You will have significant experiences.
I hope that you will write them down and keep a record of
them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh
your memory of these meaningful and significant things.
Some may be funny. Some may be significant only to you.
Some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some
may build upon another until they represent a lifetime of
special experiences.
- Gordon B Hinckley

Friday, October 10, 2014

Everett Turns Five...

A letter to my son on his fifth birthday

Dearest Everett,

In this, the fifth year of your life, there has been so much change…probably the most change since the year you were born.  You’ve had your successes and your struggles, your good days and bad days, but through it all you’ve remained our loving “big, strong boy.”

This year you became a big brother.  A title hard-won for our entire family, the pregnancy and introduction of Reece took some major adjusting on your part.  I’m thankful that in the months leading up to his birth, you and I were able to spend most of our time together.  Being off of work allowed me to dedicate myself to your happiness almost completely.  And you loved every minute of having me home.  But you also had to quickly develop some physical independence as I wasn’t able to carry or lift you and many days were spent with me lying on the couch.  Your body kept up with your changing needs and you finally seem equal with your peers.  When Reece was born you seemed neither in love nor in distaste for him.  I called it indifference for the first six months of his life.  You were loving to him when we requested that you be, you were never aggressive or jealous, but I think you often forgot his presence in our household.  In the past few months though you’ve really started to blossom in your job as a big brother.  You can make Reece laugh like no one else can.  You devote time to showing him toys and talking about how the world works.  Reece already looks up to you; always watching you and trying to mimic your movements.  You love showing him off to your friends.  

With the birth of Reece came your stammer.  That stammer stole your voice for the better part of this year.  You’ve struggled with it most days since he was born.  Some days are good days, when your speech hardly catches and everything flows.  Some days are bad days, when you can barely get a sentence out and something that should take a few seconds to say takes a half minute or more.  You’ve been frustrated.  We’ve been frustrated.  We’ve tried to get you the help we thought you needed but overall, with stammers, it just takes time.  In the past few weeks, the stammer has abated and we have LOVED hearing your voice again.  We don’t know if this is something you will always struggle with.  So far it hasn’t made you different from other kids.  You have amazing friends who are patient and wait for you to say your words.  I’m so thankful for their kind and tolerant hearts.

You began formal school in August.  Because of when your birthday falls you qualified for a transitional kindergarten program.  The switch from preschool to regular school has been easy and hard.  It has been easy in that you love school, you made new friends quickly, and you are learning so much that sometimes I am surprised at what you already know.  It has been hard in that you miss Miss Cathi, your preschool teacher and often ask to visit her.  You also miss your old friends and you’ve struggled with the rigid rules that formal school requires.  Sitting still has always been difficult for you and your teacher has to remind you often to “calm your body.”  You also love to be the class clown and are often reminded to stop making silly faces or to stop singing (and dancing) in front of the class.  Your teacher adores you for your sweet temperament and your appreciation for praise.  You are always kind to your friends, are very willing to share, and are concerned when people are hurt or upset.  You play with everyone.

You continue to excel at swimming (which makes Mama’s heart so happy).  You can float and are almost able to keep from drowning.  You are working on your freestyle stroke and just dove head-first into the pool last week.  I find myself encouraging your love of the water, as so much of what I see in you reminds me of myself.  

In so many ways you’ve done so much growing up this year.  You are such a boy with increasing independence, it both excites me and pulls at my heartstrings.  We continue to be amazed and thankful for all that you accomplish.  You are magnificent.  And we love you, every part of you.  Happy 5th birthday to my big, strong boy.


Mama and Daddy

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