In the lovely book Little Bear (both my son’s nickname and his lovey’s name), Little Bear asks his mother to tell him the things he once did. That little line just breaks my heart. “Tell me the things I once did…” That’s what I’ve been trying to do (not always very well) here on the blog. To recount, before the memories fade, the things our boys once did.
I think it takes me so long to write my kids’ birthday posts not because I’m so busy (which I am) but because I’m in denial. I don’t really want to sit down and reflect on their past year because that means admitting to another year passed by, another year we’ll never have back.
Our youngest son, E., our baby, turned five this summer. And it’s taken me till fall to realize we no longer have a baby. *tears* But… We have a wonderful big kid! Here are the things he once did, from age four to five.
The things you once did (E., 5 years old)
Once,… you took so many bedtime airplane flights…and always tried to pick Mommy up for a ride on the way.
Once, you wanted to go to Mystic Aquarium just about every week to visit the penguins (your 4th birthday present). You touched a sting ray, and so many other little creatures – then licked your hand to see what it tasted like!
Once you… Camped at Jamaica State Park, Vermont. Where you hiked Little Ball Mountain all the way to the top and down, and swam in a river, and in a waterfall, built a rock cairn, paddled a mini kayak, and had so many adventures!
Once, you wore orange shorts more often than I thought possible in one year!
Once, you had a Camping themed birthday party – you just adore camping, campfires, s’mores, and being outdoors with all your bug friends!
Once, you listened to G. A. Henty’s The Dragon and the Raven until you could practically recite it from memory.
Once, you saw a solar eclipse! (after you’d turned five but before Mommy got around to writing this!)
Once, you fell in love with foxes after watching The Little Prince.
Once you had a swingset and called it your treehouse, and ran out to play in it every day. And even invited me to come too.
Once, you couldn’t be kept out of the dirt and the garden. You and your brother helped dad plant basil and tomato and sold your seedlings to buy Lego sets.
Once, you made a sword out of pizza dough – and ate it!
Once… You cut up a dollar bill into small pieces because… You said you didn’t want to buy anything!
Once… You’d fall asleep every time your Aunt Sue tried to cut your hair. She’s very relaxing!
Once… You’d rush into our room every morning and start reading books… although lately you rush downstairs to play with Lego bricks. Sigh.
Once… You made up a song for me called “You’re the best mom in the world!” Seriously.
Once… You used to wait for me to walk under the mistletoe at Christmastime so you could give your Mommy a kiss!
Once, you met Jacques Pepin and he showed you how to make a grape rabbit!
Once… You stuck pipe cleaners in a colander and put it on your head and said you were from outer space!
Things you learned this year
- Started to ride your balance bike!
- Daddy’s been teaching you karate! (Tang Soo Do)
- You are potty trained (at night too! And don’t hate me for posting this – it was a big deal for you at this time!)
- You mastered jumping into the pool by yourself, and got just an inkling of the freedom of learning to swim… Next year, you’re going to just take off, I know it!
- You finished your first year of Classical Conversations and started your second, both with Mommy as your tutor!
- You started Kindergarten! You’re still not too sure about that. You love learning Spanish though! And you want to learn cursive!
Places you went:
- The Big E (Technically twice since the last bday update!) – where you loved the footsie wootsies!
- Pumpkintown USA
- Hurst Family Farm Hayride
- Plymouth Plantation
- Jamaica State Park, VT
- Myrtle Beach, SC – and you’re antsy to go back!
- Strawberry picking, Cherry Picking, Apple Picking, Pumpkin picking (we missed the blueberries!)
- Connecticut Farm Tour (northwestern side)
- Toured the Nina and the Pinta on the Connecticut River
- Day Out With Thomas – Essex Steam Train
- Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce
- Wadsworth Atheneum Christmas Tree Display
- Greene-Kitchen Farm, Bloomsburg, PA
- Red Bee Apiary, Weston, CT
Things you like and are good at
- Orange. Always orange!
- Cooking – baking and making pizza with Daddy especially.
- Being outside.
- Scaring your mom with bugs.
- Wrestling with Daddy.
- Drawing – especially battle scenes. And hearts for your mom.
- Making silly faces. Especially in pictures.
- Smelling mommy’s coffee.
- Touching noses and bumping foreheads- still! You’ve always done this!
- Hiking / nature walks.
- Playing Go Fish, Old Maid, Uno, and other card games.
- Snow and being cold.
- Your cousins!
Funny things you’ve said (you are stinkin’ hilarious!)
At the dentist one day, for your prize you picked out a plastic gem ring, because you said you wanted an Oath Ring like in The Dragon and the Raven! Later, you told you dad about the ring, and then said ‘Dad, you already have an Oath Ring… From when you got married!” … A few days later, we were talking about it again, and I said, “Do you know why married people give each other rings?” and you said, “It’s a promise.” “Right! A promise to do what?” I prompted you. You thought about it for a minute, then shrugged and said, “To not kill each other?” … Well… That’s a start!
Once in the back of the car, you announced, “…and I lived happily live ever after… Except for a couple of wars.” I asked, “Where are you living that there are wars!?” You answered nonchalantly, “Jersey. They have wars there.”
“Mommy, I wish I were a king. Then two people with really big fans would stand around and fan me…” I think we need to scale back your expecations!
This one might be my favorite:
Whenever I tell a story, you usually want to know how old you were when it happened. Once I told a story about when your brother was 4 months old.
You: “And I was in your belly!”
Me: ” No, you weren’t there yet.”
You: “Then I was in God’s hands! I was being MAKED!”
One morning you came downstairs dressed for church and I told you that you looked handsome. You said, “Oh, you want to marry me?” I joked, “Sure, but I’m already married to Daddy.” You just gave me a withering look and said, “Why would you want to marry children!?”
Trying to explain Stranger Danger to you, and I called them “Tricky People.” You shouted, “I know how to spot tricky people! They wear black and white striped t-shirts!” That’s too much Lego play, people! So then I told you some rules, like “Never be alone.” And you shouted, “Never be a GNOME!”
One day, you said, “Mooom! I have so many friends! I can’t keep track of them all! I’m going to have to pass some of them out! [deep sigh].” I guess you can subcontract friends now.
You think a wife is called a mom. So you said to me, “When I marry my mom, and we go to the hospital to get the baby, you can come.” Followed by, “I want to marry a mom who loves God… And doesn’t smoke… Can you look at church for me for a mom that isn’t married?”
More things you once did….
Once… I told you I was freezing some cake in case of an emergency, if someone comes over to visit. Later that day you came running up to me and said “Mom! I need some of your Rescue Cake now!”
Once… You said you didn’t like my shepherd’s pie because “of the layer of shepherd in it.” Yeah, I wouldn’t like that either.
Once… You asked me if I could trade my ice cream in for chocolate or love, which I would want. I asked which one YOU would want and you said “Chocolate! Chocolate is LOVE running down your face!” Yes, it is.
Once… You drew me a heart firework – it’s a heart you shoot up and it explodes into fireworks. And then rains down little red cake hearts on you. What a great invention!
Once… Five years ago (and a little bit more)…
…you were born. And you snuggled your way right into our hearts, and you made us laugh and laugh, and you gave us stories to tell, and these are the stories of the things you did…once. When you were four years old and turning five.
We love you… Mommy & Daddy…