To our 6 year old boy,
I really can't believe it. Six.
Maybe it's because it sounds like SIXTEEN, maybe it's the kindergarten thing, or just that you are so long and tall and grown-up these days.
Every year at this time, I find myself wanting to hold you and snuggle more than usual. When the Christmas decorations come out, and we pull out the Christmas tree snow globe that I got from Grandma and Papa while in the hospital with you, I can remember it all.
That crazy pre-Christmas of 2002, where nothing else really mattered and we got to bring home our best present ever on Christmas Day. That little tiny present who peed through a million outfits that first night, who squeaked and squealed and slept every minute you weren't eating for several weeks. Who we kept sequestered for months, avoiding the germs of flu season and other kids.
Today Daddy was talking to you about the day you were born, and I cried remembering that time between 3:30 pm and 6:00 pm when he was up in the NICU with you before I was cleared to go up and visit you. Those hours I didn't realize I had missed, and that don't really matter now, but they still make me cry thinking about it. And we realized how thankful we were--again--that your sister arrived on time, so that you didn't have to wait 11 days to see her, since they don't allow kids in the NICU.
You, thankfully, have had no problems related to your early arrival. Except the fact that your birthday falls eleven days before Christmas. And it's always crazy busy during that time, we have to schedule around holiday parties and the toy stores are sold out. You are tall and smart and healthy and funny--I think I called you a "delightful tornado" one year. You're still delightful, still a tornado.
Since your 5th birthday, you have played on your first t-ball team, broken your arm, gotten four stitches in your eyebrow (a week after your cast came off), played on your first soccer team, and started kindergarten. It's been a big year. You're this close to reading on your own, and I expect it will click any day. You know all the letters and sounds, but the part of actually sitting still long enough to carefully grip your pencil and focus on forming your letters is usually more than you're willing to tolerate for long. You tend to rush through things so you can be the first one done, the first one to do whatever comes next. You have a brain for numbers, like your Daddy, and can add and subtract numbers in your head, love to count everything, and enjoy number games. We even made an equation cake, with 3 + 3 = 6. Ok, so it was because we didn't have a #6 candle, but you still loved it.
School has been an easier transition than we expected, although I wouldn't call it easy. You are still exhausted from all-day kindergarten, but you have an amazing teacher and have made lots of new friends. You are happy at the new school, and we love being five minutes away. Knowing a few kids from soccer definitely helped your comfort level, and you know lots of kids from your class and older kids from recess and class buddies.
We're just experiencing what we've come to expect as the "annual wave of obnoxious" right before your birthday, so we have high hopes for January. Something about holidays and birthday all rolled into one season is a lot for anyone.
Your birthday party was waaaaaay too big and a bit overwhelming, especially for you. I know it's over and you had fun in the end, but I still feel responsible, like I should have predicted it. But I hope you felt celebrated. And by the way, we'll never do that again. Ever.
It may not snow for Christmas, but you had a white birthday. Two inches of snow.. not enough for sledding or snowmen, but enough for a pathetic Northwest snow angel-where-you-can-see-the-deck-poking-through or two..
Wheeeee! It's my birthday!