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July 13, 2017 by Heather

Dear Parker,

You’ve been 5 years old for almost two months and I’m just now writing this!  Better late than never, I guess?  To be honest, it’s been on my mind every single day but I just haven’t done it.  Any time spent on my laptop this summer has been geared toward the terrible online Spanish classes I’m taking, so I’ve been kind of tired of being on the computer.  Excuses, excuses.

But enough about me — let’s talk about YOU!  You at 5 might be my most favorite you yet. Do I say that every year?  Probably.  But goodness, I do love this age.  You are still a snuggly and delicious little boy but you also have some independence and things you can do all by yourself that make life so much easier for all of us.  You are definitely out of the toddler stage, and I have to admit, I am totally fine with that.  It is so fun watching you discover new things and dive head first into new interests (Pokémon, Dinosaurs, FISHING) with such passion and excitement.  I swore my kid would never watch anime, but lo and behold, I’m learning all the names on those cards right along with you.

You went to Pre-K this year and LOVED IT.  When the school year began in August, we had decided you would only go three days a week (MWF), and we did that for a couple of weeks before realizing how much you loved it and wanted to go every single day. So that’s what you did!  You learned a lot, made new friends, and loved your teachers (Mrs. Emily and Ms. Joyce) so much.  We all loved your teachers.  You brought me home a pocket full of tiny rocks every single day.  You had a wonderful experience, and you are super pumped to start kindergarten next month.

Your favorite things to do right now are go swimming, learn about dinosaurs, color (“do art”), ride your bike, play with Oliver, watch shows on your Kindle, and go fishing.  Oh heavens, how you love to go fishing.  It is your most favorite thing right now, hands down.  You have your own tackle box (two, actually) that you keep very, very organized, and you really enjoy showing all of your fishing bait to anyone and everyone.  We just got back from a trip to Colorado, and your favorite thing about our time there was going fishing with daddy.  Forget the mountains, you got to fish and even got a new tackle box.

You are a tender-hearted little guy, and you think big thoughts.  You ask lots and lots of questions, and I think one of our main goals as parents is to always keep you talking to us, no matter what you’re saying.  So we listen and try to answer as thoughtfully and accurately as possible, but sometimes the things you say leave us scratching our heads and searching for answers of our own.  You see the world with inquisitive, curious eyes, and you love love love to learn new things about it.

You are a kind, loving big brother to Oliver.  But bless your sweet heart, he sure does like to beat you up.  I mean he really has at it.  We all flinch and get scared when he comes our way with something in his hand.  He’s fun, but man, he is dangerous.  So we’ve had to have some talks with you about being a little more assertive so you stop getting bullied by your little brother.  So far it seems to be kind of working.  When we talked to you about it and brought up self defense (without saying anything about hitting anyone), you immediately said, “But big brothers don’t hit their little brothers!”  You really are so sweet and protective of Oliver, but I’m telling you, you’ve got to start standing up for yourself.  It may take a few more whacks to the head for you to figure it out.  You’ll get there.

Lately you’ve really been into coloring and creating things.  Our house is covered with all of your little drawings and doodles.  The piles of papers sometimes drive me bonkers, but I cherish every single thing you make for me (for at least a week and then I throw it away, true story).  Right now you’ve got a big Amazon box in your room that you color on every single day for an hour or so.  It’s become quite the project.  We went to the store today to restock your art supples — we got new markers, glue, jewels, stickers, sequins, and feathers, because what is a box without some feathers glued to the side of it.

Your favorite foods right now are:  chick peas, frozen blueberries, hot dogs, bell peppers, salt and vinegar chips, PB&Js, popsicles, toast with butter, strawberries, yogurt, watermelon, and chocolate chip granola bars.  I think you may be going through a growth spurt right now because you’ve been eating an awful lot.  Also we’ve never really made you eat “grown-up” food, aka what we’re eating, and we recently decided that maybe that’s something we should start doing..?  You eat well, though, so I’m not worried about it.

I guess around the beginning of this year you started wanting to sleep in our bed whenever it rained or stormed.  You enjoyed it so much that sometimes after we had tucked you into your bed we would go back to check on you and you’d be snuggled under the covers right in the middle of our bed.  And of course we left you there, because truth be told, we love it as much as you do.  Yes you kick and wiggle and lay sideways, but it’s sweet having you right there to snuggle with.  It’s not a forever thing, you’ll grow out of it.  So for now, if you want to “fall asleep” in our bed, so be it.

The other night you threw the biggest tantrum.  Guess the toddler days aren’t quiiiite behind us?  I’m trying to remember what it was about.  Oh, yes.  You had gone for a run with Daddy and skinned your knee and it was all downhill from there.  Or uphill?  Uphill is harder, so let’s say that.  Anyway, you were mad the rest of the night.  Super mad, wouldn’t listen to us, thrashing about.  You eventually got over it and we all made up before you went off to bed, but goodness.  Things were touch and go there for a bit.

You’re growing up, son.  You’re asking the hard questions (babies, death, is poop stored in your testicles?), and your personality is all your own.  We joke and say that you are so much like Daddy, but you march to your own beat.  This morning to Target you wore a Pokémon tank top, gym shorts, and snow boots (“ninja boots”).  You take my breath away by how smart you are and how tender and loving and silly.  I don’t think I mentioned this, but your Lego creations perplex me.  How can a 5-year-old have such skills?  I don’t understand.  Watching you grow and learn is such a joy.  You (and your brother) are the best thing I will ever do.  I couldn’t be prouder, and I’m always on your team.  Pokémon, dinosaurs, snow boots in July, whatever.  But not Sponge Bob.  I have to draw the line somewhere.

I love you, I love you, I love you.  Always.




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