Friday, March 07, 2014

Samuel Benjamin is FIVE!!!!!

Dear Sam,

Today you are FIVE. Holy smokes! Welcome to the whole hand club, buddy. It seems like only yesterday that you were born, the shortest labor ever, with the sweetest baby waiting at the end. Then you were one, all giggles and smiles; two, with a full head of beiber-esque hair; three was silly and crazy and snuggly; four, which brought some feisty, and now; FIVE. 

You came into this world calm, wide-eyed, and as sweet as could be.

At one year old you were adventurous, snuggly, and WAY into anything with wheels.

By two you had a full head of thick, dark hair that constantly needed cutting and the sweetest personality. 

Three brought out your mischievous side but you still had a soft, round body and chubby cheeks.

Somewhere in the year you turned four, Mr. Hyde appeared to counter your normal Dr. Jekyl. Our sweet, agreeable, laid-back guy developed a real sense of self determination.

Many years ago in elementary school, I learned that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. And so it is with you, my sweet March birthday boy. At times you are like a lion: fierce, imposing and roaring. At other times you are a little lamb: quiet, sweet and gentle. And here we are, on the day of your fifth birthday, and this couldn't be any more appropriate.

Your heart is huge, so quick to forgive, loving and gentle. You care for others deeply. You notice things. You speak words of encouragement. Every person on the playground is a friend to meet. You greet everyone heartily and with great welcome and are sure to give a robust goodbye when we depart.

You are rough and rambunctious and full of life. A typical boy, you often lose track of your body and exactly where your appendages end and other people/things begin. This month at Six Flags we met the Tasmanian Devil and I laughed as I thought about how many times I've likened your crazy, frenetic, post-dinner mania to this very character yet it was the first time you encountered this name outside our four walls.

You are smart and clever. You build elaborate booby traps and forts, often designed first on paper, in great detail. Figuring out how things work is like a fun hobby of yours. Always designing, building, constructing, thinking, taking apart and building again.

You've made amazing progress in your speech this year, especially in the last few months. Miss Corrie is blown away by how much things are "sticking" and how hard of a worker you continue to be in speech. It's crazy how difficult it can be for you to articulate your thoughts, but you do so with diligence and patience that is beyond your five years. As much as I hurt for you and your inability to speak freely and easily, I also have been so refined in learning to trust God with your voice. He is refining you and teaching you things I can't possibly understand through this struggle. Perhaps some day we'll look back on these years and see clearly what God was doing in and through the struggle to communicate. But know just how much I admire your courage, your hard work, and the confidence it takes to press in to the struggle.

Today was a great day. We started with a traditional breakfast "you are special" plate, with your choice: cinnamon rolls. Then you opened your presents: a volcano kit from Maddie, robot kit and rain boots from mom and dad, a sword and bow and arrow set from Auntie Jennie. You were a happy boy. We played swords, made a papier-mache' volcano, and consumed more cinnamon rolls than necessary all before 8:00 a.m.

At preschool they sang you the birthday song, adorned you with a birthday hat and sticker, and prayed the birthday prayer (and that's where I started crying. yes, I am that mom). You are so blessed to have teachers like Mrs. Sommer and Mrs. Pelley who know and love you oh so much.

At snacktime (popsicles!) we snapped this selfie, which all the preschool friends just had to see.

After school, Daddy and a few special friends met us at the park for a picnic and birthday play date. It was a perfect park day: warm, sunny, and the place was full of friends.

Maddie had her first softball practice tonight, followed by a pizza party, so we just jumped on the party train and brought an ice cream cake to share with everyone. Yay for partying it up with a bunch of your sister's friends (and their siblings, which happen to be your good pals from school!) Who doesn't love to spend their birthday with pepperoni pizza, mug rootbeer, quarter machines, and a chocolate cake with strawberry ice cream??!!!

And now, tucked away in bed, I hear you and your sister talking about your fun day, cuddled together for a special "birthday sleepover" (also your idea). You are so much fun, sweet boy, and so full of wonderful ideas. What a great day we had today! Welcome to FIVE, sweet, spicy, super duper SAM!!!



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