A Letter to My Son on His Fifth Birthday

Dear Widdy,

Happy fifth birthday my sweet baby boy! I am so very proud of you. What an exciting time for our family, with you getting ready to go to kindergarten in the fall! This Mommy’s heart is full of love and pride and a bit of fear, too.

Every year as it gets closer to your birthday, I take time to reminisce about the weeks before you were born. So much has changed about me and my view of the world, since I became your mother. Having you was literally life-changing; it was like when you took your first breath, I took my first one, too.

These five years have given me more joy, more heartache, more pride, more hope, more fear, and more purpose than I could ever have imagined.

And you’ve grown so much in these five years, too!

It amazes me how much you are capable of already, how tall you are, how insightful and observant and brilliant. But most importantly how kind-hearted you are.

But there are lots of times when I am reminded that my big kid is still such a little one in so many ways. You go from this brave, independent, curious school-going “big kid” to a quiet, cautious child who needs their Mommy.

It’s a bit misleading and it takes me a minute to remember that you are only five years old now. Because you’re so intelligent and articulate and talented, I take your youngness for granted.

So in those times, where I’ve forgotten that you are still so very young and small, I take a step back. I remind myself to be patient with you and give you some grace. Because it’s ok to still want someone to stay with you until you fall asleep; it’s ok to be afraid (hell, I’m an adult and still feel scared at times!); it’s ok to hesitate and consider and analyze and be sure.

Never be afraid to ask for a hug, or a minute of quiet time, or some kind words of affirmation. I promise to never push you to grow up or be a man or get over it. You will always be my baby, and you will never be too old for love or affection or just a hug with no questions asked.

I also promise to try to teach you, instead of just control you. I want you to understand empathy and compassion and consideration, which you won’t learn if I just yell at you. You are worthy of my time, and the time it takes to sit you down and explain something.

Finally, I want you to be grounded. When life throws change or surprise or the unexpected at you, I want you to be able to go “home” in every sense of the word. Go home in your mind and in your heart to find inner peace; go home with your moral compass to where you can find the road of truth and “the right thing to do”; and, of course, go home to Daddy and me. Because nothing you can ever do or say will close our doors to you.

So know that as this next year brings so many changes and so many firsts to our family, you are never alone. We are right here by you. And we always will be!

Happy birthday my courageous little goofball. Five is going to be a blast.

Your number one fan,


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