I’m going to go ahead and admit that out of all of the birthdays we have celebrated in the past five years, this one has definitely been the hardest. Letting go of what little we have left of baby boy, and turning a new page into complete boyhood. Entering new freedoms like being able to go to the unattended game room at the gym, old enough for almost all organized sports and the quickly approaching Kindergarten year this fall. These have been the bittersweet moments for me as a mom, as I celebrate these new freedoms that Brayden has so excitedly looked forward to, and I as a mom am excited too, but it also means that my first baby is anything but a baby anymore.
This year has been sweet as well, as the terrible twos and awful threes past us. Four was a good year for us. We went from dealing with strong will tantrums where I wasn’t quite sure if we’d even survive till this point, to being able to get through most days without major breakdowns and fights. Brayden has turned into a very tender hearted boy, and captivates pretty much any person he comes in contact with. That indeed is something I cherish so very much.
Some other things that I want to remember about this age:
- His favorite color is green. If it’s green, he wants it.
- He LOVES Mexican food (boy after my own heart!), and can down a good portion of an adult sized order of fajitas. He could drink salsa from a straw. His 2nd favorite food to eat out is Chick-Fil-A; so far his highest nugget count eaten is 13 (this also included an order of fries and a fruit cup, thus the reason we have cut down our visits to CFA considerably- ha!).
- He loves ALL sports, and anything to do with superheroes or ninjas/swords.
- He loves to color and draw.
- He can: count to 100, tie his own shoes, recognize all letters and numbers, shapes and phonetic sounds.
- is trying to learn how to tell time. He says it like it looks (ie: "one two four" instead of "one twenty-four").
- We’ve learned he likes his hair to be long enough to spike, thanks to his first (and hopefully, last) self-haircut.
- wears a size 12 or size 13 shoe, depending on brand.
- wears size 5 shorts, is inbetween sizes in jeans (6’s are too long, 5T is too short and tight), and wears a 5/6 shirt.
- wants to be a professional golf-ball player when he grows up.
- loves his brothers with all that he is (and fights with them with all that he is too).
- loves working with Drew with tools, and frequently asks if there are chores around the house that he can do (only if there is money involved though ;) ).
- has a great sense of justice, is very black and white when it comes to issues.
- prefers things to be neat and orderly, and always wants to know the schedule of events for the next day as he’s going to bed.
- hates to wear shoes, and almost always wears t-shirts and basketball shorts.
- thinks pink and purple are girl colors, and refuses to color, draw or wear them.
- says some of the funniest things. Some of my favorites are: "I think God's middle name is Jesus," "Man, I am so tired that my legs are freaked out" (meaning his legs are worn out), "usually I've had one of those lately"
- favorite games to play is Ants in the Pants, Connect Four and Candy Land.
They said that I'd blink and you'd be this big. They were right. I'm scared to even think about blinking again. If ever there was a time I wish I could freeze, now would be that time. You are at the perfect stage-- still innocent, care free and relatively unmarred from the imperfect world that you were born into. As we step into a new stage with you, part of me wants to hole up and protect you from the pain that I know will inevitably come to your life as you grow older. But that wouldn't be healthy for either of us, and the truth is, the world needs more boys like you out there. My prayer is that you will not grow hardened to this world, but that you will soften those around you. That you will become a beacon of light to the otherwise darkness. I pray that you will never lose your laughter and joy from the little things in life, and that you in turn will teach others to laugh too. I pray that you will continue to become a man of integrity, that you will stand up for what's right and stand in the gap for those who can't speak for themselves. Fight for justice, seek mercy, and above all, learn to love Jesus and others with your whole heart. I am already so proud of the little man I see you becoming, and am so blessed to be your mom. You are my sunshine, and I love you so. Happy 5th birthday, Brayden Thomas!