Today you are five.
Daddy jokes that you are now a handful as he holds up all the fingers on one hand. You roll your eyes at him and say, “Daaad,” and then give me the look as if to say, “is he serious?” And I laugh because we ALL know you were a handful long before turning five.
You are such a kid now.
Tonight you went to bed in your new spiderman jammies looking less and less like a chubby baby boy and more and more like a lanky kid. Your last bedtime as a four-year-old.
It was bittersweet to hug you and muss up your hair on your way to bed.
I can’t help but think about five years ago–the night before your birth–I was in labor, but I thought it was cramps. Your dad made me eat a turkey sandwich sometime around 8pm (when you were heading for bed tonight). That was the last thing I would eat until your were born the next day at 4:51pm.
I have been looking through photos of you all weekend. You have changed and grown so much in five years, and yet…in every picture, you are still the same boy. I can see your heart and soul.
And now you are five. We had your birthday party this weekend and for the first time invited all your neighbor friends because you have neighbor friends now! Not just friends that happen because Daddy and I are friends with their parents, but friends you found and love to play with.
Sometimes our journey is difficult. There is frustration and yelling and crying. I hope that is not what you focus on when you reflect on your childhood someday.
I hope you remember the family and friends who love you and surround you on your birthday.
I hope you remember our tradition of going to Red Robin Yum for your birthday.
I hope you remember the birthday cakes that I made from scratch at your request–last year lemon, this year white with strawberry frosting.
I hope you remember how excited I am for each of your birthdays, not because of gifts and cake and balloons (although those are fun), but because it’s a celebration of YOU. Of Edward Steven Sluiter.
Of the day I became a mom, your dad became a dad, and of the day you made us a family. Your birthday is huge.
It is a celebration of you and of us.
And now you are FIVE.
You can read some words, you like chapter books read to you at bedtime, you think super heroes and curious George are equally cool, and you can ride your bike without training wheels.
You are going to start Kindergarten this year and learn to read and spell and do math.
You are going to start soccer and make new friends.
Five is a big deal, Eddie Bear.
You are a big deal.
I love you so so much.