Happy 5th, Birthday, Michael James!

I wrote this yesterday afternoon while our family was hunkering down during the big storm!

Tues, April 3rd, 2012

To my growing boy,  

I can’t believe you turned 5 years old yesterday! You have been just as nostalgic about it as your Mommy and Daddy. Instead of being excited and eager to turn five, several times last week you expressed that you did not want to turn 5, you wanted to stay 4! Even last night, you were insisting that you were still 4. I tried to ask you questions and get to the bottom of that feeling, and it seems you just have had lots of fun as a 4-year-old, and you’re afraid that you’re going to have to grow up too fast and stop having as much fun. I reassured you that you will get to do all of the same things that you love to do – snuggling with us, playing outside and inside, crafting and creating, goofing around – you will just be older and bigger. You will stay the same sweet little boy inside, your body might just change a little bit. 

Well, I have to say that your Daddy and I are glad that you are not too eager to grow up – we do love you just the way you are right now: so joyful and playful, sweet and snuggly, creative and curious, and you are still at a stage in your life when you love being with your family more than going to school or being with friends, so we love that! 

Daddy and I (and you) feel very good about our decision to delay Kindergarten for you, to give you another year of play, and a more relaxed schedule for more time with us and Ellie. This makes the transition to 5 a lot easier for all of us. 

Despite your hesitance to turn 5, you were very excited to have a birthday! And it was such a fun day! Daddy was off for the first day in quite a while, so we had a special pancake breakfast at home as a family (with colorful sprinkles, per your request). We lit the candle and sang “Happy Birthday”, followed by a special birthday blessing. Then Ellie went to school, and you got to spend a special day with Mommy and Daddy. We walked around the Arboretum on a cloud-covered spring day, and just let you lead the way: sometimes resting on a bench and just zoning out in the fern garden waiting for the mist, sometimes running in circles on the paths through the azaleas. You also enjoyed exploring all of the pioneer homes and playing by the Froggie fountains. Daddy and I remember taking you to the Arboretum when you were just a few days old, and you continue to love being in nature. We shared lunch at ZuZu’s (your pick) followed by icecream at TCBY. You loved looking at the M.C. Escher art book that Daddy gave you, and I enjoyed snuggling and reading “Birthday Monsters” and Dr. Seuss’s “Happy Birthday Book” with you on the couch. I rode bikes along side you to art class, and after that we had a “waffle” birthday dinner for you. (Again, with sprinkles, per your request.) GareBear and Beffa came, along with Uncle Jake and Aunt Sarah who were in town(and announced to us baby “Steggy’s” real name). You had fun opening your gifts, and especially loved the ukulele, marble run, and sonic pen/ screwdriver. 

This afternoon, we are experiencing a thunderstorm and tornado warning (all of us are home together). You are busily running around creating radar and weather detectors our of blue tape, erasers, and drawing weather maps on the chalkboard. You are sure to be some kind of inventor. scientist, or engineer one day! (Those little wheels NEVER stop turning and creating in that brain of yours!) 

Favorite activities:

  • art class at Studio Arts
  • creating “messes” in your room and around the house (it’s all about the process!)
  • volunteering with Mommy and “Wee Volunteer” (this has really been a special way for us to spend some valuable “Mommy and Me” time together)
  • playing at “The Lakes” – collecting sticks and observing nature
  • playing in the big field and area behind our house (you remind me of Ferdinand just sitting in the spring flowers)
  • cooking – you’ve always cooked with Daddy, but this year you have really enjoyed creating some of your own recipes, mostly “soups”
  • I have really enjoyed teaching a few simple songs on the piano lately, and you have picked them up really quickly! 
  • You have also enjoyed learning and doing some “yoga” with me and with Beffa lately. You are much more flexible than we are! You often pause in the middle of the hall, in the middle of the day for your “stretches”.
  • You and Ellie have continued to be such good friends, and do even more playing together than ever: in the mornings you like to snuggle and watch “PBS kids” on the computer, in the evening you love to do “drive-way dining”, and you zoom by the baby table on your bikes occasionally for bites, during bath-time you love to do “My Bubble Maker” (a silly song and splash dance y’all made up), and after bathtime, you and Ellie like to do “shows” for us – dressing up and singing and dancing together (usually in tutus). Ellie always wants to snuggle with you in your bed for “good things” and story-time before going to her own bed. She loves you SO much, and you are so kind and loving to her (usually). You recently said that you were going to marry Ellie when you grew up, and I recently overheard her telling you “Brother, you’re my best friend.”
  • You LOVE to “work” on your bike out in the garage and driveway – this means using tape and string and post-its and all kinds of things to “fix your motorbike”. (This came from helping Daddy with the car a couple of times, and watching our neighbor Bob out working on his motorcycle). 
  • You continue to love dinosaurs, writing dinosaur facts, and drawing dinosaur footprints, having a dinosaur “shelf” and a little paleontologist “desk” for studying fossils and other dino paraphernalia in your room. This Saturday we will have a dinosaur party for you!
  • You like to climb the trees out in our yard, or anything you can find!
  • We continue to love our reading time together, especially Magic Tree House and Little House books. 
  • You have enjoyed working on a model ship with Daddy this year (a continuing work in progress) along with a chess set made of paper. You guys make a great team!
  • You love to learn, and to have discussions on important topics like evolution, global warming, the asteroid theory, the supreme court, what is “freedom”…I love our talks! I hope we will always have them, and I know that soon, I will be learning more from you than you could possibly learn from me!
  • You LOVE to stay at GareBear and Beffa’s house, and get to do this every week! (There you knit with Beffa, help GareBear with projects, make fires in the chimenea and “acorn soup” in the backyard, have pancakes, and sleep on the floor by GareBear and Ellie.)
  • You also love to go to the ranch to see stay with Cha Cha and Butchie. You love to play “Angry Birds” on Cha Cha’s phone, and snuggle in bed with her, staying up late talking and snuggling. You love to help Butchie out in the tractor with the cattle, sometimes followed by a trip to Sonic. 

I am so proud of the bright, kind, and fun boy that you are and the fabulous person I see you becoming everyday. I just love spending time with you, and I look forward to watching you grow even more in the year to come! I love you to the moon and back!

Your lucky Mommy

waffle "cake"

getting a ukelele lesson w/ Uncle Jake

climbing the froggie fountain

spinning the b'day boy!

Lead the way, birthday boy!

"And I wish I could do all of things for YOU!" (like they do in Katroo)

looking and laughing together at M.C. Escher's eye-mind tricks



  1. Melanie says:

    I can’t believe that beautiful boy is five, and his beautiful Mommy and Daddy have been parents for five years. Wow…