In true Laney fashion, I am late with this post, but you'll soon realize that's a trait we rarely forsake. A little over a month ago you turned 5. You've been so ready to add another year to your age, desperate to say you were "for real" 5. You've prayed for months for God to "please, please" let you turn 5. And here you are! I think you're walking a little taller and you've gained a lot of confidence because, let's face it--you're the big 5 now! ;)
What do I want to telll you first on your birthday post to read years down the road? Your likes and dislikes? Your accomplishments? The ways you've changed in a year? No, baby. I know exactly what I want to tell you first: You are my friend. Having a new baby in the house is hard on everyone, including you. You've watched mommy battle hormonal ups and downs and the stress of having 3 kids 5 and under. You've patted my back while I've silently cried under pressure, prayed for me at bedtime and dinnertime, snuggled up next to me when I didn't deserve it, and forgiven me before I've asked. You are my friend, and an incredible one at that. I hope that's how you feel about me when you're 10, 13, 16, and 30. I so cherish you, our relationship, and the bond we share. That said, you are such a compassionate child. You FEEL, you sense, you try so hard to understand the emotions of others. You read into my words, my sarcasm at times, my facial expressions, and really dig to figure out what people are feeling and you try to feel it with them. I love that about you because you put me in my spot sometimes! I love how God can do that through sweet children like you.
The Lord teaches me so much through you: grace, understanding, patience, joy, acceptance, and so much more. The other night I was reading you the story of Mary and Martha. I was telling you that the things Martha was doing weren't "bad" things, but when we push Jesus aside to do those things and don't give him the time he deserves, then they become "bad" or like idols. As I spoke those words, I was cut to the heart as I thought of all the things I'd done that day besides spend time with Him. Son, spending time with God's word is important. It is crucial. It is your lifeline. It is how your faith is strengthened continually. It is how you are convicted, encouraged, and taught. It is how you faithfully walk with one foot in front of the other. There is no such thing as being stagnant in your faith. You're pushing ahead or falling behind, because Satan is not going to let you be stagnant. One of my goals for you is that you fall in love with God's word and lean on it heavily. If you're reading this at 25 or 30, my advice is as true then as it is now. Cling to His word.
I love to see you bring me your favorite books. It's usually 3 different versions of the Bible! The other day you were "reading" to Hannah out of your bible about the 10 commandments (you had the right page open!), and you said, "Hannah, these are the laws. They're rules. It says you have to tell the truth. No lying! And you have to mind your mother and daddy. And, Hannah, it says no pitching a fit!" Sometimes I wish God had put that last one on the list, but I'd break it too often, I'm afraid! ;)
Drew-man, you are a special little boy. Your brain is like a sponge, soaking up whatever knowledge you can find on something, particularly if it has to do with how something works. For example, you're interested in how the garbage disposal works, how the filters cleans the pool water, how the air conditioning system cools the air, how the jets work in the jacuzzi tub, etc. You keep us talking because you ask questions all the time! Because of all these questions, your favorite people to converse with is adults. You truly enjoy other children, but I'll venture to say your best friends are your adult friends. You love that they take time with you, take you places, spend 1:1 time with you, and help you experience new and fun things. I'm so thankful you have people in your life who INVEST in you--their time mainly, but also their love, their finances, their energy! This is part of the reason you love learning so much--because you have great adult teachers in your life who allow you to learn through experiences. Just this year Deda and Pop planted you your own corn in their front yard! Not everyone has someone who loves them that much!
As we embark on our first year of homeschooling, I'm telling myself that I want you to learn how to read and write and how to enjoy learning. I don't want to make it drudgery every day so that learning is a chore. Instead, I hope you spend lots of time learning, exploring, and thinking in your own way. It's what's gotten you this far! I have science lessons and experiments planned based around what you enjoy learning about. I've purchased lots of books that seemed like they would interest you. And I've purchased your phonics program online because you like to be like your Dad and work on the computer!
Speaking of learning, you're booming with new information all the time. You're great at your letter sounds and are starting to really do well in phonics. You can always correctly pick the letter a word begins with, and you usually get the letter the words ends with correct. You are learning how to form simple words such as pan, man, ran, pen, ten, men, etc. You know lots of sight words as well. You understand lots of words that I think sometimes are above your head. You are so directionally gifted--seriously. Gifted! You know where we are on the interstate, which turns to take to get places, etc, even if we've only been there once or twice. The other day you were telling me how to get to JaJa's new work. You're somethin' else!
Just a couple of days after your birthday, you started swimming like you'd done it your whole life! You went back and forth and back and forth across that pool (sans swim trunks that you'd removed!) time and time again to show us your swimming skills. We don't know where it came from, but you were swimming with your face in the water, moving your hands and feet. You're so excited to go swim in an inground pool at a friend's party next week!
You are such a great big brother. Of course you and Hannah tiff and argue some, but overall, you take great care of her. And you're seriously a big helper with Jonah. Having a 5 year old around to help with a newborn is the way to go! You keep him happy, play with him in the floor while I cook etc, bring me diapers, take out diapers, get stuff for the bath, etc. I love having you around to help!
Son, I could go on and on about you. Basically, I think you're incredible, smart, loving, kind, fun, full of joy, compassionate, and funny! You are special, and I'm thankful God made you just the way you are!
I so appreciate your friendship, your unconditional love for me, your grace, and your sweet cuddles. God blessed me SO much 5 years ago when he delivered you into my arms. My heart has never been the same! I love you DEARLY!