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Each year I LOVE the tradition Zach and I have of writing a letter to our babies around their birthday. I go through all the pictures taken of them throughout the year leading up to their special day and pick out all the ones that are JUST Mommy and Kye/Daddy and Kye etc. It’s so neat to look back at all our memories together and I know these letters will be something our children cherish someday! Here’s my letter to Kye for his 5th birthday (and about a million pictures to go with it!):
It is hard to look at you now and remember back to when you were just a tiny baby. Your chubby cheeks are fading. You have grown SO MUCH and are so tall! You speak so clearly and communicate so well. You think so deeply. You are truly a KID now and that little baby is nothing but a memory for us to cherish.
When I first had you I heard so often from people about how boys love their mamas. This past year has been one where our bond has become so, so strong. You may be a “big boy” but you LOVE to cuddle with me. Play with my hair. Have me sing “Lean on Me” to you each night. You do not like to see my upset and are quick to always come to my defense. While the days of you saying you want to marry me are gone, you often will tell me that you love me so much you WISH you could marry me. Those moments make me so happy. All I want is to be the kind of wife and mother who you would want to marry. When you are looking for a wife someday I pray that I am displaying the type of qualities you hope to find in her!
Speaking of the future, you have it all pretty much planned out. While the other kids at school say they want to be firemen or super heroes when they grow up, you tell us you plan to sell Aflac insurance like your daddy. Even though the days of your career are far, far away I think it’s precious that you look up to your daddy so much. Just like I hope to be the kind of wife and mother you will want to marry, I love that your daddy is the type of man you strive to be. You also are very set in your plans to marry Kailyn. I’m interested to see how this changes next year with you both attending different schools. You tell us that she will be a dentist and that you will be living in our house with us with her and your children. We’ll see about that 😉
While you may only have eyes for Kailyn, plenty of other girls already notice you! It’s so funny because you are totally oblivious to their crushes and when they tell you they like you, you only think in friendship terms. I’m sure the time will come soon where you will be more interested in the girls than you are right now. When you are ready…they will be lined up hoping for a chance! Your natural outgoing personality and friendly spirit draws people in. Everyone who meets you likes you and enjoys your company. You are well-liked by your peers, but are totally content to play on your own. You are a leader and would rather stand alone than follow the crowd. And you never hesitate to let others know when they aren’t making good choices 😉 I pray that is a quality you always keep!!!
At school you always insist on being the hero on the playground with your friends. You’ve never once been the “bad guy” and I love that about you. You strive for goodness and godliness. Of course I am proud of your academic achievements. You are reading so well and have penmanship better than both Daddy or I! You went through your entire school year without ever once pulling a single clip (never got in any trouble!) and your progress reports were always off the charts. But life isn’t about academics. It’s about keeping an eye on eternity and helping others to follow the path of righteousness with us to Heaven. You have SUCH strong faith already. You love to talk about Jesus and are constantly striving to be like Him in all you do. THIS makes me more proud than any progress report ever will!
While you are my first born, so I have no one to compare you to, I believe you do have a special gift. Others see it in you too. Your prayers are SO powerful, Kye. You have such a godly spirit and you are already leading so many others towards Christ. I pray so much that this never fades and only becomes stronger as you grow up. You truly are a soldier for Christ and fight Satan at every turn. Your heart is so loving and kind and so filled with Jesus that it overflows into all you do and say. It’s who you are at the core and it’s a beautiful thing to see. I’m so thankful for all the amazing influences you have had so far in life to help build that character in you, but I know it all really comes straight from the Lord! I thank Him every single day for you and the blessing you are to us…but also the amazing things you will do for His kingdom.
This year was the first year you attended school every day rather than just three days a week. While I miss having you at home with me in the mornings, it does make me appreciate our quality time together even more. We often joke about how Britt is JUST like Daddy and you are JUST like me. We are so, so much alike in so many ways and I think it’s why we have such a naturally strong bond. We just understand each other and can relate to the way we both think. You over-analyze situations, love to make plans for the future, have a very “mellow” personality, and are a constant negotiator to get your way. While our similarities bond us…it also makes it tough for you to get away with much because I pretty much know what you are thinking!!!
You may be a lot like your mama, but you are ALL BOY and love to go and do things with your daddy too. I love how much you enjoy golf and the pride you take in the sport already. You are also a fabulous swimmer and have a lot of interest in football. We are holding off as long as possible from joining in the sports world, but Daddy is so great at practicing things with you and working on skills at home to prepare you for when the time comes. You have a naturally competitive spirit (which you FOR SURE did not get from me!!!) and you get very upset when you don’t win. We are doing our best to teach you how to be a good sport and I am interested to see what, if any, sports you end up enjoying as you get older. I hope you find something YOU enjoy and that can be an outlet for you…I never want you to feel pressured to do anything because it’s what we want for you and hope we can just help guide you to find your own interests.
