Your birthday this year made me a bit of a basket case.
I couldn’t stop thinking about how quickly you grew up – how you are now this big, giant 5-year-old.
After Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes in the morning, I took you and your little brother to the free water play day at the place you have been taking swim lessons.
I sat in a chair and watched you happily race around the small water tables and sprinklers, while I also anxiously checked the clock on my phone every 30 seconds.
Finally, 10:10 arrived.
The time you were born.
I called you to me.
You were much more interested in pushing a plastic toy wheelbarrow that had your brother in it, but I managed to lure you over with a pretzel.
When you got close enough, I pulled you in, cupped your big boy face in my hands and whispered,
“You’re officially a whole hand. I am so thankful God made you. You are precious to me. Happy Birthday.”
And then you ran off smiling, looking at the 5 fingers on your hand in wonder, and my eyes filled up with tears that I’m sure all the moms at free play water day thought were a bad reaction to the 900 gallons of chlorine in the room.
You truly are so special, Happy Buddy.
You are my firstborn. You made me a mommy.
And while I have loved every year of getting to fulfill that role in your life and watch you grow, this year has been especially fun.
Like I love that you are obsessed with front-loading washing machines and pretend to do laundry where ever we go.
I love that it takes you 1400 hours to eat a baby carrot.
I love that you always want to match pajamas with your brother.
I love that you like to pull a chair up to the kitchen counter to help me cook.
I love that you always remember to buy the grocery store checker their favorite candy.
I love that you have 1,000 reasons why you can’t go to bed yet.
I love that you wake up at 5 am every day
(I could do without this one, though, just in case you feel like learning how to sleep in).
I love that you think putting the water bill in the special mailbox at City Hall is a highlight in your day.
I love that you are an amazing listener.
I love that you are getting better about brushing your teeth.
I love that you imitate whatever is going on around you – if Daddy is grilling, you pretend to grill. If our kitchen has mold in it, you pretend your kitchen has mold in it. If you’re watching the World Cup, you turn our living room into a soccer field. You have an incredible imagination.
I love that you never forget to do Jesus Kisses every night before bed.
I love that you named my car Frank.
I love that you will play your drum set like a wild man – completely naked except for a super hero cape.
I love that you leave your tinkle in the potty every morning because you are afraid the flushing sound will wake Mommy and Daddy up.
I love that when someone says or does something kind for you you tell them that “it opened your heart.”
I love that you think about God and ask me questions about Him.
I love that you are completely captivated by clocks and timers.
I love that the other day I took your hand in mine and said, “When you are a teenager will you still let me hold your hand?” and you responded, “YES!” and then thought about it for a second and said slyly, “Well… maybe.”
I love that every morning the bathroom looks like you had a wrestling match with your toothpaste and the toothpaste won.
I love that when I pray over you at night I sense that one day you will be a great leader.
I love it when you smile at me.
I love it that you enjoy watching Tinker Bell movies.
I love that you applaud my attempts to sing “Let It Go” in the kitchen while trying to convince you and your brother that vegetables are delicious.
I love that you could care less about Disney parks but could spend hours riding the Monorail.
I love that you don’t cry anymore when I have to clip your fingernails or pour water over your head in the bath.
I love that when you have to go to the bathroom you force your brother to go as well.
I love that you liked it when I wore that silly magnetic nose ring I bought at a souvenir shop on the beach.
I love that when I ask you for forgiveness you respond immediately with, “Always, Mommy.”
I love that you recently discovered the box I keep of all your old artwork and went around the house hanging up each piece on any available surface.
I love that you cannot leave the house without 15 things in tow.
I love that I caught you with your arms raised in worship while we were driving to church last week.
This list is just a tiny version of a much longer one that is in my heart – a list that I ponder over and over throughout the days as I watch your hand fill up with years.
I can’t wait to see what the Lord has for you as He adds more hands to your life.
And oh, how I pray that you will continue to use those hands to serve God and bless others every single day along the way.
I am so proud to be your mama.
Happy Birthday. :-)