Thursday, April 25, 2013

At Five

Dear Michael,

One of these years we'll celebrate a birthday of yours and I won't think about how it wasn't supposed to happen until May... Really though, I am so incredibly grateful that people who meet you today probably don't realize that you were born nine weeks early. In a way you will always be my baby, but you certainly aren't a baby anymore!

Last month you turned five years old. I say it every single time I reflect on your birthday, but where on earth does this time go?

We've really turned your world upside down in the last year. I went back to work full time in the fall and you left your school to go back to the preschool/daycare you were at the spring you turned two. You've done well in your school this year. You've learned and grown and made friends. It took you a long time to come out of your shell, but you really have blossomed.

How will we remember this past year? We've watched you encounter all kinds of new experiences and each time you've approached them the same way. You wait and you watch. Sometimes for an agonizingly long time. You have a need to spend some time thinking about a situation before you commit to being a part of it. This is has been true of everything from swimming in a new hotel pool to joining with friends at a birthday party.

The rough-and-tumble boy you can be has come out with the fullest force ever this year. You play aggressively with your friends at school and come home talking about Star Wars and Rescue Bots and Transformers and all sorts of things that you didn't encounter in our house. You are slowly learning to identify the times and places where rough play is appropriate as well as when it isn't such a great idea. For instance, sneaking into the kitchen and karate-chopping the back of my legs while I'm preparing dinner has turned out not to be such a good idea.

As rough as you can be, you are something of a gentle giant as well. (Did I mention that you are now in the 95% for height and the 90% for weight?) We have yet to find a movie you can watch without crying at some point, either from being sad or afraid. Even certain books and songs will bring you to tears. You hate to see anyone else feel sad, left out, or left behind. Eventually I imagine you'll be able to sit through a Disney movie without dissolving into tears, but I also hope you'll hold on to that tender heart as you grow.

Your obsession with sports grows stronger each year and baseball is your favorite. You will watch any baseball game on television, even if it is between two college teams that you've never heard of. You cannot wait to play baseball (that's coming later this year) and are trying out soccer right now. You love your soccer practices and games, despite the fact that you play as though you are participating in a game you are watching on a three-second delay. While you figure it out you are just happy to be on the field and keep telling us how great it is!

The rest of this year is going to bring more huge changes your way. After what feels like an eternity of debating what to do, we have decided to send you to kindergarten this fall. I can't wait to see how you navigate in that new world and what other surprises you have in store for us.

You are delightful Michael. You bring so much joy to our days with the appreciation you have for the little things in life. I will never get tired of hearing how great your day was or how I make the best sunbutter and jelly sandwiches in the world. It is a gift to be your mother. I love you.