Monday, November 2, 2015

Cole: 5 Years

I've sat down to write out Cole's 5th birthday post several times, the truth is I don't know how to start it.  I kept telling myself this year was still a long way off. Staying in sort of a denial made my heart distanced from the reality of change that is to come.

This will be the year he will have to start school.

This will be the beginning of the end of the simplicity of having all my kids home with me, making our own schedules, staying in undies all day long (not me, the boys....) and doing whatever we pleased.

This will be the year I have walk my firstborn, hand in hand down the hall to his classroom. This will be the year I leave a big piece of my heart behind in four walls other than my own. I've already cried and fought my way through these thoughts. And then I cry's happening.

Running around "free as a bird" will soon be like a distant relative. And yet, I know he is ready.

I might not be. (Some days I think I'm REALLY ready....but then I know, deep down, I'm not.)

Mr. Piercing-Blue-Eyes has changed so much this last year. I have seen him grow in many ways. From being a protective big brother to learning how to better control his emotions. Not always successful in the two, but definitely making progress.

He's inquisitive.

He's sensitive.

He's timely, prompt, and a bit on the impatient side.

He's kindness and gentleness...except when Bennett is dead set on driving him crazy.

He loves all things crafts---soooo unlike his mother. He likes to create but is afraid of failing or messing up his creations and sometimes will stop creating if he thinks it won't turn out exactly how he envisions it. I've been trying to encourage him to not let this hinder him. Sometimes I'm convincing, sometimes not. Type A....perhaps?

He likes to color in the lines and it drives him nuts if little brother comes up behind him and scribbles on the sides. His favorite color has gone from red, to all the colors of the rainbow. He has mastered the art of "scissoring" and finding little pieces of cut up paper all over the house is a norm these days. And I'm constantly finding said pieces of paper by the wad fulls in the littlest's cheeks.

He loves to play board games and strategy games but is an extremely sore loser. We are constantly reminding him that it is OK for others to win sometimes.

He tattles.  And whines--oh man, he can wine. But tries his best to obtain harmony. And he still likes to slap on a bright, shiny halo if Bennett is acting out. And suddenly he is king of doing EXACTLY what mom is asking. What can I say, he has learned the art of basking in heroism at his brother's disposal.

If I ask him to do something like keep an eye on Davis for a quick minute...he does, and will usually yell a play-by-play up to me.As well as a play-by-play of when Bennett is getting into something he shouldn't be...which happens to be often.

If you compliment him or praise him on anything he will always reply with a very sultry sounding "Faaaaank-you". Cracks me up every time.

He gets fixated on certain things and won't stop asking...sometimes the entire day (or week-s). Playing with his umbrella was one of those things. I finally gave in one day, because it was actually raining and it got him outside.

I have loved watching him grow in independence. Sometimes He takes me by surprise with how big boy he is becoming. His thought and reasoning are starting to mature in ways that were a little unexpected at his age.

His mind is like one big calendar where long or short naps map out the definitive of his day and night.  He insists on always being in the know of what is going to happen, when and for how long. Before he goes to bed at night or before his naps I must inform him what will happen when he wakes up. Where will we go, what will we do, who will we see. If I say that I don't know, or that we are just staying home....that simply is not pleasing enough to him.

He likes to keep a strict schedule, and routine is a must. Which is why I think he will actually thrive in Kindergarten.

And also because he has become quite the social butterfly. I think that has been one thing that has been the most fun to watch blossom this past year., He has made some very sweet friendships, friendships that I really hope will continue on as he grows older. I mean, is there anything more precious than listening to giggling little boys? Or listening to "best friends" converse when their ages range from 3-5.

 And I'm pretty sure there is a saying somewhere that says friends who rock together, stay together.

Does a rock band get any cuter? Putting on shows and concerts seem to be one of his and Bennett's favorite things to do. Our house never lacks for entertainment or loudness.

