Hi, Sugar Boy! It’s your big day, and you have been counting down to your birthday for quite a while now. Your joy was tangible when I woke you this morning. I love when you are so excited about something that it makes everyone around you excited too.
You are a big six year old, and you have no idea what sort of influence you have, do you? When I think of life-changers, six year olds don’t come to mind for me. But you… oh, you’re a different story. You create ripples and splashes everywhere you go! Sometimes it’s a huge cannonball of a moment when we’re at a store and you have a tantrum that everyone can hear. (Ha!) Other moments aren’t as grandiose, and yet they still leave an impact.
Yesterday, for example, we had an acquaintance drop something off at our house. The woman brought her 8 year old son, who was painfully shy. He could hardly stand to look at anyone’s face because he was so withdrawn. The boy sat on the far edge of the couch, behind his mom where no one could see him. He faded into the background while everyone chatted. Meanwhile, you were slowly bringing each of your favorite toys into the room and demonstrating how they work, and looking over at this boy each time. Once or twice you tried to give the toy to him, and he wouldn’t accept it. So you found another toy and played with it. Finally, you cracked through this boy’s shell and after 30 minutes, he followed you downstairs to our basement playroom. The next thing I know, you were chasing each other through the house with Nerf guns.
Can you understand what I’m saying with this example? My son, you are a charmer. You love people, and your need for interaction with them breaks through the barriers they build around themselves. You are persistent (oh, how I know this!) and when you find something you want, your tenacity is unyielding. I’m grateful for that, although I still need to figure out how best to harness that character trait!
Your fifth year had a few struggles too, and we weathered lots of changes: I went back to work. You started Kindergarten. You were diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity, then ADHD and anxiety and depression. We’ve had an uphill battle for a while. Some days, I muttered under my breath wondering whether I would survive the unknowns we face.
And then, we have a good moment or a good day, and my hope is restored and I catch a glimpse of who you might be when things start making more sense. I see your undiluted sweetness and your desire to make people around you happy. You crave laughter, and are triumphant when you make people crack up. You are a living, breathing oxymoron: seriously silly! I’ve always suspected you will be voted Class Clown in high school.
This year’s growth has been fun to watch. Just the other night when I was brushing your teeth, I saw your six-year molars poking through. You ran through the house showing everyone, calling them your “motors.” A day later, you kept asking to see them again. This past year has also been a huge milestone in your learning abilities: you can READ! Every time you grab a book and plop yourself down to read, my heart does a cartwheel because you are so stinkin’ smart. I also love reading the work you bring home from school, and the ways you have navigated writing and spelling. There’s nothing better than a story written by a Kindergartener!
And last week, you hit another creative milestone: you wrote your own music. Daddy set up the electric piano for you, and you sat in front of it and played keys and wrote down the notes in order. It looks like gibberish, but it is actually a musical composition. Wow! You love music, especially singing it out loud in the car. When Katie rehearses for leading worship at church, you practice right alongside her and your energy is astounding.
This year we also started some sports activities. You had a taste of karate in the fall, and then started gymnastics at the beginning of the calendar year. It’s been fun to watch your confidence grow and your appetite for trying new things.
You are growing and changing every day, sweet boy. Laughing, fussing, learning, singing, and loving with your whole heart. There is no doubt in my mind how much you love your family: me, Daddy, and Katie. I love being the object of your love, and hope you feel how much I adore you in return. We have so much in store for us this coming year, and I can’t wait to see you get wet as you dive in and experience it all.
I love you!