Last year for your birthday someone got you your first real lego set. Not Lego Duplo and not the size down from that, but what I like to call “tiny” lego — the one you pretty much need a degree in to know how to build. Only you didn’t, and still don’t. There were some frustrations in the beginning and it required the help of your dad to get you started, but pretty soon you were following the instructions and building these elaborate sets and spaceships all on your own.
So in many ways, the year between 5 and 6 was the year of lego. It was also the year of reading…
At PS 261, there were seven kindergarten classes. Throughout the previous school year, I was told the best teacher to get was Mr. David. Being that the probability was so low I didn’t get my hopes up, but as luck would have it you got Mr. David and it was a damn fine get!
Going into kindergarten, I was aware that the expectation is for five year old’s to learn how to read. But I couldn’t conceive of it until you actually began to. Getting there however, wasn’t exactly easy…
At your parent-teacher conference in March, Mr. David suggested extra help with reading. It required you get to school a half hour early two days a week with a couple of other students who needed the help. I thought it was truly remarkable, that he does that for his students, but I left the meeting knowing we wouldn’t be taking him up on his offer.
It was hard enough getting out the door in the morning as it was, and I knew for a fact that we weren’t raising an illiterate kid. It’s kindergarten. A different kind of kindergarten then mine was, but kindergarten nonetheless. With a lot of consistent, hard work – both in class and at home – you eventually arrived. And now your dad and I can officially no longer spell in code when you’re around!
About the same time that reading began to click, you lost your first tooth – the date was March 30th. You were brushing your teeth before school when the little guy popped out into your hand, and I was there to see it all! You were elated. And I of course got a little emotional, but it was a good kind of emotional.
Your second tooth came out during a family dinner exactly four months later on July 30th.
In April we took a family vacation to Miami Beach and you were a fish in the water who refused to be reeled in! Until that trip, you had a lot of trepidation in water and you would only swim with a floating device. I’m not sure if it was the influence of the little girl you befriended, the fact that you had grown, or a combination of the two, but I was extremely pleased with your newfound confidence in the water.
About a month out from your first ever 5K road race, we bought you a pair of good running shoes and began training with you on the streets and track. While running is in your blood and you possess all the qualities needed to become a budding runner, training for and running that 5K won’t go down in history as one of your favorite memories. I was so incredibly proud of you though, and look forward to more road races together.
You continue to be an awesome big brother to Reya. Like really really awesome. You look at for her – both at home and outside the home – and engage her in play more and more. But there are certain ways you interact with her that make the multiple child-rearing thing extremely maddening. Among those things is intentionally trying to make her jealous, telling on her repeatedly, and at times getting too physical with her.
Mattias and Wyatt remain among your closest friends. I love that you and Mati have been friends the longest and have maintained your bond despite being at different grade schools. Much to your disappointment Wyatt and his family moved to New Jersey at the end of the school year. A new but not-so-new friend to add to the roster is Kody. You were 3 1/2 years old when you first met Kody at Pre School of America. Even though you both moved on to different schools for Pre-K, I remained friendly with his mom and as fate would have it, you attended the same camp during the summer. Let’s just say the friendship rekindled fast!
Your closest friend (sort of by default) is still Olivia. She’s basically like a sister to you and our surrogate daughter — we are that close with the Wallack’s it’s kind of crazy. But what developed this year was a newfound friendship with her brother, Hunter. Seeing as how you are 2.5 years older than him, I’m not so sure the credit goes to you, though. In fact I have to give Hunter a lot of credit for keeping up with you and for tolerating being bossed around by you.
All this gloating and you must think that you were a total gem at five years old. Not. Exactly. So. We still have our challenges with you and they range from not listening to us and not answering us, to getting too wild at times and consistently asking for material things. While I’m told that the latter is normal behavior for children your age, I sometimes think you would go hungry for toys — and that scares me! I suppose my greatest fear about the materialistic thing is that I don’t want you to think you can get everything and anything you ask for. We’re not raising an entitled child. Or a spoiled one. But I do hope we’re raising one who grows up with some integrity and a deep understanding that there are far less fortunate people in the world.
One of my favorite things about you Mylo is the ease at which you approach new things and embrace change. From a new classroom to a new camp (you attended two this summer), you meet it head on and with an open mind and heart. It’s an amazing and enviable trait and I hope it stays with you throughout life.
Your actual birthday fell on a Tuesday. The morning went on like any other summer morning in which you thought you were going to camp. But on the way there we met up with Kody and his mom Keia and surprised you with news that we were actually going to the beach instead! If you remember anything from your 6th birthday I hope you remember that surprise and how I “tricked you.” You also learned the word “hookie” that day – Keia and I were doing just that with work while you guys were skipping out on camp. You had loads of fun running around in the sun and taking on the oceans’ waves that day. It was a happy day indeed and I loved spending it with you. Happy Birthday my buddinsk!