To cap off the year of being seven, Mateo requested a "quiet" (in his words) sleepover, with just three friends. His three best friends. The boys who care about him most, the ones who are happy to hang day after day after day, who will help him build his Lego sets, the ones who would make a birthday a special one to remember. There was some bowling, some sickeningly sweet sundaes, presents ripped open, Edward Scissorhands, an 11 o'clock bedtime, an early rise, some homemade waffles, and of course much Lego building. 

And on the real day of his brith a day later, there was to be some mini golf, laser tag, and a special cake request that took this Mama three days to make. (It was worth it.) 

Since the arrival of his littlest brother, it has become even clearer to me just how ridiculously special this boy is to me and to our family. He teaches all of us, adults included, just how gentle, patient and kind we should be. In the car, his place is in the middle between Jude and Nico, and therefore he's often given the job of making sure Jude is taken care of (binky in place, socks not kicked off, blanket in place, etc.) And each and every time he does it with such care and attention. It has been many a time that he's calmed his baby brother down and put him right to sleep with a soothing voice and a lot of love. 

I can only hope that on this birthday he felt as loved by his family and friends as we feel loved by him.

Happy Birthday Teo.