My sweet buddy, today you are 6.
Now that you are 6 it is important that I tell you something, even though I tell you all of the time. You are my favorite.
Not my favorite like “more than Hannah,” because that is just plain silly. There are no comparisons between children, it would be like choosing between your favorite desserts, your coziest clothes, your favorite vacations. There is no choosing between the people that you love the most in the world. “Favorite” is a tier, not a title for a single individual.
You are a wonderful, thoughtful, incredible little boy, and you are my favorite.
I think, as parents, we like to think that we have some part to play in the person that you are now and the person that you are becoming. But I’ m not so sure that this is the case. I feel a little more like I am discovering who you are alongside of you becoming the person that you are. Your dad and I provide you with food, clothes, and shelter. We read with you, help you with homework, walk you to school and swimming, sit with you on the bus, and pull you on your scooter. We wrestle with you, chase you on the playground, tickle you, talk with you, build with you, and sometimes rock and sing you to sleep.
But as for us really shaping you? I think the things that make you “you” are emerging more and more, and your dad and I are just riding along beside you, praying for you, trying to help out where we can, but we’re learning too.
All of the sudden I looked up one day and you LOVE Legos. I mean, you really love them. You often wake up and wander in to start building something, or go straight to your Lego table right after school. It is obviously your favorite way to unwind after a full day at school and I certainly can’t complain.
But what impresses me is how creative you are with the Legos. You obviously love to get a new set to build, tear into it and set it up with no help from us, and will arrange everything into a “new setup” that you will call for dad, or Chelsea, or me to come check out. But oftentimes after seeing other Lego sets in magazines or on the computer, you will come right in, start taking apart your sets and build a new “Jayce custom set” based on whatever you had seen. Or you will build something based on a tv show that you just watched, or a random idea in your head.
The details on your made up creations blows me away. I always think that I will get a picture of something in a minute, but then you start taking things apart to use for your next new ideas. You’ve been telling us that you want to be a Lego designer when you grow up, and I don’t doubt it for a minute.
You are a smart little cookie. You are reading so fluidly now and with expression. You are doing so well on your spelling tests and your math. In the last parent conference your teachers told me about how whenever they gave the class an assignment, you always have an idea to run with. How some students use their examples as a starting point, but you always have your own idea on how something should be done and dive right into it. We are so proud of you.
That said, if your teacher shows me a drawing that you have done in class, it is often very basic. This could lead me to believe that you’re not interested in details if I didn’t know what you are like with your Legos, so instead I think you just aren’t very into drawing. Which, I’m sorry to say my son, but this is something that we have in common. Thought I am still learning new ways that I am gifted creatively, drawing has never has been one of them and my efforts are still pretty lame. But our creativity comes out in other ways.
You love to swim and have become a great little swimmer. You were so hesitant at the beginning, as many kids are, but after your first few lessons you conquered your fear of going under the water and have been moving quickly forward in your lessons ever since. After your second week at level 2, your teacher wanted to move you to level 3. In almost every lesson the teacher has you demonstrate some move and has the other students watch you. I’m even more proud knowing how hesitant you were at first, and I cannot wait to unleash you on the pool this summer.
You are such a sweet little peach.
In the springtime, there are these tiny white daisies spotting the fields that we walk past on our way to and from school. Almost every single day, for 2 school years now, you stop and pick one for me every chance that you get. You deliver it to me with a kiss, sometimes get one for Hannah too, and if we are with friends who are girls will sometimes get one for them too.
Last week I came down the stairs wearing a nice new dress. You were in the living room playing, stopped and smiled at me, came over and gave me a kiss and then went back to playing.
Oh buddy. We are so not looking forward to the first time that a girl breaks your sweet heart.
You are an exploring little adventurer. You love climbing as I’ve already attested to with your instructional video
You love to go to museums or parks and read all of the plaques and displays and do every single hands on activity that is available to you. You’ve been telling me recently (particularly after Bug Week at your school) how much you love nature, and I think what you mean is that you are not afraid of bugs.
You are really interested in earth sciences, and particularly fascinated with natural disasters, as I think most little boys are. It doesn’t get much cooler than volcanos and earthquakes, although the new earthquake exhibit at the Natural History Museum left you a little unsure. (See point above about being a sensitive little thing.)
You are better with Hannah some days than others. I wouldn’t say that you two often play happily together, although the best playing that you do together is wrestling with your dad. You are more likely to take turns, invite her to do something funny, and generally get less annoyed by her (which is not really an easy thing to do since you are a pretty chilled out guy, and she is a wild one). But you are a good brother. You often help her, often giggle too far past bedtime with her, sometimes share, and sometimes sit with her.
Last week I told you that Hannah would be at your school next year and you were really disappointed to hear that she wouldn’t be in your class with you. When I asked why you wanted her in your class you sighed, “Because! I am her brother and she’s my sister,” which seemed like explanation enough.
I am so glad that I get to be your mom and love discovering the many little nuances that make you you.
Happy birthday buddy. XOXO
I made this video for Jayce the month before his 4th birthday, but never finished it. We were in Florida on his birthday that year, which turned out to also be when Chris interviewed for and received a job offer in London. Needless to say, when we got home from vacation, finishing the video fell slightly below “pack up the house” and “get ready to move to another country” on the to-do list. I finished it today, but didn’t add any new videos, so this is the slightly younger version of our singing, smiling, dancing machine.