Friday, April 24, 2015

Happy 6th Birthday, Big Arrow!

As you may know, I like to write posts to the boys on their birthdays, and it is Big Arrow's 6th birthday. (You can also read his 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th posts or Little Arrow's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd posts.) I'll resume my normal travel tales and tips in a few days... In fact, I'll be writing about his birthday celebration at Legoland next week. But a mama's just gotta love on her boys sometimes.

The thing I've observed more in the past year than ever before is how strong your passions are, and how your enthusiasm is so contagious. And more importantly, how much I love that about you.

Like any child, you go through phases. Most of them have been fairly typical (Elmo, pirates, superheroes). Although you did veer off the mainstream path with a deep, deep love for Blue's Clues around age 3. What mom doesn't want to buy discontinued products off sketchy Amazon vendors just so she can throw her son a birthday party?

But somehow your interests become our interests, as a family. Not because you force them upon us (well... maybe a little), but because your love for whatever has captured your heart and imagination is completely infectious.

Take your current obsession. Star Wars. Before you got interested in the movies about a year ago (thank you, Legos), I had never sat through one from beginning to end. I just didn't have an interest and didn't understand the global phenomenon. Sci Fi is my least favorite genre of books, movies, anything. I didn't know my Han Solo from my Anakin Skywalker. And yet watching you dig into this, learning everything there is to know, and the way your eyes light up at the thought of it all, I find that I can't help but fall into it all myself. And that's what everyone around you does, too.

Because of you, we spend our days doing things like making Kit Fisto masks out of cereal boxes and light sabers out of paper towel rolls. And actually enjoying it. It's not just me. You get your grandparents to pose like superheroes and coax them into donning crazy wigs from the dress-up bin. You persuade your cousins to re-enact episodes of British cartoons that they've never even seen.

Your teacher once told me that you make her excited to teach phonics. Admittedly, she said, those lessons can sometimes be a bit stale. But the moment she gathers everyone on the carpet for the lesson, and she sees how eager and happy you are, she feels that, too.

These are the moments that I'm so thankful that for some yet unexplained reason, you're drawn to the good in this world. If you're going to bring along a group of friends, your family, and even your teachers into the things you hold close, I'm glad it's phonics. And Star Wars. And sliding down fireman poles at the playground. And taking turns so that life is a bit more fair. And tennis and "football with ma' mates" (as you say). And being sensitive toward your friends. And making crazy crafts with toilet paper rolls. And loving your family with all your heart.

I know it's cliché and it is something that every parent (rightfully) feels about their child, but watching you play and learn leaves me filled with the sense that anything is possible. Being six looks pretty great when I see the world from your vantage point.

A fine Jedi you would make, Big Arrow.  May the force of good always be with you. And may you never lose those quirks that make you so special to everyone who loves you.

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