Bennett — Year Five Birthday Letter

Dear Bennett,

Nope. You’re not turning five. You’re not going to start kindergarten this year. It’s not allowed. I’ve changed my mind. Growing up this fast is now completely against the rules, okay?! Don’t you do it!

I can’t even wrap my mind around how big you are and how much you’ve grown. Over the past year, I’ve had my first taste of being Mama to a “big kid,” and it was crazy exciting! You played on a real t-ball team with real uniforms and a real team name — the Knuckleballers — and a real coach named Justin Wade, who wasn’t your dad. How in the world did you get a coach with your dad’s name? So funny! And for the first time, I got to take you to practice every week and spend my Saturday mornings watching you run the bases (and sometimes put dirt in your pocket). Watching you play t-ball was so much fun!

You also finished your first year in Classical Conversations. You had the best tutor ever, whom everyone else calls Mrs. Buffington, but you simply dropped the “Mrs.” right from the start and just called her “Buffington” all year. She was your absolute favorite, and I’m pretty sure you won her heart, too! You learned so much about so many things, but your favorite subjects were History and Latin. Your best two history songs were about the Industrial Revolution (“Watt’s steam engine, Cartwright’s power loom…”) and the Cold War (“In the 1980s, ooo ooo ooo ooo, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher…”). And I’m not sure if you loved Latin because the future tense had “bo” in it, or because of Hannah the Hippo! Either way, our first year in CC was a blast, and I was so excited to watch you learn and grow with all your new friends.

Much to your mama’s surprise and delight, you started reading chapter books by yourself this year! It started with Nate the Great and Henry and Mudge, and now you’re into Magic Tree House books. It makes me smile every time I see you reading, and I love how enthusiastically you read aloud. Never stop reading! You will learn and grow so much!

This year was also a year of traveling. Early on, we went to Mexico, and you couldn’t stop talking about how you wanted to live there because it was the best place ever. Last month, you went on a guys’ trip to Georgia to watch the Braves play, and now Atlanta has taken Mexico’s place in your heart. Whenever people ask you, you can’t even seem to remember much about Colorado, where we were only a week ago, because all you can think about is Atlanta!

Bobo, you’re my best Bo in the whole world. I love you more than all the eyelashes, all the doorknobs, and all the worms. [Reader: That’s just an inside joke.] I love you infinity plus infinity plus infinity. Thank you for being my Bobo and for teaching me every day how to love more like Jesus, and thank you for being such a superheroic big brother for Lukie to look up to.

Happy not-birthday, because you’re SO not allowed to turn five today! Happy Tuesday!

Love,
Mommy

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Bennett — Year Four Birthday Letter

Dear Super Bennett,

Happy birthday! You have had such a big year that I don’t even know where to begin. Not only did you keep working the garden with Daddy so that we could have fresh food, but you also helped him build a fort so that you could have the most awesome backyard ever! This year, you had your first t-ball lessons, started learning piano, and went fishing and ice-skating for the first time. You’ve also grown in your songwriting, as you sing impromptu, original songs to God nearly every day.

After very much hard work, you accomplished two huge feats this year: you joined The 100 Club, and you can read! Numbers and words are the foundation for all types of literacy, so I’m so excited that you’re now on the doorstep to a lifetime of learning.

Most importantly, this year you’ve proven that you are the best big brother ever! From the moment you found out that little Luke was growing in my belly, you 100_5784loved him and helped me take care of him. (Do you remember how you used to try and shove food in my mouth so Luke could have a snack?) You even picked his middle name; it certainly couldn’t be “Evan,” because then we’d have to put him in the oven! After all that, it had to be Bryant. And now, Luke Bryant sure thinks you are the funniest, coolest, superheroey-est guy around. I would have to agree.

And here’s something really awesome I can’t forget: by your side through all of this has been your (imaginary) friend, Boggyx! With blue hair, yellow skin, red fingernails, pink ankles, and every cool and fun thing you could think of, he’s definitely a great buddy to have around.

Super Bennett, you are totally super! You’re kind, tenderhearted, creative, smart, fun, hardworking, hospitable, worshipful, and faithful. I can’t believe you’re growing up so fast, but I guess it makes sense. The world needs all the superheroes it can get! I’m super-blessed to know you and even more blessed to be your mom. Thanks for being you.

Love, Mommy

 

Year Three Birthday Letter

100_4321 Dear Bennett,

What a full and fun year this has been! You’ve grown from speaking just simple sentences that only Daddy and I could understand to having entire conversations with people. I love that you’ll talk to anyone, without reservation, and you’re always so glad to see people you know. You often greet them with the most adorable and excited “Oh, hey!” that just warms everyone’s heart. As your vocabulary has expanded, so has your delight for silly, made-up words! Among your favorites this year have been “goggyx,” “lofkins,” and “exibent,” which all have very flexible meanings. And although your favorite number changes daily, you almost always say “5 and 3” when I ask you how many of anything you want: carrots, hugs, whatever. “Five and three, please!”

