Friday, 6 March 2015

Letter to my son

My Little Man,

You're turning Five today. You are one-seventh as old as me, yet sometimes you seem worlds wiser. On occasion, you seem bat crazy too, so it all balances out. Surviving half a decade is no mean accomplishment, which is why I'm awake at 5 a.m. thinking about your life so far.

Five, huh? Big day. The first few months when we brought you home, I slept with my arm across your bassinet, my hand on your chest, so I could make sure you were still breathing. You won't remember that even though it was the first and last time you ever got to sleep in our room. Sorry, sweetie, but boys who thrash about sleep in their own beds.

Now you pick out your own pyjamas, brush your teeth, choose bedtime stories and beg to keep the light on so you can "read" in bed. You love your sleep, in fact, you are one of the only children I know to sleep-in on the weekends – Daddy and I are very grateful for that!

You have changed so much in the past few years.

You've lost your baby belly and have exchanged your chubby thighs for spindly legs and knobby knees. You can open doors, write your name, recite the alphabet, count to 40, empty the dishwasher and dress yourself. You have learned to say please and thank you, ride your bike, play by yourself for an entire morning and swim. You say "I love you" frequently and occasionally to get yourself out of trouble.

You love ham and cucumber sandwiches and would have raspberry and honey toast every day for breakfast if we let you. You know what the rules are and try to circumvent them with a mischievous smile. You are usually very cooperative but occasionally can throw a wicked tantrum. We'll be happy when you outgrow that.

But for everything that's changed, so much is the same. I still watch you sleep every night before I go to bed. My heart skips when you smile at me. Daddy and I talk endlessly about how lucky we are and spending time with you is one of our favorite things.

You have always been a “yes” man with a positive attitude. Although you've gotten bigger and more independent, you haven't lost your earlier optimism and excitement. That might make this year a challenge because your world is going to get bigger. You have started school now and everything is new. People will expect more of you. There might be days when someone says they don’t like to play with you and you won't like it, but it will be ok. Remember how it feels so you won't do it to anybody else. You're also going to learn to read, which, I promise you, is the coolest thing ever.

Five seems like a threshold, the time you change from a baby into a boy. It's not college, but it feels like a leap, which is why there are a few things we should talk about before you officially enter the world of "big kids." First, the small gold coin is worth two dollars is more valuable than the 50 cent coin that is the big shiny silver one. Just want you to understand this before you start changing lunch money at school yard. Second it’s “dandelion” not “dandy lion”.  I almost hate to fix this one, because it's ridiculously cute, but it's probably for the best. Finally, tomato sauce is not a vegetable. It's just not.  

Next weekend, while you're celebrating with Octonaut cake and balloons, I know you won't be thinking about any of this. You'll be blowing out candles and opening presents. What matters to you is frosting and your friends. Which is exactly as it should be. But it's different for me, and that's why I may get teary and hug you too tight or kiss you too often. Try not to let it bug you. Someday you'll read this and know that, for me, 5 is about letting you step out into the big and fascinating world, full of possibilities. Five is about watching you start to figure out who you are and where you belong. The next five years are going to be interesting, but I know you're going to love it.

Happy birthday!

Love Ă„iti (aka Mum)xoxo

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