To My Aiden on his 6th Birthday

Dear Aiden,

You’re 6 now! How is it that at 6 years old it feels like you’ve become such a grown up boy? I feel like moving into Grade 1 is such a momentous occasion, even more so than Kindergarten. It has a number associated with it. It is about more than just playing. Suddenly, you are on a path that will propel you all-too-quickly forward to Grade 12. 

You can see how much you’ve changed since you were five, my boy, and how much you have learned and how much you have pushed yourself! 

15 ArieannaSchweber SJP 0118

You have tackled some major fears and anxieties and overcome them, so proud of your own bravery at challenging those fears. Not only did you learn how to swim, but it became one of your most favourite activities. You learned to love our boat and to love swimming from the dock on Keats. Even as those times have challenged us, I have watched you become aware of your own self in these moments and feel that knowing yourself, at your age, is such a gift!

You skate, you play (and now love) soccer, you are part of a swim club. You learned how to ride trails (and bike ramps) with no fear. You love Lego and Star Wars and Pokemon (you really love Pokemon). You can turn any building material into a ship, particularly MagnaTiles. You learned to read (more than just a few words here and there) and now devour chapter books in a handful of days and constantly need to be reminded to stop reading and go to sleep!

You have lots of friends to greet and be greeted by, and have your solid best friends that will always be by your side. You always have a compliment for others. You are the first one to notice something nice about someone else and always make a note to say so. It’s a beautiful trait of yours that, whether it shines my way or not, makes me so proud of you. 

15 ArieannaSchweber SJP 01041

Your smile can light up a room. Your excitement infects those around you. Your courage inspires me. And each and every day, I’m thankful as you walk groggily to my side for your cuddles, together starting our day with love and ending it each night with a song, a kiss and an ‘I love you.’ 

Be courageous, my love. Be open. Continue to notice the little things in the world that are beautiful. And tell us about them. Devour as many books as you want. Love the world and all it has to offer. Learn about it. Explore it. And know, wherever life takes you, I’ll be by your side. 


To My Aiden on His Fifth Birthday

Dear Aiden,

Today was your 5th birthday! It’s hard to believe how much you have changed since you turned 4, and yet at your core you are still the inquisitive, passionate and creative child. It’s hard to believe how much you have changed in the last month alone, since you started Kindergarten, and how that has translated into a new-found maturity and blossoming patience. 

IMG 0394

I know these next years you will continue to grow and mature, and I dearly feel the change in how much time you spend away from me. I cherish the moments we spend together, as I cherished our time today visiting the Ghost Train, playing Lego, playing with your new toys and decorating for your birthday party. I love your enthusiasm for life and cherish every smile you throw my way. 

IMG 1527

Though the past year was not without its challenges, particularly as you grew restless during the summer, upon reflection you have lived such a life and have changed so much. Graduating preschool and starting Kindergarten. Learning to ride a bike and a scooter. Taking long family bike rides and hikes through the forests. Drawing intricate pictures, faces and letters. Creating and inventing. Building and following instructions. Creating imaginary worlds to play in with your friends. Inviting your brother into your world to share your joys.  

You shout your joy (and your anger!), to the rooftops! You never fail to brighten a room with your enthusiasm and your chatter. Your aptitude, interest and concentration abilities for things like Lego or games like Carcassonne leaves me breathless. While you race ahead in so much that seems ‘grown up’, still you love to lay on the floor to drive around your cars in endlessly creative ways. 

Shout your joy, my Aiden. Live life passionately. Challenge yourself. These are the things that make you happy. Life will have its challenges, and its failures, but it is full of excitement for those willing to see it. I am thankful to be able to walk beside you to see the world with your excitement. 

IMG 1528

Every night I sing to you that “you’ll always know how much I love you, because I’ll tell you every day.” I love you, today, tomorrow and every day hereafter. Happy Birthday my special boy!!


IMG 1708

To My Son on the First Day of Kindergarten

Aiden arieanna

Dear Aiden,

I’ve been known to write you letters on your birthday and other special occasions. Tomorrow isn’t your birthday, but it is nonetheless momentous. I have felt all day that I am bursting with mixed emotions about the changes that begin tomorrow. There is so much that I am feeling and so much I want to say. So I’m writing you this letter. 

Tomorrow you begin Kindergarten. Tomorrow you begin walking a path that will slowly take you into your own future life. Your own independence. 

