It has taken 2 weeks and 2 days to write this post.By the time that you can read this the fact that this is a belated birthday letter will not surprise you in the least.
Michael- Happy Birthday. We love you. It is impossibly hard to believe that you are five years old but at the same time it is hard to remember life before you.
Michael you are one of a kind. You light up a room with your infectious laugh. You are contradictory in a way that makes you both incredibly logical but also imaginative at the same time. Rarely do I completely follow one of your stories because you manage to mix in a little of everything. Because of your incredible memory, in one of your stories you will mention an adventure that happened at the cabin “yesterday” (but really happened months earlier) and then the story will turn into a dialogue about a fight you had with the infamous George (Your preschool arch nemesis from the first months of preschool) and most stories are not complete with out the mention of at least one scene of your favorite of the moment Pixar movie. I love you.
You are a rule follower like your father but recently you have started to experiment with lying. You are an awful liar. Absolutely aweful. It is quite pitiful actually. Usually your Dad and I just end up laughing at you. You talk yourself in circles and most of the time some sort of fictional creature is apart of the lie- Dragons were at fault for a lot of messy toys for a few months. Luckily we got the Dragon problem under control but now poor Patrick or Elise are to blame. The lies are still far fetched, like recently when you blamed Elise for knocking over something that was not only out of her reach but twice her weight. You have spent lots of time in time out reflecting on this newly discovered behavior.
This past year you started Preschool. It has been a wild ride. You loved school from the first day to the last day. It took a while for you to find your groove but once you did things were – mostly – smooth sailing. At your first “mid term” teacher conference the teacher was excited to tell us that you already knew everything that they wanted Preschoolers to know by the end of the year. You are incredibly smart and like I wrote earlier, and you have a memory like a sponge. You excelled in the areas of letters, numbers, shapes and colors. As long as you were not asked to write or draw something you were at the head of your class. Whoever your teacher is this coming fall they won’t believe that at the beginning of preschool you hated to write letters or do any sort of coloring. That has all changed with the guidance of a Occupational Therapist that you saw once a week through the state. The difference in you since starting OT is incredible. You love to color now and I spend hours doing laundry that is covered in paint, marker and sidewalk chalk.
While on the subject of fine motor, you recieved your first video game for your birthday this year. It was a proud moment for your Dad. It was like watching the torch being passed. And you love the video game too which makes your Dad even more proud! On a recent drive back from Minot you played the game for almost 12 hours straight! We were both surprised how quickly you picked it up. I guess it is in your blood.
This year also marked a big milestone – big for me anyways – you got your first “big boy” hair cut! You looked so old and so cute. You Dad didn’t like the spikes but both you and I loved them. You looked like a little boy. Somewhere in the fog of being pregnant with Elise and her first year you grew into a full on boy. You are far from toddler. Lightyears away from being a baby. You have a year of preschool under your belt for goodness sake!
We love you Michael Donovan. You make us so incredibly proud. You drive us batty with your constant “Whys” but at the same time we are so proud and excited about your curiosity to know EVERYTHING about ANYTHING!
This has been a hard year on all of us but you have come so far in such a short time. You are a fantastic big brother to Patrick and Elise. Patrick is your best friend and Elise is your biggest fan. Patrick and you are complete opposites but somehow you to make it work and you are inseparable. Elise gets excited just seeing you walk into a room. When I am busy and up to my ears in whatever the most recent motherhood hurdle I am facing I can ask you to “make Elise happy please” and you walk over and can turn her from fussy to gleeful in just seconds.
You have become such a big helper and you are eager to be the line leader in any situation (especially going up the stairs). I try to be careful not to rely on you too much but you are so willing and so helpful it is hard not to. Not only do you help but you like to help. You thrive in following directions and rules. You do best when your day is laid out in front of you. You love consistency and routine. I am learning daily how to be better at both of those because of you.
Happy Birthday. Happy 5th Birthday! We love you Michael D and we can’t wait to see what year five brings. Every birthday for you is a celebration not only for you but for your Father and I. We have been parents for 5 years now. That is unbelievable to us. You have been the most resilient guinea pig! There is an extreme learning curve when it comes to parenting and we thank you for being the best ever first born. You have taught us so much in just five years. You have survived and we have survived. I think we make a pretty good team.
Love you always and forever, Mom
*for some reason the music doesn’t work on the video… I will try and fix is later. For now just hum or sing “Wonderful World” while you watch it.