Five has always been my lucky number.
So 5-years-old was the age I dreamt about during the early days of our adventure. Especially since the neurological studies kept reminding me that 90 percent of a child’s brain develops throughout the first five years of life.
All traces of babyhood are gone now.
Every day two little boys whirl around me in a hurricane of energy only sustainable by sponges absorbing all the intricacies and information life has to offer. Your excitement and inquisitiveness are simultaneously inspiring and infuriating.
Destroy – your eagerness to ask about every thought that crosses your mind, combined with your stubbornness to repeat your request ad nauseam until you receive an adequate answer, demonstrates the drive and determination that will lead you far in life.
Search – your intense focus and powers of observation mean nothing gets by you. You have an intense ability to analyze any and all risks and rewards of all activities presented. Operating on your own timeline, success is a certainty once you’ve set your mind to a task.
As we prepare for graduation from preschool and ready life for the next phase – elementary school – the reality hits home that we’re moving on to the next chapter.
On the day I met you I exclaimed, “They look like real little people!” Really, you were a deep red and slightly fuzzy; you personified muppets – elderly, cranky, bald, old men in the balcony. Looking back, I see how your personalities had already started to develop. You were my muppets: Waldorf and Statler who later became Kermit and Fozzie/Animal. Technologically enhanced before your time, you truly were my million dollar miracle muppets.
Now you are little boys, young men ready to lead the next generation. You’ve already proven you can accomplish anything. Life’s lessons have evolved from the basic concept of breathing to the more current ideal of how to throw a baseball. These past five years have emotionally brought me to the heights of Everest and depths of Challenger Deep.
For better or worse I see much of myself in you (sorry Mom). Traits that may land you on time-out today will one day serve you well.
You taught me patience.
You taught me to breathe.
You make me smile.
I celebrate your birth today. I rejoice in the event I once feared I’d mourn forever. Due Labor Day but delivered Memorial Day, suddenly three months doesn’t seem like such a big deal. We are some of the lucky ones. Search and Destroy, you survived; you thrive. And in doing so, you’ve taught me to do the same.
You are no longer the muppets; you are your own little people. I will always be here to guide you, in the hopes that you can become the kind of man I admire in your father.
So here, on your fifth birthday, I place your story back in your hands. Make the most of your childhood.
It is now your tale to tell.
A voice said, Look me in the stars
And tell me truly, men of earth,
If all the soul-and-body scars
Were not too much to pay for birth.
– A Question, Robert Frost