My Dearest Angel,
We don’t do yearly birthday parties in our house. We save the big celebrations with the fancy cake and themes for the big birthdays. Today is your first of those. Your 5th birthday. The year you start big school. The year you learn to read. The year you get a library card. The year you can finally drink beer at our family gatherings.
I’m just kidding! We don’t let you drink beer until you’re 8, you know that.
Right now I spend a lot of time talking to you about how you have such a good heart, you just sometimes make bad decisions. Because you get in trouble so often, I feel like it’s very important I remind you that I think you are a good person who I love dearly. Even if sometimes you spit in my face when you’re angry.
You love animals. All animals, really. You freak out if you see a bird close to us and squeal, “He’s so cute!!!!!!” You point out every squirrel you see, which sometimes gets a little annoying because there are a LOT of squirrels in our neighborhood. You want to pet every dog you see. We have taught you to respect dogs, however, and owner’s are always very impressed when you ask first before petting their dogs. You get bored playing games on my cellphone but you could hold our cat Sunflower and pet her for hours without moving. You are – deep down – a kindred spirit to all animals and I love seeing you interact with them.
You also love babies! The same instincts that make you so kind to animals come out around babies too. You want to rub their heads and pet their faces constantly. So far, your big blue eyes make it so that the Mothers of the Babies don’t seem to mind your attention. I’m not sure if that will last forever, but as long as it does I’m grateful. I love seeing you with babies, especially the ones in our family, I love watching you be so sweet to them.
I always tell everyone that you’re my snuggle bunny. Of my three kids, you’re the one who wants hugs and snuggles at all hours a day. And you give the BEST HUGS. Even though you are now five, just yesterday I carried you into Target and you wrapped your arms around my neck, squeezed me so tight and said, “I love you so much, Momma.” That is why I say you have a good heart, because your instincts are always to be loving and sweet. You just haven’t learned how to deal with your anger yet. But you know how to deal with the love you feel for family, animals, and babies. And I love seeing that every day.
You are probably going to be my last child. We wanted to have more but my body is just no cooperating in that area. So, I’ve been settling into the idea of you being the baby of the family forever. That means that every milestone you cross will carry a bit of sadness because I won’t see any one else pass that point as my child again. So, while I’m very excited you’re turning 5, I’m also very sad to say goodbye to all of the baby and toddler and preschool years we’ve had together. I wish I had savored them more.
I know you won’t call me your Best Friend for much longer, eventually you’ll make real Best Friends in school. I know you won’t give me those snuggle hugs forever. Or rub my back while we watch TV. I know you won’t ask me to lay down with you at night or carry you to breakfast in the morning. All of those things are fading as you become such a big boy! So, I’ll enjoy them while I can and I’ll proudly watch you grow up this year.
Happy Birthday my Sweet Angel. For every one time you get in trouble there are 1000 times that you make me proud every day. I hope you don’t ever forget that.