It’s all he’s talked about for the past year since his fourth birthday party, and the morning finally arrived.
Leaves gently fluttered and danced to the ground while laughing children ran and burrowed through the leaves to hunt for eggs.
They played games, while my hands busily prepared the food. Oh, if only I had just snagged my camera a few more times to capture the joyful faces–especially that of my delighted boy.
Three favorite mental snapshots from the day:
1) He’s still my little boy…
While the children gathered around the cake (shielded from the windy gusts) to sing to Calvin, he suddenly found himself shy to be the center of attention. Burrowing his face in my leg, I then scooped him up while he nuzzled into my shoulder. His sweet friends sang so beautifully to him, and he recounted the event the remainder of the day to any adults we encountered (librarians, attendants at the pool, random parents). He briefly glanced at his cake before blowing out the candles, and I remembered his first two birthdays where I helped him accomplish that task. Now, he’s a confident and inquisitive five year-old. How quickly those years blinked by.
2) He admires his teacher…
Calvin’s sweet teacher, Miss Jenny, arrived just as we were serving cake, to join the celebration. She asked for Calvin to open his gift from her so she could see his face. He was delighted when he saw it was a book that she had read to his class that bore his namesake, Calvin Can’t Fly: The Story of a Bookworm Birdie.
Together, they recalled the main events of the story. Then, Miss Jenny encouraged Calvin to return to her one day to read the story in its entirety to her.
He said, “But I can’t read the whole thing by myself.”
Miss Jenny encouraged him, “But someday you will.”
Calvin replied, “It won’t be until I’m ten.”
Miss Jenny, “I think it’ll be sooner than that. Maybe when you’re seven.”
I love that she encourages him (and all her students) to desire to learn more and enjoy the process.
3) Good Manners…
When it was time for one of the youngest guests to depart, he thanked Calvin and me for inviting him. In turn, Calvin thanked this young man for coming to his party. The rest of the guests also showed their most excellent manners and gratitude, and Calvin responded in kind.
I remember when almost all of these sweet children were newborns or young babies (hanging out together in the nursery), and now they’re tastefully using their lovely manners at a fun social gathering. I felt like time just zipped passed me in an instant. I’ll probably have the same thoughts five years from now.
There is a noticeable difference from when Calvin was four to now that he’s three days away from turning five. I’m surprised and impressed that he speaks with such confidence to adults (especially those he does not know). He’ll ask questions, initiate conversation, and just overflow with enthusiasm and share it with others.
I love that he has taken it upon himself to increase his household chores. Without asking, he’ll make his bed (a queen-sized bed, that also doubles as a guest bed), and he’ll take out his bathroom trash. When his clothes hamper is full, he’ll cart it to the laundry room for me. And, he’s been pretty good about picking up toys and crafts at the end of the day. Helping around the home instills a sense of pride in a job well done, and he loves contributing in any way that he can.
Although he’s been one to engage in solo imaginative and pretend play for several years, the role playing has increased into more elaborate themes an stories. One of these days, I need to audio record his words while he’s “playing”, and I think one day he’ll enjoy listening to his five year-old self.
As we prepare for growing our family in the near future, my heart is overflowing with joy as my son thinks of his sister every single day. He draws pictures for her, sets aside younger toys for her, but he keeps them in plain view to remind him of her. Every day, at least twice a day, he prays for us to bring her home soon, for her health, and for her to know that we love her.
As much as I admire my son for the person he is and is becoming, I think I’m am only getting a glimpse of the loving and caring brother he will be to his sister once she’s home.