Hey, there, Bud.

You’ve actually been six for weeks now, but it’s been a wild month and I didn’t have words to do justice to your you-ness. I still don’t, actually, but I have the space to try, anyway.

You learned to read this past year. It was funny, because I expected that to be a few years off yet. Your sisters learned at 7 and 8 (I think?), so it wasn’t really on my radar. I didn’t even know you knew all the letters, but at some point this spring, you started sounding things out. (Reading is like everything else here—not a battle I fight because I want you to enjoy it, and also because I’m tired.) Weird. But it’s awfully fun that you can.

You lost some teeth. The bottom two came out, and you have a top one that I could pull out if you wanted me to. (In the sledding pictures you can see it’s a little wonky. That’s because it’s barely attached.)

Just before this birthday, we moved to a new house. You’re in a new room with new freedom and all three sisters and a hill to sled on and woods to tromp around. Your constant delight brings me all the joy.

You’re such a delightful mix of little boy and big helper. You were my chunkiest baby (and the 9lb, 5oz bowling ball my body managed to birth because your mama is AWESOME), but the chub is all but gone, replaced by strong limbs and an enviable six-pack chiseled by days full of climbing, running, and general mayhem. Your cheeks, though. Those remain squishy and sweet and perfectly smoochable. You don’t even seem to mind that I compulsively kiss them on the regular.

You are so sweet, Brian. You, more than any of the girls, are the one that spontaneously professes your love for me, for them, for other close friends. Like the gratitude you have for things you’ve been given (every time you see them, for years), you just can’t not express your adoration for the people around you.

I call you my see-a-thing, do-a-thing boy. Your impulse control and executive function aren’t yet completely online, and that gets you in trouble pretty regularly. Know what I notice, though? The things that most frequently trip you up are when you want to help, you decide how you want to help, and you do… but it turns out in “helping,” you actually wind up doing something specifically disobedient. This is pretty tough, because you’re so sad and you just… forgot.

I see your heart, dude. I know you’re trying to help. I’m working on ways to have you help that are actually helpful and that don’t involve doing things that get you in trouble. But even when you do forget that you’re not allowed to, say, run the dishwasher without permission or light candles, I sure appreciate the desire you have to do things you think would help. You’ll figure out how to do it soon. I can see it coming.

It’s been quite a year, Brian. You’re growing just right. I sure love you.

Published by robininalaska

Robin Chapman is a part-time writer, editor, and birth photographer and a full-time imperfect mama, wife, Jesus follower, and normalizer of failure. She’s trying hard to learn how to do this motherhood thing in a way that doesn’t land the whole family in intensive therapy. She has a heart for helping other mamas buried in the little years with hope, humor, and solidarity. You can find her hiding out in the bathroom with an iced dirty chai, writing and editing and making spreadsheets for KindredMom.com where she is a cheerleader for mamas, or online looking for grace in her mundane and weird life. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with her four delightful (crazy) kids—some homeschooled, some public schooled, some too young for school at all—and her ridiculously good looking husband, Andrew.

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