Today you are six! SIX YEARS OLD! For your birthday you got books and when you received a fiver in the in the mail from Auntie Rachel, you asked if you could buy more books. We went to Barnes and Noble and you spent all your cash within an hour of opening the card. In case you have forgotten, you bought Inside Hurricanes. You don’t have the complete Inside set but you have a pretty good start to your collection. You can’t read the books on your own yet but you are starting to pick out familiar words and I know that you are so very close to starting to read on your own. Your dad always tells me, “When he learns to read a whole new world will open up to him and we will never see him again!” I think your father is right so I am going to savour every minute of reading to you about tornadoes, volcanoes, hurricanes, weather and any other book you bring to me. I will admit I do get weary of answering all the questions you have all the time about everything, but I am working hard to be patient just like you work hard to be patient while I Google the answers to all your questions.
You love books. You love books about anything science and you love the Magic Tree House series. Your dad is the official reader of all Jack and Annie stories because they drive me nuts, but he loves reading them so it works out well. Right now you are reading one about serpents I think. Every night after putting you to bed your dad walks down the stairs following his nose to his dinner plate all the while smiling and reporting to me about you and your brother during story time. He loves reading to you and your brother.
Besides books you seemed to have found your body. This may sound weird but watch your Dad walk up the stairs a few times. You and your Dad are so much alike in so many ways. Your Dad doesn’t always know where his feet are and there is a spaghetti stain on the carpeted stairs to prove it. You are the same way. You seem to trip over nothing, but sometime in this past year you have really gained much more control of your body. You can do things now that you would not have attempted last year. Now you can ride a bike, cross monkey bars, jump on one foot and so much more. And just as I typed “so much more” I can hear your wise 6-year-old voice in my head urging me to add, “AND HANG ON TO THE TROLLEY UPSIDE DOWN!” (all caps because even in my head you talk at a level 4!). Yes Michael, you hang on to the trolley with your feet swung straight up in the air. It is quite impressive. Everyone thinks so. We often applaud you and you smile a big goofy grin and are quite proud of yourself as you should be. Like I said, you have come a long way in a short time.
Swimming is another area where you have grown a lot. I am surprised, more than I should admit, that I am even able to write about your swimming skills. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure you would ever get past swimming 2 feet, let alone diving for toys at the bottom of the pool. You were in the Pike level swimming class three sessions in a row. We set up the pool in the backyard and within two weeks you taught yourself to swim and are diving for toys like it is your job. You have even mastered a one-handed hand stand. That takes skill kid, and you got it!
In just two months you will be starting full day Kindergarten. I can not believe that you are old enough for Kindergarten. You will do great. You already know more about clouds and weather patterns than I did in the fourth grade. I have no doubt that you will be one of the smartest kids in your class. Whether or not you can sit through a whole class period, on your bottom, without bothering someone or interrupting the teacher is another issue, but I have faith that with time all the social skills that come so naturally to Patrick will become just another set of rules that you have mastered. Patrick will have to work to learn letters and numbers where all of that came so easy to you. You and your brother make quite the pair and I have no doubt that you could rule the world if you chose to do so. Your Father would prefer you to expand your love of weather to a love a space. He is really counting on hitching a ride with one of you kids on a rocket ship one day. My bet is on you Michael. You are so smart and if the Inside series of books had a book on How to Fly to Space, I am sure you would have it memorized with in a week.
You and Patrick are best friends and you both are quick to say that you miss each other when you are apart. We have all known that for a long time but this year you and your little sister have grown together and formed quite the tight bond too. She worships you and will do anything you say. She mimics every thing you do (good and bad- so please be good!) and wants to be just like you. In return for her eternal devotion you have offered her protection and friendship. You two often play together and you are always her first line of defence when she is doing something dangerous. You are patient with her when she ruins your plans, crashes your towers or topples your marble run. You are a wonderful big brother to her and she and Patrick are lucky to have you.
Your smile melts my heart and your meltdowns break whatever strand of sanity I have remaining. You are a looker and are so very handsome. You were blessed skin that tans instead of burns (maybe it skips a generation) and your blonde hair has bleached to white in the summer sun.
You are my first and I love you for being my test dummy. You have been incredibly resilient while I have learned to navigate parenting and I thank you for that.
I love you Michael. Happy 6th Birthday!