Letters to Our Children: Mason Turns Five

Dear Mason,                                   

Today you are five. I just watched the video from your first year, and now 5 years old seems so big to me. You are still the same happy guy you’ve been since you joined our family. This morning we all awoke to bright sunshine for the first time in many days, which made me smile, because you are a child who brings so much light and warmth to us. You like to show your love by offering the bigger piece of something yummy to your brother or sister, saving a bite of your special treats at school, and asking for something you can bring back for them when they aren't with you. You volunteer to take one for the team by playing the character or using the toy that isn’t popular...just because you like to make people happy. You are a model of kindness and generosity. You are a fiercely loyal brother and a thoughtful friend.

You are still working on staying seated during meals, but you love to eat pizza, sushi, smoothies, and Indian food. We're going to have to have your brother keep an eye on you in high school and college because you’ve never met a beverage you didn’t like. It takes you a while to settle down at bedtime, running around in your Avengers Pull-up and waving your sword like a ninja monkey until you crash into bed. But, you have finally become a good sleeper. You still like your naps, climbing under the covers after preschool and calling to me: ‘Mom, can you tuck me in?’

You learned how to ride your bike and swim faster this year, and how to read and write. This week you discovered you could tell a fib and just say you ‘forgot’ when I asked you about it. You learned to pray from your heart and to consider others who have less than you. You love to color mandalas and build Legos. You say little jokes and phrases that make us laugh, and create so much that reveals your little soul. Your favorite place to be is outside in nature, searching for edibles in the garden, collecting bugs, spotting birds, and asking us about clouds, planets, and other 'fings in da sky.’

You and I love to snuggle, wherever and whenever. Sometimes we do eskimo kisses and butterfly kisses. Other times I hold you tight, rub your back, and you just close your little eyes while I give you lots of smooches all over your sweet face. You love to be close to me. I am so grateful for that. But what you don’t know is that time we share together is when I’m doing my best to imprint you into my heart. Your baby-smooth skin, the arch on your top lip, your soft cheeks, the shape of your eyebrows, the smell of your hair, the tiny patches of blonde downy fur that I discovered the day you were born. I take it all in, saying silly things and giggling with you, yet swallowing back a lump because you’re growing and changing so much right before my eyes...this fills my cup right up to the brim and breaks my heart all at once. I never want to forget you just as you are, today and everyday. So I make pictures with my mind and with my camera, and cling tight to our moments the best I can.

Happy birthday, my sweet and tender boy.



{Some film and digital photos from 2016}