Saturday, April 30, 2011


Dear J,

I don't know why, but 5 feels like a pretty big number. Sure, it's small in the grand scheme of things, but there's just something about the phrase "5 year old" that feels like a huge milestone to me. You're 5. I've been a mom for 5 years. The best, most blessed 5 years of my life. Also the fastest, most bittersweet 5 years of my life.

I remember being 5. The clothes I wore, the house I lived in, my mom's hairstyle, the shows that came on TV, the holidays with my grandparents, the anticipation of kindergarten, even some of the friends I had. I think that's why 5 is huge, it's one of the first years that you'll really remember for the rest of your life. I think about that alot as I watch you go through all of your little daily adventures, that you'll remember these times. This city, this house, your school, your teachers, the places you like to go, the games you play, the pets we have. But you won't remember them the way I will.

What I'll remember is how this is the year when you really came into your own. You started to experience the world in a different way, with your own preferences and interests that don't have anything to do with OUR preferences and interests. We tried to get you excited about karate, and you said you'd rather take a hip hop dance class. You stopped being into Dora and Diego and became obsessed with Scooby-Doo. Old Scooby-Doo, the exact same episodes we used to watch as kids, which is its own bittersweet thing. You started telling jokes (in your own fashion), inventing games, and building things out of household items. You began to see yourself as a bigger kid, especially compared to your little brother, but you also really bonded with him this year. Will you remember when we went to Sea World for this birthday and when we were at the hotel you told me that Jr. wanted to sleep in the same bed as you "because he's my brother and he really loves me." Probably not, but I will. You started to have a concept of what I do every day, and what work is, and what money is for, and how to save it. You played soccer, and wrote your name, and memorized almost every single song on the "Michael Jackson Number Ones" CD, and memorized the Lord's Prayer, and started learning Chinese just because you were interested in it. You kept reading, and reading, and reading, graduating from picture books to Dr. Seuss to "Junior Novels" in pretty much the blink of an eye (your current obsession: a Junior Novel about the Titanic. You carry that book around everywhere, telling me things like "Now the Titanic on the bottom of the ocean, buried under the silt and sand.") You're turning into your mother's son, reading books at the table, in the bathroom, in bed, in the car, everywhere you go.

But, thankfully, you're still little in some ways. Instead of correcting to you, I secretly want you to keep referring to the killer whales at Sea World as the "okras" (orcas) because it's so cute. You still cover your ears on the "scary" parts of your beloved Scooby-Doo episodes and Monsters Inc, even though you've seen them a thousand times. You're fascinated by everything, still easily entertained, still perfectly content to play with cardboard boxes and blankets (although I know video games are right around the corner). You continue to be a super picky eater, but there's glimmers of a little foodie in there. Pizza, hamburgers, spaghetti, quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs? No, no, never, no, nope, absolutely not. Brussels sprouts, parmesan brown rice, chinese food, sushi? Favorites. You cried when Daddy went out of town last month because you said no one would know how to play cars with you while he was gone. You still have days when you want to be carried around, and I get a little pang every time I realize you're really too big for that now. When did that happen?

5 years ago, your dad and I were SO desperate to meet you! You were TEN DAYS overdue, and all we could think about was what you would look like, how you would be, what things would we teach you, how are life would change once you got here. And you know what? You are so so so so so much more than we could have possibly imagined.

Happy 5th Birthday.

Love, Mommy


Lindsay said...

Happy Birthday, J! (I am so not ready for next Saturday!)

LauraC said...

Happy birthday J!

JenFen said...

With all our May 06 babies turning 5 this month, I wonder if their will be even one day I can read everyone's blog posts and not end up a blubbering mess. Where did the time go? Happy birthday J!

Joanna said...

Happy Birthday!

claudia said...

Beautiful. Happy Birthday J.

Julie said...

Wonderful post--truly a love letter to your boy!

I love it that J doesn't eat "kid" food! As if!