Already, your fifth birthday has come and gone. Another sticky pink cake, another pile of crumpled pink tissue paper, and each year the pieces to the toys you receive get smaller and smaller and smaller and find their way into my shoes and sheets.
Like Birthday Letters from last year, you still hate bugs, you still love banana chocolate chip muffins, you still love to jump in the biggest puddle in the parking lot no matter what kind of shoes you are wearing, and you still love to prance around the house in your ballet costumes although you refuse to perform in the recitals. And that’s fine. At this point, I’m buying the dance costumes for the pleasure you take in performing in the kitchen, not on the Church Hall stage.
2009 marks a big year for you. In two months, you’ll start a new summer camp and in September, you begin kindergarten, a chapter that felt like a lifetime away when I first brought you home from the hospital one rainy Sunday afternoon in April 2004. No doubt the next five years will bring more changes–including hopefully a new house for us. The weather for your birthday party yesterday was so beautiful that I had wished for a backyard. We probably won’t have the backyard in time for your sixth birthday, but certainly for your seventh.
You’re still the same shy, sweet, artistic kid you were last year, although this year your opinions about life on this planet have evolved. This past week you told me: “You should never cry at your birthday party!” (which you did) and “You don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy.” You now eagerly offer your old toys and clothes to other children. Your willingness to share in an environment known for its rat race materialism makes your father and I exceptionally proud. Nurture can sometimes indeed overrule nature.