My Dear Stevie,
Today you turned 5 years old. I can't believe you're 5 years old already. It seems like you were just a 2 year old yesterday. I remember watching kindergarten children getting on and off the bus when you were a few months old and realizing it was going to come all too quickly... and it has. You're going to be starting Kindergarten this fall! I'm so thankful that we'll be doing to it together, and I'm very excited to be part of that new adventure with you. I'm sure we're going to learn a whole lot more about trains. :)
This year you went to Preschool, and Ms. Sue was your teacher. You loved school so much! Almost every class day, I would make it a point to get to school early to pick you up....just so I could catch a glimpse of how much fun you were having on the playground or in the gym with your friends. Of course the best day for me was the day you were ok with me coming to your class. You showed me everything and loved having me (and Daddy on his day...your 1/2 birthday day with donuts) as your guest. Whenever there was a party at school, and you came home with a goodie bag, you'd give Lydia a treat from it first. You are that kind of brother....that kind of awesome boy! You always picked something pretty small for show and tell...usually matchbox cars of some kind, or trains, or planes, or helicopters. I'm sure 95% of the time you mentioned, "Mommy got it at a garage sale." At Graduation, you were so proud, and we couldn't have been more proud of you. You even chose to wear a tie ...putting it on yourself....because it was such a big deal. The huge smiles, waves, and thumbs up you sent our way just added icing to the cake. This was such a good year for you, and a part of me wishes it could've lasted forever, but I'm sure you'd like to keep getting bigger...just like Daddy, you say.
You still love to ride your bike, swing on the swings in the backyard, hit the wiffle ball high and far with your bat, and play basketball (and Dude Perfect). You now like me to defend you as we play one on one games. That's pretty cool...and if my arms aren't up or out, you let me know, and you tell me to "scoot, Mom." You make the score up as we go and announce, "3 to 5." You made your "Home Shot" which was pretty exciting for us all. You can make some pretty sweet shots!
Now you've started soccer. You wanted to play, but you weren't so sure about it the first few practices and games with so many kids on the field and the loud whistle, but God made you a strong boy who is brave and tries his best...even if we need reminders to get up and keep going. You are playing now and you really enjoy it!! The number 5 cool blue jersey helps too! You are so proud when you make contact with the ball, and we love to catch that smile. Keep it up, buddy! You are so courageous. We've been praying for that...and God is answering. It's not always easy to have courage, but you can do ALL things with His strength. You went down the SUPER fast, adult water slides when we went to a hotel water park last month. I couldn't believe it!! All of a sudden, I saw you at the end of one slide and Daddy on the other. All by yourself! And, you had fun! Look at the things you can do when you try! You still like your typical favorite foods and meals (chicken nuggets, hot dogs, chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, and chocolate in general), but you are eating so much healthier now overall and you are willing to try so many new things and have found them to not be so bad after all.
You are a wonderful brother to Lydia. You aim to protect her from danger and you are best buddies. You get into mischief together sometimes, and you wrestle sometimes....and sometimes you are so loud together people wonder how many kids we have in the house. You pretend to do all sorts of things together, riding trains and buses, taking a sick baby to the hospital. You often let her sleep in your bed even though "she has too many friends" she brings up with her. You are so caring and sharing, and if she's ever crying or hurt, you try to make her feel better. You're also her translator...though she rarely needs one, but you want to make sure I know what she needs or wants. If she makes a mess, I hear about it from you, "Ohhh, Lydia Matthew!!"
You still love all trains (steam trains are your favorite) and any kind of vehicle or mode of transportation. Some of your construction trucks made appearances in our Nativity scene last Christmas. You were a fantastic shepherd in the Live Nativity this year...blowing us away, as if it was "your thing." Over and over again, the Lord provides exactly what you'd like for gifts. For Christmas, you got your special train Lincoln Log set, and for your birthday, you got a motorized engine for your wooden tracks and you got the Thomas carrying big that unzips to a play mat. You like those hard to find items, and God brings them in. Knowing how much I love you, and seeing acts of special love and touches on your life by our God brings me closer to Him. You are so precious to Him, and you're so precious to us. God is already using you in my life, in Daddy's life, and in others' lives for greatness. You praise the Lord whenever a lost toy is found, whenever the sun comes out (EVERY time), whenever something wonderful comes your way. Your prayers are so rich and good. You don't say a lot, but you ask for Daddy to get home safe each night, you ask God to touch your skin (boo-boos or eczema), you thank him for everyone in our family, and you ask him to help you obey. What that does to your mom's heart....what that must do to God's heart. You are like David in the Bible...seeking after God's heart. When you obey Mommy and Daddy, it is not only good for your well-being, you are learning, growing, and practicing to obey Jesus. Ohh the things He can do through you when you obey...and with that courage that is growing within you and your caring, compassionate heart!! I get so excited just thinking about it!
I love you so much, Stevie....and it's not because of what you've done or what you'll do. I love you because you're you. We're with you during the highs and we're with you in the lows. No matter what, we'll keep cheering you on. I know you've said it a couple times....that it's your best birthday ever. I really hope you feel as loved as you are. 5 years old!! Happy Birthday, Steves!
With love and a kiss, always and forever, through the sunshine and the rain,