Monday, May 16, 2011

On Turning 5

My sweet William, now you are 5.

When I look back at this year of you becoming 5, I see so many things I want to remember.
How every day you manage to, at least once, melt my heart,

and drive me crazy.

There isn't much of a middle ground with you, William.
You feel things passionately.
Whether it's the way you feel about the soft towels versus the scratchy towels, or the way you can't stand the sight or smell of eggs, you feel things to your very core.
And you make sure the rest of us know about it.
It's taken me a long time, but I am finally figuring out to respect the way you feel about things, and that most things are not worth battling over.  
I'm sure I'll be relearning this lesson for the rest of my life as your mom.
Be patient with me.
That's why I let you make a blockade out of cereal boxes while the rest of us eat eggs nearly every morning.  I get it. I feel the same way about hearing people chew their food.
I think you and I are more alike than I care to realize.

And while you may be so angry about eggs at breakfast time, that same passion has also turned you into one of the sweetest little boys I know.  
You have a great capacity to love.
This year, you have brought me flowers most any day that you can.

And on every trip to the beach, you scour the shore for heart shaped rocks.
Which you then give to me with such joy because you know they make me happy.
And you love to make me happy.
What a lucky Mama I am.
And the girl who marries you is going to be one lucky lady.

You are insightful, William.  And thoughtful.

When we lost our baby, you, more than anyone else, were able to walk with me in my pain.
I didn't ask you to.  But somehow you knew how to do it.
You were never afraid to say you missed our baby, or to reach out and give me a hug at just the right moment.  You were such a comfort to me.
And you still remember.  
Like the other day, when you said you thought our baby in heaven should have a name.
You want to call her Rosy.
It took all I had not to break down into sobs at your tiny, giant, gentle heart.

You are still such a little boy, one who loves a good nap, where ever you can find one.

But at the same time, fighting for all it's worth to grow up and be big.
You are so determined, William.

You are harder on yourself than anyone else.  
You won't give up until you've done what it is you want to do.  
This year you have struggled with learning to write and draw to your own level of satisfaction.
There have been many angry tears, and crumpled papers.
Many cries of, "I can't do it as good as James does it." and yet you keep on.
It is hard to be the little brother.

You live in his shadow, you love him dearly and are his constant sidekick.
The 2 of you are the best of friends.
You admire him.  Adore him.

And yet, the struggle is always there.
He is bigger and older than you.  And he does things faster and better and it makes you hopping mad.
I want you to know something William, I understand that.
And I want you to know I admire you for not giving up. 
You might be the littlest cub scout, but that doesn't mean you quit.  

And I'll tell you a secret, when James was 4, he wouldn't even try because he didn't want to risk losing or failing.  But you are willing to risk it.  And that will take you far my dear strong boy.

This year I have seen you conquer your fears.
From riding the zip line

To paddling out to the buoy.

You attended VBS with a hundred other kids.  You didn't know anyone in your class and it was a little overwhelming and scary, but you stayed and had fun.  

I can't keep you from climbing anything and everything--you are never afraid of heights.

You'd make a good sailor, climbing the rigging and keeping a watch for pirates.

And like the true middle child, you can easily play with anyone, big brother or little sister.

You and Lilly are quite a pair.  You take care of her like a big brother should, you know just how to irritate her, but you are also one of her best playmates.

You encourage her to do crazy things.  You 2 have a lot of fun together.

William, you are tender one minute, holding tightly to the baby animals you love so much

and Mr. Tough Guy the next, telling perfect strangers at the park that they better put their dogs on a leash.  I just never quite know what to expect from you.

Will today be the day you love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?
Or is today the day you hate them?
It can be hard to keep up.

But this I do know.

That mischievous grin gets me every time.
Your soft arms reaching out to hug me, your lips puckered to give me a kiss any time I ask, the way you come up and say "I love you" just because you do, the cards you give me, full of smiling suns, clouds, trees and you and I holding hands, all of these are what make you the sweet boy that I love so very, very much.
I have loved watching you become 5 and though I dread watching you become 6 and 14 and 20, I know it will be beautiful.  Because you are beautiful William.
I love you.
Happy Birthday my darling boy.
Love from,
I write my kids a birthday letter every year.  it is one of my favorite things to write.  you can read more here, here or here.
And want to know about that cake at the top?  Go visit my other blog for the recipe.


katie said...

What a special tribute to a special guy. Happy 5th to your William.

Aaron Eskridge said...

Happy birthday William!
I love you my darling boy.
It is a wonderful privilege to be your father.


Betsi* said...

Gosh, you make me cry! We've said it before and I'll say it again, our second children are so alike, from the fiestyness to the baby animals and flowers. Happy birthday, William!