Well, another birthday has come and gone. You’re six. As several of my friends pointed out, you need to use two hands now to show people how old you are. It’s a big deal.
The difference between five and six always feels like a big jump to me. Since your last birthday you’ve learned how to swim, started school, traveled on a different bus to visit a friend, chosen salads instead of fries at restaurants, slept without a nightlight, and spent a summer playing Little League baseball.
Yesterday my mom said something about how you “aren’t really so chatty” and I thought my god, she doesn’t know you. Aren’t chatty? You never stop chatting. You’ve always got a story to tell, or a bad joke, or an opinion. You’re my little goofball. I saw on Twitter today that the average six year old laughs 300 times a day, and that’s you, little buddy. You’re so sunny! Occasionally your feelings will get hurt, and you’ll cry in frustration that your friends (or more often your older brother) doesn’t understand you at that moment. But the storms are always short-lived and pass quickly.
You’d rather be happy, and so it’s never hard to bring your mood back around.
For your birthday, you wanted to invite your five very best friends over for a Skylander-themed party. Okey-dokey. You noticed all the little touches I worked on. You loved having your buddies in the house. You thanked each one sincerely and graciously for the gifts they brought. You were a kind and attentive host, and I was so proud to see how you’ve come into your own.
You’re my only introverted child. You and me, in a house full of talkers and noisemakers. You understand the need to have quiet alone time. You spend it building elaborate Lego constructions. In recent months you’ve brought me a Sphinx, a pyramid, countless spaceships, castles, forts. You also like ‘making crafts’ and asked for craft supplies for your birthday. Even your super-competitive older brother says you’re very creative and better at designing stuff than he is. You have a definite knack and an eye for what works.
You’ve gotten very interested in cooking. From the kid who needed to be bribed with a sticker chart just to eat dinner only a year ago, you’ve become adventurous enough to try anything once. You still have pretty defined opinions about food, but I don’t ever lay bets on what you’ll eat. You think spaghetti is gross, for example, but you’ll cheerfully eat mussels and squid. You’ve got your dad’s sweet tooth and can’t ever get enough chocolate.
In the past week you’ve told me that you want to learn how to fish, that you’d like to wear a tie to school, that you want to grow onions in the garden and that you still don’t like mushrooms. You’ve decided that pickled beets are delicious and you are determined to learn to ride your bike without the training wheels this spring. (“I want to learn before my best friend,” you whispered.)
You really aren’t a minute’s trouble to anyone, buddy, and that’s important. Everyone who crosses your path is better for it. You brighten my every day and I love you so much.