On March first my baby boy turned 5. 5! In your words, it was your “whole” birthday. No longer are you four-and-three-quarters.
Leading up to it you would ask, “Is it my birthday tomorrow?” And I would tell you no. And you would ask, “Is it my birthday the tomorrow after tomorrow?” And I would have to tell you it was in two more weeks, or ten days, or after the weekend. Finally on the morning of your birthday, you come stumbling into the kitchen in your usual Kramer-esque fashion.
Daddy and I greet you, “Happy Birthday Big Boy!”
And you ask bewildered, “Today’s my birthday?”
You sigh with your entire body, “Oooh… I’ve been waiting for sooo looong.”
In my annual tradition, this post is meant to capture a glimmering, fleeting moment of five-year-old Nate.
We joke that you’re a fruitarian. Sometimes it seems like you subsist on air and oranges. Most nights you sit down at the kitchen table, take a look at what’s for dinner, and then make an unsanctioned trip to the fruit drawer in the fridge. In addition to oranges, you like cheese pizza, and grilled cheese. It appears your go-to foods are primarily orange.
And speaking of orange, you tell me you don’t have a favorite color because “you like all of the colors, even the girl colors.” You also don’t have a favorite animal because “you like all the animals.” You like liking everything. You’re very expansive and inclusive in that way.
Speaking of expansive, you are the most prolific artist I know. Every day you bring me home “beautiful art” and walk me through each piece. If you find one trace of your art in the paper recycling bag you are baffled and offended. You tell me your most favorite thing to do is art.
Speaking of orange-eating artists in need of a back-up plan, you can write your entire name, you know all your letters, and you can count to 100 by ones and by tens. You are curious and observant and love to try new things including your Dance and Spanish and Science and Cooking classes. You were recently crowned the undefeated champion of the Bounce and Boogie for Boys Freeze Dance Tournament. Your closed-eye strategy, to avoid disqualification via blinking, led you to victory.
Speaking of victory, you have conquered your fear of swimming. What fear of swimming? You stride boldly to greet Coach Leo each Saturday morning. You’re learning free-style and can dive to the bottom of the pool.
And speaking of water types, you’ve caught the Pokémon fever. You spend your time studying and sorting and admiring your collection. You are infinitely unselfish and generous. On the morning of your birthday you received a special Picachu EX set. Not only did you let your big brother help you open your presents, but ten minutes later Daddy was reclaiming all of the cards you had selflessly given away to your brother.
And speaking of your other half, you and Jakey are inseparable. I find you watching cartoons huddled together in the same one-person chair, or in the same corner of the couch. The other weekend, you cuddled up in my bed and were admiring my wedding ring. You asked, “Can daddy people have this kind of ring?” I told you, you can pick-out whatever you like. A bit later Jacob joined us and was talking about when he grows-up and that he wants to have a girl and a boy or maybe two boys. When I asked you what you wanted you said, “Well of course I’m going to have the same as Jake ’cause we’ll be married.” It broke my heart when you found out that you can’t marry Jake. You hid under the covers as you processed the news.
Speaking of faith, a few weeks back I was telling Daddy a story about how I found out your best friend Bennett is half Jewish and celebrates both Chanukah and Christmas. In the middle of my story you interrupted me emphasizing, “I’m Jewish Mom. I’m Jewish.” You can also snap really well— first you told me Rabbi taught you and then you told me you taught yourself.
And speaking of teaching, you teach me every day that attention is love. You stop me with unexpected hugs and you gently hold my face. You tell me that I’m special and that you love me. You are helpful and flexible and super excited about baseball, I mean tee ball— you correct me regularly.
I love you Natesy Cakes. You are the most wonderful blessing a parent could ever hope for. I am so excited to watch you learn and grow into the unbelievable person that you are.