One day when you are 23, I will tell you about this birthday—the fusing of a day of thanks with celebrating your life and birth.
I will tell you how you were finally interested in opening presents, but how you stood there patiently while your brother and sister gave you a hand.
I will tell you that you watched the dining room chandeliere almost the whole time your cake was in front of you, the candles beckoning your breath—and how finally, when your sister and brother flanked you, you turned to the cake and blew out your candles alongside them.
I’ll tell you how it was an ordinary day to you—filled with playing and a good nap. How you ate the regular old food you normally ate, and wouldn’t take more than a bite of your birthday cake.
And most of all, I’ll tell you just how thankful I am that you are part of our family—what a gift it is to watch you learn and grow—and how I cannot even imagine who you will be and what you will do when you are 23.
For now I am content to ring in your fourth year of life and feel this deep gratitude for the crossing over that your birthday is—18 months in the orphanage, and now 18 months in our family. And every day that we now live together is a day longer that you have been a Russell boy.
Happy Birthday Matthew!