In our family of five, we’ve done 13 kid birthday parties.
13 happy birthday songs.
13 (plus a billion) sugar crash meltdowns.
Birthdays are kind of a big deal around here. We celebrate hard.
Our only boy, Maddex turns five tomorrow. Why does that sound like such a BIG number? Turning 5 is a big deal. I remember going through this with my oldest daughter as well. What is it about turning 5 that makes it so hard to believe and accept?
For starters, I think one of my first memories was right around 5. I remember my first
day of kindergarten. I have memories of when my sister was a baby (I was
almost 5 when she was born). So maybe part of this is that up until this moment I have felt like I had a “free pass” of sorts. Like I could make little mistakes as a mom, but they didn’t really count yet, because “they won’t remember.”
Five also feels like the transition from being little to being big. (I know all of you with actual grown or almost grown children are laughing at me, but this feels big to me!)
So this letter is part therapy, and part savoring memories of my son during his last few days of being 4.
I can’t believe you are almost five. It feels like it was just yesterday when we were bringing you home on Easter Sunday. Your sister put white fuzzy bunny ears on you and begged to hold you as she twirled in her Easter dress (that by the way, she never wore out of the house that day).
The day I found out I was having a little boy I cried. I just KNEW you were going to be special and I was so excited to be a girl and a BOY mom. I didn’t know anything about boys, but gosh the moment you were born I knew I loved you more than anything. Through your last (almost) 5 years on this earth you have taught me so much already.
You have taught me that trash day is the best day of the week, and that stomping in a mud puddle as hard as you can is so freeing. Before you, I had no idea how messy one tiny human can be even if only given a carrot stick!
You have taught me that a dinosaur and a lion have different roars, and there’s nothing greater than watching a rocket take off into space on YouTube.
You have taught me how to slow down. I still can’t understand how it can take someone 20 minutes to get socks out of his drawer and another 20 to put them on, but my goodness, you don’t miss a thing.
I want to always remember the way you smell of goldfish crackers and outside, and how
much you adore both of your sisters. Your sisters are so lucky to have you. You
are so kind and generous and you are already their biggest fan. Every time you tell
Brooklyn, “Gweat job sissy!” or talk to Lolo in a high-pitched baby voice (when you already have such a high voice!) my heart just melts into a giant puddle.
Please never stop loving Blue Puppy - your #1 companion. I love the way you sleep with him and feed him and make him toot on Daddy, the way I see “him” giving you kisses out of the corner of my eye and the way we have to search the house for him EVERY single night before bed because he went on all kinds of adventures with you that day.
I love the way you ask me to “pway twains and superhewoes". It doesn't matter that I'm not any good. You don’t care Bubbs, because you just want to be with me. I love your dance moves and the funny things you say every day.
But my favorite thing about you is how you teach me. You teach me that it’s okay to be sensitive and to feel deeply, you teach me how great it is to be outside riding bikes even if it’s 40 degrees out, you teach me how rewarding it is to put others first. You teach me the joy that comes from a good belly laugh and how funny it is to do practical jokes on Daddy. You remind me of my love for food and how fun it is to take the time to create an amazing meal. Oh Bubbs, you make my life so rich.
Next year you will go to Kindergarten and I know you think it’s funny when I say “YOU
STOP GROWING!” But Pleeeeease. Time slow down just a little bit. You will make new
friends rather than just accepting the ones I “make” you play with because I’m friends
with their moms. You will start to make “big boy” choices on your own and I will sit on
the side praying and cheering for you. You will make great memories, but I also know
you will have some painful memories. Kids will be mean. You’ll do something that makes you feel embarrassed, and I know that letting you grow up means also letting your heart
experience a little bit of brokenness. That’s the part I’m not ready for. I guess, if there
was one thing I could say to encourage you on your birthday it would be this:
Be confident in who you are, know that you are so loved, and just keep being YOU. You are one awesome kid and you’ve made this Mama so proud. I thank Jesus every day that He gave me YOU.
Happy Birthday Bubbas!