And Now We Are Six

Dear Ben:

Since it’s your birthday, I won’t make you tell me where that title comes from, but I’ll give you a hint (A.A. Milne). It’s been both my honor and my privilege to be your mother for the last six years. You have grown by leaps and bounds in the last year, and you’re still my favorite boy (we won’t tell your cousin, E).

You are obsessed with Legos and art. You would be perfectly happy in a house filled to the brim with art supplies and Lego blocks. You can, and do, spend hours creating the most amazing things. Yesterday, you made me a beautiful red dinosaur. You use your art to show us how you feel and what you know and what you want to know more about. You are also passionate about music. The African drum may end up being the best gift anyone ever gave you even if it might cause me a nervous breakdown.

We’ve started a new tradition for your birthday. Dad is home. We’ve baked a cake, and we’re pretty much having a chilled day as a family for your day. Right now, y’all are playing MarioKart on the Wii while I type this up. We did your interview this morning for your birthday book:

It’s interesting to see how your answers have changed since last year and what answers are the same. You picked your cake. Oddly, it’s a the Chocolate Malteser Cake from Nigella Lawson’s Feasts:

I think this is odd because you picked it because you think it’s your dad’s favorite cake. It’s not his favorite cake at all, but we’ll let you play that out and hopefully you’ll enjoy it. In a few minutes you’ll be eating lunch and then opening family presents. We’re hoping that if you have all afternoon to play with them you might sleep tonight.

Some big things you’ve learned this year: reading; playing video games; building with Legos; art; basic math; some basic cooking; tball and basketball; and you’ve almost mastered swimming.

Some goals you’ve set: you’re planning to try soccer and coach-pitch softball. Once you’ve done that, you claim that you’re going to choose your team sport and that will be that. You want to pass the swim test so that you can try the slides at the Y. You want to be able to read Magic Treehouse books on your own. You want to do more science and more projects. You want to help Katie get ready for Vacation Bible School next summer.

You are a challenging kid, make no mistake. You have issues that we need to work on. The tantrums and the eye rolls being two of the biggies. You’re very bright and that often works to your disadvantage because you can figure out how to do things that you can’t quite figure out the consequences of (think eggs), so you end up in trouble even though you were creative in getting there.

You’re growing and changing every day and I love every fiber of your being.

Happy sixth birthday, little man. I hope it is as fantastic as you are.

Love, Mom