baby” but we know that you deserve it all, sweet boy. After all, you put up with their incessant bossing and just because mom made them eat all their vegetables…well, it isn’t YOUR fault that she learned (on them!) that suddenly around the age of 8 or so, kids eat things and it’s not worth the fight at the younger ages.

Besides, your sisters may call you “spoiled, rotten” but you know they love you to pieces. They are always falling all over each other vying for your attention, your giggles and your affirmation…so, we know the “joke” is on them anyway.

Lucky you (!!) to have had seven years with your best buddy, Dominic. You won’t do a thing without him…ha!! …and you won’t let him do much without you either. As much as he might try to act like he wants some independence from you, we all can see how much he enjoys your love and admiration for him. Just a couple weeks ago when you insisted that you needed new summer pajamas with Pokemon on them — I saw how you two gave each other high-fives as we walked into the store knowing your desire would be granted (yeah, momma is a sucker for new pajamas, too.)

Vincent, I hope that this next year helps you continue to grow in intelligence, compassion and spunk. Well, you have always had enough spunk. đŸ˜‰

If nothing else, I do hope you figure out the whole smile-in-every-photo thing…the frown gets old and it’s far more fun to show how happy we are in photos, don’t you think? Well, maybe you just don’t like your photo taken — I can relate.

To this point where you turn age 7, you’ve completed 1st grade and proved yourself to be a “math whiz” who reads well above grade level, but who would rather stick a fork in your eye rather than practice and/or perfect your handwriting (hmmm, maybe you’ll be a doctor??) You have also completed a year with Cub Scouts only to realize it probably isn’t exactly your thing — and that’s okay! You’ve also become a good enough swimmer to play with your brother without too much hands-on supervision, which is awesome!

Several times in the past year, you have made it clear that you “can do it” yourself and that you are “not a BABY!” and that we should all stop “treating (you) like a baby!!”

I understand. I am a terrible offender. You see, it’s just been so terribly long since I didn’t have to do some of these things I’ve tried to do for you for at least SOMEONE. This is new territory for me. I don’t see it as though I am treating you like a baby, I simply do things because I’ve done them for so long. But I do want to thank you for the reminder that I need to let YOU grow up, too. Just like your sisters and your brother — you need to be given the space and the time to attempt everything on your own and figure it all out.

So, during this next year, I promise that I will try hard to stop myself from doing things for you that you are perfectly capable of doing for yourself. I might cry a little and maybe die a little inside, but that’s okay. It’s part of my job to make sure you grow up to be independent and capable. I never forgot that, it’s just that life kept on moving and I didn’t have any more babies coming behind you. But I promise to focus and remember that you CAN DO IT for yourself and that you are definitely NOT a baby (even though you will always be MY baby).

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