My wonderful not-so-little Alexander:
Today you are five. Five. It sounds so very old, probably because it means you are officially a whole hand in years.
You have been counting down to five for months now. No birthday has ever held the same excitement before, and I can understand why five seems like such a big deal. It sounds mature. It sounds very kid-like. Very school-aged. It’s not baby, toddler, or preschooler. It’s five.
Yesterday, you had your first day in your new classroom at the same school. You entered their version if Kindergarten, a smaller class with fewer students and only one teacher. You had a great first day, and I hope that continues throughout the year!
Throughout this year, you will grow. You will grow in height, likely losing the last of your chubby cheeks and gaining even longer legs that will be nearly impossible to fit into appropriately waisted pants. Throughout this year, you will grow in so many other ways, too. I know this is true because it is true every year. From four to five you shocked me with your ever increasing vocabulary, your understanding of simple math, and your amazing memory. If we read a story one time, you could tell me the entire plot months later! Even your teachers commented on that fact.
At four, you couldn’t say your “r” sounds. You also couldn’t say your “l” sounds, so “I wuv you” remained the cutest thing you said for a number of months. Then, you slowly outgrew the wuv and entered into love.
And love you do. You are an amazingly sweet boy, hugging and kissing at every opportunity, cuddling whenever possible, and generally being a lovable little guy. You are sensitive, quick to be upset when scolded, and quick to beam when praised. You have won the hearts of so many people already, and I can’t wait to see how this wonderful aspect of your personality grows.
As a baby, you weren’t the most cuddly. You liked to be held, but only if it meant you could play or look around. In some ways, you never outgrew this. Cuddling is much more commonplace now, but it always involves lots of conversation, a movie, or quietly playing in some other way. You still crave a constant source of entertainment, and for that I can’t blame you.
Luckily, the world remains pretty fascinating to you. While we have entered the “I’m boooored” phase of childhood, for the most part you find ways to entertain yourself with the world around you. This, of course, involves lots of questions. “Why?” is a favorite, naturally, but my personal favorite of your questions is always the more complicated, “how does that work?”
You look underneath things to figure out where sound is coming from; you fiddle with your toys again and again to determine exactly where it is that a click is made, to figure out what part of one piece goes into what part of another. You follow wires, notice breaks, determine the cause of an effect. Your fascination with how things work is, well, fascinating.
And I know that this love for The How will continue to grow, and we will do our best to nurture this in you. I also know that this year you will learn so much more; you will learn more than I even think possible to cram into one little brain in one short year. You will learn to read and write. You will learn more words, more math, more and more and more.
You will learn new ways to share your stories, and new ways to share your love.
I hope I can continue to learn new ways to show you how much I love you as quickly as you learn new ways to show me. Because I love you. More than anything. And I hope you have the absolute best fifth birthday, and a most awesome year as a five-year-old.
So much love,