Your favorite things to do are things that I don’t think a typical 5 year old would choose to be doing! When you get up from nap you like to work on coloring pages and writing notes. You also love to go outside and do work out there. You enjoy digging holes and raking! Even around the house you are quick to offer to help clean and do other chores. You have such a helpful nature and giving heart. It is my favorite quality about you and something I admire so much. You don’t help others because you “should” or because you are told to. You don’t do it for selfish reasons. Or even to try to “earn” a place in Heaven. You step up and help others because it is who you are. You have THE most servant heart of anyone I have ever met. You are never too busy or too occupied to stop and help someone in need and that is something I hope to be more like myself. I admire you in this way and you inspire me to be better at putting others needs before my own! Even though you may end up getting taken advantage of down the road for your giving spirit…never, ever let that stop you. It’s the best way to show Jesus to the world and it DOES make a difference!!!
We have had such an amazing year together. Hello…we went to Disney THREE times. You can’t top that!!! I love experiencing life with you and we always have so much fun together. While you are so blessed to be able to do so many fun things, I strive to never let you get an entitled attitude. I try to always point out to you that we can’t go eat at that restaurant or attend such and such event because we save our money to be able to do the fun trips, like Disney. You already understand that so well and do such a great job of never getting upset when we do things for the betterment of our family unit. You have adjusted well to sharing meals when we go out to eat, you never ask us to buy you random things at the store, and you appreciate all you have. You take great care of your things and share with your sister so well!
As the oldest child, you will (and already have!) have to make the most sacrifices for our family unit. I know having a new baby this summer will be an adjustment but I have total faith that you will do amazing with the transition. You take your role as Big Brother super seriously and I know you will be a HUGE helper with the new baby! You are so excited and love to talk about all things baby. You have it all planned out how it will go when the baby arrives and are super excited to get to tell the baby’s name to everyone for the first time. I love your enthusiasm and how much you already love a baby you haven’t even gotten to meet yet. I know a lot of the times it’s tough dealing with Britt right now. She’s in a toddler stage that can be frustrating for us all, but especially for you. While you don’t always respond the way you should, you do put up with a LOT! You have a lot of patience with her, you include her in your playtime, and you look out for her. I pray you are always a protector for your younger siblings and will continue to be an example to them for who they should strive to be.
Looking ahead to this coming year I believe a key word in your life will be “independence.” Now that you have a new room upstairs and now that you will be in kindergarten, you will have a lot more responsibilities on your shoulders. I know you will do wonderful handling it all! I love that you are old enough to understand the reasons behind why Mommy and Daddy have the rules we do and that you can be trusted to make good choices even when we are not around. I am very excited for you to be able to stay at your school for kindergarten. I think you will gain so much by having such a small class size and getting that one-on-one interaction with your teachers. I know Daddy and I have some BIG decisions to make before first grade and it’s something I’m praying about daily as your future school will help to decide much of your path in the years ahead.
I am truly excited about the world of having a 5 year old and am especially looking forward to savoring our time together this summer. I want it to be the BEST summer EVER! 🙂 We will have so much fun! I especially hope we are able to get a lot of quality Mommy and Kye time together as so often it ends up being you with Daddy and Britt with me…I need my Kye time too 🙂 I love our talks and your stories. I love laughing with you and truly do enjoy our time together. The days of having to be a strict disciplinarian with you are already fading. You rarely need any spankings now and rarely do I even have to get on to you. I am so thankful for your wonderful behavior and your obedience. I know the hard work we put in when you were little is really paying off now because we are able to enjoy you and have good times with you!
I am so proud of who you are and will always be proud to be your mom. I know you will face many times of hardship and heartbreak in the future and I hope you always know I will be here for you through anything. Even if you make poor choices, you can lean on me through those consequences. No one is perfect (this is something I have to OFTEN remind you of…Mr. Perfectionist!) and we will all fall short. And that’s okay! I know you already understand how God forgives us and I hope you always know that I will always forgive too. No matter what!!!
You are an incredible son and have truly blessed our lives beyond measure. Thank you for making me a mother…it has been the best experience in my life and I am honored to be your mom. I love you so much my sweet boy and hope this coming year is filled with so much joy for you in your life!
I love you more! Love,
Letters from Mommy Through the Years: