I’m nearly a week late in writing you this letter, but I figure that you can wait a week, since I waited 29 years to meet you. Granted, for most of those 29 I wasn’t eagerly awaiting you, but those last few before your arrival, they were pretty painful. They say every baby is a blessing, and you were certainly one for us. Amazing how the nine months I was pregnant with you seemed to happen in slow motion, and the five years you’ve been here have been more like fast forward.
You are so excited to be five. Almost from the moment you turned four, you were asking when your next birthday would be, when would you be five. You may have wished away this past year, but I certainly didn’t. It was such a special one for us.
There’s magic in this age. Amazing magic that I thought we had when you were younger, but really didn’t understand until this year. You truly believe. You take that leap of faith that us jaded adults just can’t take. For you, every character at Disney was real. You don’t merely accept this, you theorize around it. They live there, interacting with each other, waiting for us to arrive and see them. You aren’t bothered that they don’t talk when we see them, in fact, you are happy to act out elaborate charades with the characters because you believe. The same applies to Santa… he’s not just the bringer of presents. He’s the purveyor of magic who flies around the world in a single night, fitting all the children’s presents on his one magical sleigh pulled by a reindeer with a glowing nose. You don’t even question how this could be possible because you believe so big and so strong. The magic is real. It’s inside you, and I’m so thrilled to be along for the ride.
And while there is so much magic and belief, there is also so much learning and awareness. You come home full of knowledge that you didn’t have when you left for school. Letters, numbers, rhyming, sounding out words, it’s all part of our day-to-day dialogue. I never know if we will spend dinner talking about the differences between the Arctic and the Indian Oceans, and which one you want to visit first, or perhaps the giant meteor that crashed into Earth and killed all the dinosaurs. Many times these days, I’m answering your never-ending stream of questions with a very unsatisfying “I don’t know but we can look it up.”
It’s not just the constant learning and yearning for knowledge that’s new this year, it’s also the heightened sense of awareness. You notice everything, and hear even the quietest whisper. You embarrass easily, and are quick to scream and cry if we laugh at you. You are the first to tell Daddy and I to “stop fighting” or to take up the cause of the wronged parent with a sharp declaration of “that’s quite rude, Mommy. Say you’re sorry.” Rude is the word du jour, in fact. I’m rude, Daddy’s rude, you are never being rude… according to you.
But with this self awareness also comes this amazing glimpse into the boy you are becoming — fighter for the wronged, competitive to a fault, quickest volunteer to help that anyone’s ever seen. You quickly pushed your birthday presents over to your brother so he could help open them when he was sad that he didn’t have any. When writing thank you notes for birthday money, you wanted everyone to know that you’d be spending your birthday checks on Christmas presents for Ben. When we pass a police car speeding away, you always say, “Look Mommy, that police car has it’s lights on. I sure hope everyone is okay.”
You love to be busy, and are always sad when plans come to an end. In fact, you aren’t great with any kind of change – the end of soccer lessons, when your socks get holes in them and we have to throw them away (cue: epic tantrum), etc… You’d be happiest if we had lessons, play dates or adventures every day. This year, you did soccer lessons and swimming lessons – and are great at both! You can swim across the pool with no float, and your teachers always pull me aside to comment on your soccer skills. Your friends would probably comment on them too, but they are usually left crying on the field where you edged them out and nabbed the ball away.
You are still our awesome imaginative player. If we took away all your toys, you’d transform your fingers and toes into ‘guys’ and play for hours. You would say that you don’t get to watch much TV… which is true … but you love the things you do watch – Paw Patrol still remains a regular choice with several other shows sprinkled in. You saw your first movie in the theater this year, and thought that was fantastic.
You’d happily eat peanut butter and jelly, dinosaur chicken nuggets, and fruit every day for the next year without complaining. But, we do force you to eat other things regularly…. although most don’t get swallowed without a fight. Most nights I need to tell you that I added some kind of “boosters” to your meal to get you to eat it — you are always looking for that extra bump in muscle or speed. I did mention that competitive streak, right?
Lucas, I’m so grateful for these five years. We are tremendously lucky to be your parents, and so thankful you are ours.
I love you to the moon and back.