Happy fifth birthday to you today! The last five years have flown by so quickly that I think I am finally starting to understand when other parents say how it all goes so fast.
You have done quite a bit of growing up this year. This was the first summer that you truly enjoyed being in the pool. In years past, you have clung to Daddy or me like a spider monkey, but this year, you love playing on your own in the water and even jumping into the shallow end from the side of the pool. After telling me that I should go ahead and sell your bike because you were never going to ride it, you have learned the joy of pedaling and racing around the driveway. You mastered all of your sight words at school, and you're slowly, very slowly, starting to work on things that are out of your comfort zone. As a general rule, you don't like new situations or trying new things until you have had plenty of time to suss things out. That's not a bad quality to have, but I'm happy to see you taking some chances.
You're even excited about your birthday this year, and that has not always been the case. Being the center of attention isn't your favorite thing, but you're learning to handle it with grace. We're having a party for you this weekend, talk about center of attention, but I know that you will be a great host and have fun with your friends.
I was worried about you going to your last year of preschool this year because it's an all-day program. Once again, you have pleasantly surprised me by taking it all in stride. I think you like being a big kid and eating your lunch at school, and having a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lunchbox hasn't hurt. You're getting bigger-kid tastes now: even though you still like pirates, you're more into TMNT and anything that has to do with the Star Wars movies. You're also really into Legos, much to my dismay. Legos are cool, but I envision lots of lost parts and stepping on small pieces in my bare feet. But watching you play with your very first Lego set is fascinating to me and I love how much joy it brings to you.
You're still my pragmatic child. You want to know how everything works, what every word means, and why things are the way they are. Sometimes I just don't have the answers for you, but you seem content to think up the answers for yourself. You definitely tell it like it is. One night, I asked you if you would still snuggle with me when you were a grown-up. You thought for a minute then said, "Well, you'll be dead." A morbid thought, kid, but you certainly do think ahead. You're absolutely brilliant with your reading: your teacher says you're currently reading at a third grade level. I love that you love to read as much as I do, and you learn SO much from your books. There are a lot of times that you want to curl up with a book or your favorite catalog and read out loud. I'm not sure you even care if anyone is listening to you while you read. Along with your matter-of-fact nature, you have gotten really good at dealing with your food allergies. You ask if something is "Dallas friendly" before you eat it, and you're not afraid to tell people that you can't eat just anything they may try to give you. That makes me feel a lot better about sending you to Kindergarten next year.
You crack me up at least once every day. I know there is a lot going on in that head of yours by the hilariously random things you say. One night, you told us that when you put your pajamas on, you like to call yourself Chico. When Mimi wouldn't let you watch TV and wanted to read a book with you instead, you told her you hated daytime reading. You're obsessed with, um, the rump and anything that has to do with the rump. You sing a lot and endlessly hum the "Imperial March" from Star Wars. You find it hilarious when I can't identify Shredder or Baxter Stockman, the mortal enemies of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
You are wicked smart, and I know in my heart that there are amazing things ahead for you. Never lose the sweetness that you have inside of you. Stay best friends with your sister. Laugh a lot. Try new things. Fail and then try again. Play outside in the snow. Read all of the Harry Potter series. Be bold. Be who you are without apology.
You are my best boy, and I love you so much,