Birthday Letter to Lucas

Dear Lucas,

At 6 a.m. you padded into our still-dark bedroom in your very large feety pajamas with sharks and said, “Can I snuggle now?”

We groggily replied, yes. “Happy Birthday, Lucas!”

“I’m 7,” you said. I could hear your smile in the dark. Yes, indeed you are.

I’m surprised you were able to snuggle for 12 whole minutes before you asked if we could get up now. Yes, we replied. I made you and Daddy wait in the bedroom while I dressed. There was no way I was going to miss seeing your lovely face when you got to the kitchen and saw what was waiting for you at your place at the table.

You ran the last ten steps to your place, exclaiming, “What is it? What kind of animal is in there?”

Your own, your first-ever, pet. A pet mouse, just what you asked for. She is white and cute, with pink eyes and a twitchy nose. She crawled over your hands and up your arm. She tickled your ear with her whiskers, sniffing your skin. She pooped in your hand! And you loved it.

To our surprise, you named her Emily. Emily Mouse. So, today, on May 1, 2009, we have a new member in our family.


Oh my! Somehow this birthday seems bigger than all the others. Somehow, 7-years-old seems much, much older than 6. Somehow, this change is bigger than one year. I guess it feels like you’re officially out of babyhood now. Officially, you’re a kid—soon to be a second grader. Wow.

Last night, we read the birthday poem as we have in years past. It goes like this:

When I have said my evening prayer,

And my clothes are folded in the chair,

And Mother switches off the light,

I’ll still be 6 years old tonight.


But, from the very break of day,

Before the children rise and play,

Before the greenness turns to gold,

Tomorrow, I’ll be 7 years old.


7 kisses when I wake.

7 candles on my cake!


Afterward, Daddy turned out the light and took Asher out. I stayed with you for our nightly cuddles. I asked you a question: "What was it like to be 6?"

“Fun!” you replied right away. Then you thought some more. “Good. Because I don’t have to work a lot. I can play.” We talked about the things you can do now, that you couldn’t do before.

Oh, the things that you have learned this year! One of my proudest moments ever was the evening you sat down on the couch with Daddy and learned to read. It was like hearing your brain shout a chorus of “Ta da!”—like hundreds of polyphonic voices praising the glory that is your mind. “Hallelujah!” I sat in the other room, listening with rapt attention and crying tears of joy. Since then, you have been practicing reading every day and getting better and better at it. You’ve already read one whole Dick and Jane book and are very close to finishing your second. You’ve read an entire Biscuit book, too.

We let you lead the way. You decide when you want to read. I am always glad to sit down with you and listen to you read to me. After all those thousands of hours I read stories to you, it is an absolute joy to have your return the favor!

I remember the day I bought you your second Dick and Jane book. It was only a month or so ago. We made a special trip to the bookstore to buy your book. I told you, “You know, if you keep reading and keep practicing, pretty soon you’ll be able to pick up just about any book in English and read it.” Your mouth dropped open and then you smiled your gorgeous, shining smile.


“Yeah. Really. It’s kind of like having a superpower. Reading is the key to ultimate power, because if you can read, you can learn anything.”

“Anything?” And then you fell silent, pondering. That was a good day.

Another thing you’ve learned to do this year is math. MATH! How awesome is that? You’ve been counting by ones, twos, threes, fours, fives, tens—sometimes all the way to 100! At school, when you’re working on math in main lesson, you are learning about addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. All four operations this year. I can tell math is fun for you, and that makes my heart sing.

You’ve learned how to roller-skate; you’ve become an excellent swimmer and a snorkeler. You’re a tree climber, a four-square player, a jump-rope king, a knitter, and a woodworker. You do Eurhythmy. You play the flute!

With each new skill you acquire, I watch you growing ever more confident. You march out of the house, self-assured and self-possessed. You know what you like and don’t like. You know what you can do; you know no limits.

Your creativity is unleashed on the world every day, and you spur your Dad and me on. You are a tremendous idea machine. You ask us, “Can we … (build, find, make, grow, invent, experiment, try, create, discover…)? We are forever looking at one another and asking, “Well, why not?” We try to say yes to your schemes as much as possible; we always learn something from them.

