(Not so) Little Buddy,
You are five. A whole hand. Half a decade. Graduating preschool tonight (isn’t that fun?) and old enough to head to kindergarten. This time on your birthday, I could almost see the change overnight. Maybe you were just that close to five for so long that your big day tipped the scales, or maybe knowing that you’re five really changed some things for you, but either way, you are most definitely and officially growing up.
We spent your birthday at Disney World this year–something new and wonderful for us as a family. We wanted you to feel so celebrated, and I hope you did. I will never forget Mickey Mouse singing you “Happy Birthday” or wearing our “I’m celebrating Henry!” pins all day long. We were definitely celebrating you, as our hearts often are. It was a sweet, sweet way to welcome a big day in your life.
You are changing so much, and still so many things stay the same. Your sensitivity to others moves me and makes me so proud to be your mama. Your ability to create–to navigate LEGO instructions or to build something entirely new on your own is so fun to watch. I marvel at the way your mind works…you remember so many details and facts, connecting dots I’m not sure I ever connected at your age. And you ask beautiful questions: about God, about the world, about your newest little brother or sister growing in my belly. You captivate Eloise, and I have no doubt that you will have your new sibling’s attention, too. They are both so fortunate to have you caring for and looking after them.
This morning, you asked if you could go upstairs to “entertain her” as Eloise woke up for the day. Your laughter together poured down the stairs and filled me up to the brim, as it so often does. She delights in you. We all do.
I watch you in the back yard as you kick a soccer ball, navigate a water gun fight or protect your pirate ship from the swing set fort. You pull Eloise round and round in the wagon and play together so beautifully–your imaginations taking turns and running wild as you create new stories and new memories all of the time. You are adventurous, but careful. Fun-loving, and sometimes serious like me. You still love to pour over books, and sometimes now, I can convince you to read them to me instead of the other way around. You jump, speed, race, and make sounds effects everywhere. You are all boy, through and through.
When we share things together now, your laugh tells me that we’re both in on the joke, if that makes sense. It’s not like I’m just trying to make you laugh and you start giggling because mom is being funny. It’s more like we’re partners in crime and we “get it” together. We’ve always been partners in crime, you and I. What that looks like is just changing.
While preschool graduation is pretty much just a fun photo op with your teachers and friends, I’m not quite ready to face the fact that you’re kindergarten bound and so independent. When you snuggle up on the couch and just need your mama, I’m much more at home I know what to do with the little boy who still needs me. And I’m learning as fast as I can, on a curve, what to do with the big kid who needs me to step back a little and just watch him fly.
You told me recently that I shouldn’t worry about you not fitting into clothes from the little kids’ section of the store. “You have another baby coming!” you assured me with confidence. While that’s true and I’m so excited to have a little baby in the house again, you will forever be my little one in my heart. As our first born, I’m just not sure that ever changes.
I’m sorry that this note comes your way almost a month after you’ve turned the page on five…life has been full and busy and good, and we’ve kind of been celebrating you in waves all month long, anyway, which seems just about right 😉
I love you a crazy ton, and I love watching you grow! Being your mama is–and will always be–one of my greatest joys.
Have so much fun being five this year, HD. There are so many wonderful days ahead and I can’t wait to share them with you! Happy, Happy Birthday!
love you always and always,