I have been thinking about what to say in this letter to you for weeks. Your 5th birthday has been on my mind since right after Christmas. Not because I didn’t know what to buy you or where to have your party, but because I can’t believe my first baby boy is turning FIVE. It’s now been five whole years since your Daddy and I went to the hospital in anticipation of your arrival. What would your face look like? Would you have lots of hair? We were filled with excitement and worry. Did we deserve to become parents to a tiny human who depended on us for every single thing for his survival? Would we even know what to do?
Your first birthday was a hard one. I cried as we sang the birthday song to you at your party, surrounded by friends and family. The first baby year was officially over. You’d gone from a squishy pile of helplessness to a walking, talking, outgoing, opinionated little toddler. Two was hard for me, too. My baby who could barely walk a year earlier was learning and growing so fast. Stringing together sentences that were turning into conversations. Your third and fourth birthdays breezed by more easily with so many milestones and changes in between. All along reminding myself that this was the youngest you would ever be. I could never get this time back with you.
I think that’s why having a son who is turning 5 is SO hard for me. The past half-decade has whizzed by so quickly and I know these last few years are only a small indicator of how quickly the next 13 will go. I don’t want you to grow up. I don’t want you to get to a point where you are too big for hugs and kisses. For you to be annoyed when I rest my cheek on your head and smell your hair. I know once you start Kindergarten, time will only move more quickly. 1st grade, 6th grade, 10th grade and beyond. Homework, class projects, field trips. Sleepovers, football games, girlfriends. Job applications, prom, college applications.
I know I can’t go back to those baby years and I’m not even saying I want to. They were just so sweet and it’s sad knowing that you get bigger and more independent every day. I can’t know when I will pick you up for the last time. I can’t know when you will sit on my lap for the last time. I’m so sentimental about where we have been and where we go next in life. It’s a beautiful pain that I never understood until I became your mother. Of course I want you to grow, learn, and explore with confidence and a passion. I want you to continue surprising and teaching me, as you have done for the past 5 years.
I hope you always love learning and building and making others laugh. I love that you love to color, write, and draw. I love that you are curious about everything. I hope you will try to do lots of things that are hard. I hope you will find things that make you feel happy and fulfilled.
I hope you love Kindergarten. So much. I hope you have a great teacher and make lots of friends. I hope you learn your way around quickly and feel at ease walking the hallways of your school. I hope you are kind to the people around you and that they are kind to you in return. I just want what’s best for you, whatever that might be. I know you won’t always choose the things that I think are best, but I hope you make the right choices for you. I hope you will prove me wrong. I hope I never say “I told you so.” I hope you learn from your mistakes. I will love you. I will always support you. For now, you are still my baby boy. You are getting big, but today, you are still little. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you. You are five.