You’ve grown up a lot this year in other ways, too. On your last birthday, you still wore diapers and slept in a baby bed, but now you’re potty trained and sleeping in a big-boy bed. What!? You’re so big! You even aced your first year IMG_0955of home school — which you loved — and you finished your first swimming class. And even though you cried the first few times I dropped you off, you grew to love BSF more than anything in the world (with Urban Air running a close second). You have even declared Tuesday your favorite day because you get to go to BSF. Now we’re just waiting for it to start again in… wait, when does it start? Yep, you already know — September! B-S-F!!! B-S-F!!!

As exciting as all of these things have been, my favorite thing about this year has been watching you grow in your sensitivity to people and in interceding for them. You treat others with such a gentle and caring spirit that can only be a gift from God. And although there are many examples of your heart for prayer, the biggest this year has been for your “Ms. Chantatel” as she fought against cancer. You have undoubtedly been one of her most faithful intercessors, and you have driven me to me prayer many times for her and for many other people in times of deep need, even though we had no way of knowing they needed our prayers so badly. There is no explanation for that other than you responding to the Holy Spirit, and I am humbled by your sensitivity to Him. My prayer for you is that you nurture this gift and keep listening for God to lead you deeper into His presence. He is growing your heart to be like His, and I am so blessed to be your mommy! Don’t ever forget that you’re my favorite Bobo. Happy birthday!

 

Love,

Mommy

Year Two Birthday Letter

Bennett and mom easter 2014Dear Bennett,

You are two today! Can you show me with your fingers? How many is two? We’ve been working on it, so now we have an easy answer any time someone asks us how old you are. How exciting!

This year has been such a blast! You’ve learned so much and grown so big, and you have become such a little man. You’re speaking in two- and three-word sentences now, and you’re becoming very polite with your pleases, thank yous, and bugbees. (“Bugbee,” of course, means “excuse me.”) And over this past year, you’ve gotten your first two freckles: one on your left hand between your first two knuckles, and one on your left cheek. I love your freckles! They’re a special gift from me.

This year has also been the year of favorites. Your favorite animal is the rhino, and your favorite food is hamburgers. You love guitars, cars and trucks, lawnmowers, weed eaters, baseball, fireworks, the park, the gym, the library, singing, doing jigsaw puzzles, naming all the letters and their sounds, and so much more! Even better, you love to pray about these things at every opportunity.

One of the best things about you is that you are teaching me so much. The biggest lesson I’ve learned from you this year is to see the whole world as divided into two types of people: Friends and Fixin’-to-be-Friends. You’ve never met a person, animal, or vehicle that you haven’t tried to befriend. I love that about you.  Your delighted smile and enthusiastic greeting for every passerby reminds me every day that the first order of business should be to show Jesus’ love.

100_4099[1] My kind-hearted, funny, brave, joyful, prayerful, outgoing, strong, sensitive, brilliant, adventurous little outdoorsman, you make your mommy’s heart sing every day a million times a day. Being your mommy is my favorite job God ever gave me. I’m so excited to see what the next year holds! Happy birthday! I love you SO much.

Love,
Mommy

 

Year One Birthday Letter

100_2867Dear Bennett,

You are turning one today! Can it be true? I remember when you were the size of a tiny poppy seed in my tummy, and now here you are—such a big guy! Even though the time went by so fast, I have had so much fun watching you learn and grow this year!

Can you believe that you already have EIGHT teeth? I am pretty sure that you regularly eat more than I do, but maybe that’s because you use up so much energy practicing your walking. (You’re getting better at it every day!) You’ve also had more haircuts than Mommy recently—two in two months!—and your hair has turned from brown to blond! Oh, and those blue eyes you used to have are such a perfect shade of light brown now.

I love that you love books and hugs and head-bonks, and what could be more fun than watching you wrestle with Daddy? Peek-a-boo is one of your favorite games—you’re definitely a pro. Speaking of games, you’re already learning how to play catch! We’ve also discovered that playing the piano is one of your favorite pastimes, and that you love listening to music and shakin’ First Year Pictures Eternal Stories-1007your bootie to the beat! One last thing: since you were very little, you’ve always had a lot to say. Now you’re getting better at different sounds, and you even say, “DadaDA” and “Mmmma!” Both of these bring huge smiles to our faces!

Without a doubt, you are the very best baby I know, and I’m so thankful for you. My son, my blessing from God, you are truly a miracle. I love you with all my heart, always and forever!

Love,
Mommy