I am delighted whenever someone mentions you these days because they invariably say something wonderful about you. And I’m not just talking about your grandparents, who love you no matter what you do or say. I mean people from your school, my friends, your friends’ parents. They all say what a charming boy you are. They say you are kind and fun. A good friend. A pleasure to be around. “Oh, he’s no trouble,” they say. And they don’t have to say that.

You save the sass for us, I think. “Fine, Mom!” Honestly, I thought I wouldn’t have to hear “Fine, Mom!” for a few more years. Perhaps some of your classmates have older siblings from whom they’ve picked up that little gem?  

I can see how easily you make friends, and how you try to be loyal. First grade is a little hard in that department because all the kids are figuring out what it means to be a friend and have friends.

When you got to first grade, you started talking about new playground games. You spoke of “teams” and “battles,” “patrols,” and “good guys” and “bad guys.” I think you and your schoolmates are working things out in your own way. You wrestled, slid in the mud, and dug deep trenches and holes throughout the fall and winter. Now, you talk more about jumping rope and playing four-square at recess.

 I know that you are sensitive and sometimes your feelings are hurt at school. I know that sometimes kids can be mean. Just continue to do your best every day; just continue to be the sweet, caring, brave, loyal kid that you are and you will always have good friends in life.


Last year at this time, when you were turning 6, you went a little crazy. This year, for the last several months, we’ve watched you mellow. You seem more reasonable, more adaptable. You’re a little less likely to fly off the handle and do something wild. This makes you easier to be with and easier to keep happy. That has been nice.

I also want to thank you for being such a terrific big brother. You know, Asher adores you and copies everything you do. When you teach him nice things, I feel so proud of you. You are caring; you often look out for him. You play with him and make him laugh. This means the world to him. If you are careful, you may actually have a best friend for life in your little brother. We point to Papa and Uncle Mike as an example. They are brothers and best friends. They look out for each other, help each other, and have lots of fun together.

Asher lights up when you come home from school. He frequently asks about you when you’re gone. He still calls you “Ca” sometimes, but recently started using your whole name. “Hoo-cas” is what he says now. Today, he marched around outside calling “Daddy! Hoo-cas! Come home! Daddy! Hoo-cas! Home!” I think he missed you.

I know Asher can be a pain, too. It’s hard for you to be patient when he’s messing up your stuff, breaking your Lego creations, or knocking down your block towers. I know to you it seems he gets everything and sometimes we tell you no. It’s also hard for you when you get mad at him, but aren’t allowed to do anything about it—no hitting or shouting the baby. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen all the time. Fortunately, you seem to be able to take the long view, which is that Asher will get cooler and more fun as he grows up. It’s positively heavenly when you two play together. There’s no sound I love more than the sound of you both giggling together.


Well, I’ve taken your birthday cake out of the oven. It’s been cooling while I wrote this letter. I’ve just popped it out of the pan and it looks terrific! In a few moments I’ll wake up Asher, drive to school and pick you up. We’ll spend part of this afternoon decorating your alien cake and getting ready for tomorrow’s birthday party.  Seven of your buddies will arrive to celebrate with us. We have big fun planned!

I love you, son. You are my precious boy and I’ll always love you. Happy birthday!




3 Responses to “Birthday Letter to Lucas”

  • amaniellen
    May 2, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Sara, your letters to your boys always make me cry happy tears. This is no different. Happy Lucas’ birthday to all of you.


  • dakini_grl
    May 2, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Lucas is all these things! It’s amazing.

    And happy birthday Lucas. You are such a charming young man. I’m so glad to know you.

    Sending love.


  • kittiliscious
    May 3, 2009 at 2:05 am

    Happy Birthday Lucas!

    It is so much fun to see the great kid he is growing up to be. I really enjoy seeing him and hearing about his adventures.


Leave a Reply

  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

  • Buy Our Festivals E-Books

  • Archives

  • Tags

  • Categories


  • Meta