Up to now, we have walked hand in hand as you have grown up. I have been with you almost every day of your nearly 5 years. I have had the privilege to take care of you each and every day. Yes, you had preschool, but what is 4 hours really? Just a moment gone by. And now 5 years of those moments have flown by and you are here, on the precipice of all this change. This change which suddenly overwhelms me.

Tomorrow I will walk you to school. I will hold your hand and I will give you a hug and I will wave at you as you enter your new school. You’ll meet new friends, some of whom may turn out to be lifelong friends, some of whom may not. But either way, most of those kids will be with you for years to come. You will spend most of your waking hours with them. 

Tomorrow I will let go of your hand as you enter your school. Those first steps take you to a place where I cannot hold your hand, but will forever be at your side, thinking of you. Even as the years pass and you no longer want to hold my hand as we walk to school, I’ll still be there. Even as you head off to high school then graduate, I’ll still be there. Even as you forge your own life on your own, I’ll still be there. I’ll always be there. 

Tomorrow I will let go of your hand. Tomorrow your new life begins. 

I love you Aiden. I am so proud of you and so excited for you and so nervous as well. 


Happy Preschool Graduation, Aiden!

Dear Aiden,

Today was your last day of preschool. It was a bittersweet day, even for you. For the first time in almost 2 years, you needed a cuddle before drop off and you were sad about missing your friends and all the fun times you’ve had. You have made some amazing friends at preschool and have learned so much, and a new adventure awaits you next year in Kindergarten. It’s a big and scary change.

IMG 8352

You started preschool when you were 2 years old, going to the rec centre program for a couple of hours a week, then transitioning into your current preschool. You started at just 3 hours once a week, but for the past year you have been going 3 times a week, 4 hours per day. Preschool was a big part of your life.

As I expressed to your teachers on your graduation, you have come a long way since you started preschool. I took you to preschool worried that 4 hours would be hard for you, that you would be overwhelmed as you so often were at home or at playgroups. I was worried you wouldn’t eat the food provided there, and indeed you struggled with this at first.

Today, you leave preschool a different boy. Preschool has given you the confidence to sing, even to have a solo in your Mother’s Day recital, something I never imagined possible. You have realized that you can try new foods and that some of your favourite foods (at least at preschool) are really quite outstanding, from lentil or carrot soups to pesto pasta. The boy you are at preschool is not the boy you are at home, and it’s a bittersweet reminder to me that you’re becoming your own person and that very soon you’ll be spending more time away from me becoming this person than you currently spend with me. How much you have changed in just a year? It’s astounding.

I am so proud of the person you are becoming. You have finished a chapter in your life today. A whole new adventure awaits you. I can’t wait to see what it brings. Congratulations my sweet boy.


IMG 7973

To My Aiden on His Fourth Birthday

Dear Aiden,

Today you are 4! Each day I look at you in awe, inspired by the person you’ve become and wondering where my baby has gone and how he grew into the boy I see before me. It seems like yesterday that you turned 3, and yet looking back now you were still so little. Now, at 4, so much change is upon us and I can feel it coming. You talk with joy and anticipation of all the changes the next year will bring, like starting Kindergarten next September.

Photo copy

Still, for now, you are my little boy. We start and end each day with a smile and a cuddle, and that’s just how I want it to stay as long as possible.

You have become your own person this year, bubbling with independence and self-assuredness. You walk into preschool, playgroups and new places with an infectious grin and readiness to make new friends – and you do, wherever you go. It’s hard not to have fun when you are around. Now that you’re back in preschool, I’m all too aware that our time together is coming to a close and I want to be sure we fill up our time with as much downtime together at home as we do with parks and playgroups and special trips.

Whether you have a train, airplane or hot wheels car in hand, you are ready to spin wild tales of adventure endlessly. Almost every day, we spend special time together playing board games, doing crafts or reading books, then we’re off to create adventures of our own as a family.

Though adjusting to your role as big brother has had its challenges, you have been more amazing and gentle and loving than I could have ever imagined. Your bother looks up to you with such wonder and the bubbling excitement he has when first seeing you melts me every time. I love to see you wrestle and tickle and play as only two brothers can.

PhotoPhoto copy 2

You’re growing up too fast, my Aiden. Your life moves forward at a pace that’s hard to keep up with. You sign your name to your art with determination and pride, and I hope that no matter what you do in life, you’ll be proud to put your stamp upon it. You make me proud every day.

Aiden, my Aiden, you’ll always be my special boy. I love you more than “everything in all the world”, as we like to tell each other. Today, you are 4. Happy Birthday.