Yesterday you turned five. I think this was the first birthday where you really understood how special a birthday is and I’ve never seen you so excited. The moment the calendar read “July” it was all you could talk about. While the theme of the day may have changed 100 times (you went from Hot Wheels to Thomas the Tank Engine to Chuggington), the details of how it would be in your mind were exactly as you wanted it. Cupcakes in red, blue, yellow and green, balloons in the same colors, presents and, your special wish, Kool-Aid.
You were convinced that Five was a magical number. Five makes you run faster, jump higher and give you super powers. You were done with Four. Four was so last year. When you are Five you know more things and make good choices and get special priveledges – you also get a dollar more in allowance a week. Yes, to you, Five was everything.
A lot happened the year you were Four. You made some new friends and got to go on field trips at school and started swimming lessons. You started to learn to ride your bike and finally finished enough ice skating lessons to be able to play hockey this fall and you went to Sunday School for the first time. You discovered you liked fried chicken sliders but not hamburger sliders, got all your long curls cut down like a handsome big boy and graduated from preschool. You discovered Pokemon and water slides and new movies and what it was like to be on Zayde’s big boat.
It was a big year.
Some other things happened, too. You started speech therapy to work on an adorable, but now-time-to-be-fixed tongue thrust and while we were there some other things were noticed, too. After some questions and concerns and some paper work and some discussions you were diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. We found out that all those things that we were chalking up to being a boy were really some wonky stuff with your central nervous system. So, on top of all the great things you were doing during The Year of Four, you also started OT and some therapy with Miss Maria.
See, all those things that made you a party in shoes were not always a party for you. Sounds were too loud and friends were not falling in line with your special plans and life was getting hard for you. You were getting nervous and confused and frustrated and sad – and your tender heart didn’t know what to do with it all – so we’ve moved mountains and schedules and finances and our own approaches to help you catch up to Five.
I’m so glad we did. You are working so hard and you are becoming such a special little boy. At your birthday party yesterday you thanked everyone and hugged everyone and loved everything and really appreciated the moment. There are lots of things I will remember about the First Day of Five, but none more than you coming over to sit next to me in bed at the end of the day, resting your head on my shoulder, looking up at me and saying, “That was the birthday party was so special, Mommy. Thank you for making it that way.”
No, buddy, thank you. I’m so glad you’re five.
Inspired by Beth, I interviewed you on your Last Day of Four so that I could capture forever you at Four. Here is what you said:
Mom: So, Benjamin, what is tomorrow?
Benjamin: My birthday.
Mom: How old are you going to be?
Benjamin: Five. One whole hand!
Mom: What do you want for breakfast?
Benjamin: If I’m a special boy I would like Cheerios.
Mom: What did you love about being Four?
Benjamin: I liked running around really fast.
Mom: Who is your favorite person?
Benjamin: Koko from Chuggington
Mom: What is your favorite color?
Benjamin: My favorite color is red and green.
Mom: What is your favorite TV show?
Benjamin: My favorite TV show is Chuggington.
Mom: What is your favorite food?
Benjamin: Oh, that’s easy. My favorite food is waffles!
Mom: What’s your favorite vegetable?
Benjamin: My favorite vegetable is tomatoes.
Mom: Your favorite fruit?
Benjamin: My favorite fruit is blueberries and grapes.
Mom: Tomorrow, on your birthday, can I kiss you 100 times?
Benjamin: Uh, no.
Benjamin: Because I don’t like kisses on my birthday.
Mom: Oh, well, how many hours can I hug you?
Benjamin: One. No, two.
Mom: Would you rather have a cupcake or a donut?
Benjamin: I would rather have a cupcake!
Mom: How much do you love your mommy?
Benjamin: I love my mommy 255.
Mom: How much do you love Leah?
Benjamin: I like Leah 365 days.
Mom: How much do you love your daddy?
Benjamin: I like Daddy 255 also.
Mom: What is something that scares you?
Mom: How many trains do you have?
Benjamin: I have a whole bunch like 365.
Mom: What would happen if they all disappeared?!
Benjamin: I would LOOK AROUND!
Mom: What do you want for your birthday?
Benjamin: Chuggington Launch & Go Roundhouse
Mom: A few days ago you told me you had a friend who was a nice electric eel. What sorts of things do you guys do together?
Benjamin: We play and shop.
Mom: What do you shop for?
Benjamin: For Chuggington toys and sets. We also like to race. And Leah was racing, too. The only guys that won it were me and the electric eel.
Mom: How excited are you to be turning five?
Benjamin: Super duper like 365 miles away excited!
Mom: Do you know how much your Mommy loves you?
Benjamin: Yes. 365.
That’s right, buddy. I love you 365. And 24/7 and any other combination of always and forever. Welcome to Five, Benjamin. I can’t wait to see what this year brings you.