I will never forget the amazement of seeing you for the first time as they raced you across the delivery room, upside down and holding you by your ankle. I had no idea that this was unusual - remember, I'd just become a mom a few seconds before! Your dad and I just looked at you in amazement - you were huge. They put you in the little warmer and instantly there were a dozen doctors and nurses from the NICU standing there working on you. A few moments later you made your first sound, and it was the cutest little mew that I've ever heard. A few moments after that you were wailing and the NICU doctors were looking at the delivery team like they were crazy for calling them up to check you out.
I was one of the lucky moms and I fell 100% in love with you instantly. For the next week or so, every time someone wanted to hold you, I remember my arms just aching to get you back. Even now, when you are literally the biggest five year old I've ever seen, I have to get an Izzy hug several times a day. Luckily, you are also one of the sweetest and most affectionate five year olds I've ever seen too.
It's been a blast watching you grow up. Honest to goodness, you are a riot. The first glimpse of your sense of humor really showed itself at nine months, when you were playing with a little stuffed bottle and you put it up to your mouth like it was real. You caught my eye and just started giggling wildly. No matter how upset you might be over something, it still doesn't take much for you to start laughing, and you'll still catch my eye first to make sure I get the joke too.
You are a really great kid, and I say that without any hesitation. Even this morning when Sophie was throwing a fit because it was your birthday and not hers, your first impulse was to give her a hug to make her feel better. Of course she screamed and ran away from you, but you tried. From the moment you met Sophie, you've been the best big brother I could have ever hoped you'd be. You were only 22 months old when she was born, but you greeted her with a hug and kiss and weren't jealous for even a second. Now that she's three and you're FIVE, she's taught you how to be jealous, but it didn't come naturally to you.
What has come naturally to you, however, is a strong sense of self. You know more about who you are at five than I know about myself at 35. Your personality is so vivid and interesting. I told a friend on the phone the other night that sometimes it would be nice to have a kid who blended into the background, but you know what? I don't really mean that. Most of the time at least.
Like when you insisted on wearing your suit to Chuck E. Cheese. Your dad said to me, "You know, the other moms are going to think you're the crazy mom who made her kid dress up just because it was his birthday." I have to admit that letting you wear it gave me pause, but it really meant something to you, so wear it you did, and you had a blast. I did too.
At five years old, you also have developed a strong sense of empathy. When I came home from my appointment last week, I was upset and crying because the baby hadn't done well on her NST (she did perfect later on that day!). You were so concerned, and as we reached the top of the steps, you asked me if I wanted some ice tea. It was such a sweet, thoughtful gesture, for ice tea has been the only thing to ease my morning sickness this whole time, and you instantly thought of the what you could do to make me feel better. You are just an amazing kid.
You are HILARIOUS too. Did I already say that three different ways? Okay, okay, but it's true. As I was sitting here typing this out, you just walked in here with your hand closed around something. You stopped in front of me and said, "Mom, I just found something interesting in the living room floor." You then thrust your hand at me dramatically, threw open your fingers to reveal the kernels within, and said, "POPCORN!" Most accusingly, you then asked, "Were you all eating popcorn last night after we were in bed?" BUSTED! But don't worry, when I assured you we had, but that I would make you some fresh today after your lunch, you laughed and said, "Oh good. I thought you all had eaten some when I followed the trail and found the clues."
You've made my life so much more interesting it's unreal. I was a black and white coloring book and you're the box of crayons. Not just any box though - you're the huge box of 96 Crayolas with a special bonus of four sparkly colors. You are sweet, demanding, loving, giving, smart and ornery. I could not have gotten a better little boy ever. EVER.
Happy Birthday, little buddy. May the next five be as much fun as the first five have been!
This morning's special birthday craft, with the special birthday boy in a special pose.