He definitely has his dad's cleaning genes. if I start singing "clean up, pick up, put away" You know, Daniel Tiger style. He goes into clean mode, and won't stop until every last item is picked up. Sometimes everything gets piled in one corner or on top of the table.....but at least he's trying. And when he's on his roll, he's on it, and will go from one room to the other until they are all nice and tidy.

He loves to learn about bugs and animals, and asks his dad to watch videos about them on the computer. His favorite happen to be the ones on the venus fly trap and wolf spiders.....WOLF SPIDERS....I can't even....

I don't ever bring up the time he found a lady bug, and as he was calling me over to look at it, Bennett marched over, lifted up his leg and stomped down as hard as he could.....poor bug.

He has been playing soccer this year and loves it. He plays good offense and spends more time running away from the ball than towards it. But seems to thoroughly enjoy himself, especially when it's time to collect snacks at the end.

 He is silly. And sweet. And incredibly loving.

Often he will grab my arm and kiss it. He tells me he loves me, and I tell him there is nothing he could ever do to change my love.

His love language is quality time and words of affirmation. If you give him those two things you can see his heart practically burst out of his chest, and off he will go with his love tank full.

Also, if picnics (or rather, food) were a love language, that would probably be number one. He loves himself a good picnic and usually requires the entire set up, even in freezing cold temps.

And don't get me started on the 8,999 times a day he asks for "sumpin to eat". This morning he ate 4 heavy-duty pumpkin oatmeal pancakes...and then asked for food 30 minutes later. I am happy to report that he is getting over his incredibly pickiness with food and seems to have handed the reigns over to Bennett.  I'm holding onto hope that Davis will remain easily pleased with whatever food I put in front of him.

I have a feeling I will be cooking around the clock by the time they hit high school. Kyle, we better start stashing away a secret "ravenous-teen-food-fund".

But really, I can't complain...I mean, I used to dream of opening my own restaurant or I will just look at it like I own a 24 hour, all you can eat buffet of sorts. Dream achieved.

Really my dreams have been met and so much more. I get to call this one my own, my son, my first born.

I get to laugh with him, dream with him....go on treasure hunts with him (in undies and boots none the less--again, him...not me) He has blessed my life for 5 years now, and I have loved most of every moment of it. We've definitely had some doozy moments, but they are making us stronger and changing us for the better.

This year  he made the decision to follow Jesus. he strives to live his life in a way that would make Jesus happy and proud.

My son, I have no doubt you are doing just that. Jesus is smiling widely as he watches you with your brothers, soaking in his creation, learning about all the intricate details He put into place. Cole, Jesus loves you so very much. And so do I.

Please, above all else. If I screw up in a million ways raising you, please never forget the above two truths.

You are loved immeasurably by your creator, and by your mom. I cannot imagine any other person making me fall in love so quickly, so deeply, and so crazily as you did first. Thank you for all that you have taught me in the past 5 years. How I pray we will make it through all the changes this next year will bring.

I look forward to watching Christ work in your life, and seeing all that He is going to do with you this next year. May you let your light shine bright my big boy. May all that you meet know that there is something incredibly unique and special about who you are. Continue to reach out to those that need help, continue to be the big protector over your younger brothers. I love how much Bennett looks up to you, and even needs you in situation that make him want to retreat. The kindness you have shown him is so sweet. The way you lead him into a room when he wants to run and hide, you help him find joy in those situations. In those moments I see a greater picture of why God gave you to me first, why he chose YOU to be the big brother. Because you are great at it. It's who you are.

I can't help but think of all the many ways God will use you in the future. Oh how my heart smiles and swells thinking of you and the future...and maybe it cries and screams a bit, fighting for you to stay little longer. But mostly it smiles. Because I know you were meant for so much more.

I'm working on letting you fly. On releasing my tight grip on your hand as it has grown from chubby little baby, to that which will soon overcome mine with strength and size. This next year will be hard on me, but it will be good. For both of us.

As I learn to trust more and you grow up even more than you have right now.

Be brave and bold, carry Jesus close to your heart...and He will make you a mighty warrior. 

I love you, my warrior...always and forever.

Happy Five Years! 

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