Yesterday you turned five-years-old. Five. A whole hand! It seems impossible to me, but I guess that’s always what it will feel like. You’re my youngest, my baby, and no matter how big you get, I always seem surprised that you’re not a snuggling little nugget wrapped up in my arms. I pick you up to carry you to bed, and your legs hang down to my knees. The other day you solved a math problem. You can write your own name. You’re growing up.
You’re a curious little bugger, and it’s difficult to ensure some of my favorite childhood magic lives on for you. You question everything, whereas your sister would believe pretty much anything I told her at this age. We’re getting close to Christmas, and you seem unsure about pretty much everything. “How does Santa get down the chimney?” “Why is he watching me all the time?” “Does he watch me in the bath?” “That’s not the real Santa, he doesn’t have glasses!”
A few weeks ago we bought the new, illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at the bookstore, and you begged me to begin reading it to you. I was worried you were way to young to understand the complexities of Harry Potter, but we began reading anyway. Night after night you’d snuggle up next to me while I read aloud the adventures of Harry, Ron, Hermione. You laughed when Harry stuck his wand up a troll’s nose and squealed when Lord Voldemort revealed himself. But you don’t blindly believe. We had to instill a rule that you could only ask questions if you raised your hand, because it was taking us an hour to get through a chapter with your constant interruptions. You looked like Hermione herself, waving your arm in the air, waiting for me to call on you so you could question “How does an invisible cloak make you invisible?”
You’re loud and feisty and smart and creative. You got a drum set for your birthday, and once a day you tell me you’re headed down for your drum lesson. Within minutes I hear the banging and clashing of your music. I feel like your brain is probably constantly on “drum set mode.” You live loud and hard and with so much energy.
But you are also my snuggle bug, and I’m sure that has a lot to do with you being my baby. When I asked what you wanted to do for your birthday, snuggling was at the top of your list. You love to bury yourself in my arms, my hair, my face, and I won’t lie, it’s pretty awesome. This is a weird mom thing, Tater, but there is just something incredible about breathing in the smell of your kid’s hair. I know as you get older, the smell won’t be so good, but for now, I still find myself snuggling up to you and breathing deep, just trying to take you all in. As if that is possible. There is way too much of you to take in all at once.
Thanks for another fun year, my sweet boy. This year you’ll start Kindergarten and the next phase of your life will begin. Yesterday you said to me, “I’m five, I can go to Lucy’s school now!” And when I assured you it would come, but not quite yet, you were extremely disappointed. You’re in a hurry to grow up, to be one of the big kids, to lead….and watching you is one of the greatest pleasures of my life. Thanks for being my pumpkin nose, Tate. I love you.