Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Whole Handful

Dear Benjamin,

Today you are FIVE.  As you put it, you are a "whole hand full"...and we all wholeheartedly agree.  You are, without a doubt, a handful.  And yet, I think we would not have it any other way.

Being FOUR has been a wild ride for you.  Pre-K was awesome - you learned so much, and have come so far from where you were a year ago.  Somehow, you managed to have perfect conduct at school all year long, when at home you are constantly in trouble for mouthing off. Soccer, basketball, t-ball, swimming - you tried it all this year and proclaimed that sport to be your most favorite EVER. You made some new best friends this year, and I was so proud to see you defend them with the fierceness of a mama lion.

Your personality is so colorful, and so beautiful.  You won't be taken for granted, you won't be bullied, you won't be left behind.  You will be my little leader, unafraid of what's in your way.  

I can count on you for hugs, snuggles, and kisses - a million times a day.  You love to draw pictures for us, and insist that they all go on the fridge, or to work, or on my nightstand. 

You have about 6 Post-it-Notes taped to the wall right outside of your bedroom. One is to warn Alexis the Cat that she ought not come in your room. Another is to warn robbers and bad guys that they will face a painful death if they try to steal your toys (or you, for that matter). Another is to welcome your friends and brother (sometimes, but not all the time). I'm not sure what the other three are for. Those descriptions change daily.

You still love trains, planes, helicopters, fire trucks, police cars, ambulances, construction sites - anything and everything that has to do with THINGS THAT GO. When directed to make up a story for you at bedtime, I spin an elaborate tale that involves Thomas the Train, a daring rescue performed by you, possibly a trip to the North Pole to visit Santa, and a crane. Then I get a hug and kiss and you say, "That's the BEST STORY EVER, Mama!"

You make the funniest faces, and say the funniest things. And you repeat things like a little parrot. Where I rarely had to worry about Anthony repeating things I said, I constantly have to worry about that with you. Sarcasm is not lost on you, and you employ your own brand of it with stunning accuracy. It's hilarious to watch someone caught in your crossfire.

Leo is still your beloved stuffed animal. Rarely will you go anywhere without him. And if you do have to leave him behind, you make sure he is surrounded by other friends and you reassure him that you WILL come back for him. The few times he's been left somewhere (like Maw Maw's), we automatically turn around for him. There will be no "going to bed without Leo" for you. You simply won't go to bed. 

You probably don't realize it now, but you've got the best big brother on earth. He lets you (mostly) play with his Legos, he saves a special treat to share with you, he lets you hang out and watch him play a game, he puts aside what he's doing to play with you, he teaches you and loves you. Anthony is so proud to be your big brother, and to lead you (sometimes astray). I hope that the bond between the two of you only grows stronger as you both get older.

Four has been a blast - literally. I'm a bit singed around the edges from this past year. But I wouldn't curb your personality for anything. I can't wait to watch you continue to spread your wings and soar. Just make sure to always come back for snuggles, hugs, and kisses OK?


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