Five years old has always felt like a monumental age. Probably because that is when most kids leave the house for the day and enter school! Luckily for me, I get to keep you home with me all day long. You have, however, been asking, “When do I get to go to kindergarten?” We had a discussion about school, and what you thought school would be like. Your answer? Basically art class, snacks, and recess. So guess what we did? We signed you up for an art class and a gym class. And you never asked about going to kindergarten again.
Rhenner this past year has been an incredibly different year – for you, and for all of us. At your last birthday, we had just started our adventures in the trailer. We didn’t know it then, but the coming months were full of some beautiful sights, incredible memories and moments, and also some really hard times.
You loved getting out and exploring every day with us. But you also wore out quickly. You give everything you’ve got to everything you do – so your energy gets expended so quickly at times. We hiked a lot during our trailer life. Sometimes it was difficult for you to walk the whole way. So we came up with a good distraction. I would tell you a story, and then it would be your turn. You are still such a wonderful story teller. I love hearing the things you come up with and the worlds and people you create. I’d hold your hand while you shared these stories and you’d forget that your feet were tired, that you were hot and sweaty, or that you were ready for a break. You love stories!
One thing that was difficult for you, however, was going to a new church every week. You started to dread going to church because you knew it would mean a new teacher with new peers, and you just wanted to see someone familiar for once. We learned, through this experience, that while you are not as socially needy as your brother, you do crave familiarity and routine. Even though we parked at a different campground each week, you found comfort in your personal nook in the upper loft. As long as you had your space with your artwork and your toys, you could retreat there and find the familiarity you craved.
You are still such a snuggly boy! You loved hopping down from your bunk to snuggle with us first thing in the morning. You would tell us about your dreams or whatever you’ve been pondering lately. As always, you are our inventor and creator. Sometimes I squeezed up into your top bunk and would find your side of the bunk was in complete chaos. Papers, toys, feathers, drawings, yarn, tape, rocks, sticks! And more! All in a heap and scattered. I didn’t know how you could even find a place to sleep amongst it all at night but it hardly phased you. While I had to sneak my cleaning in, I always enjoyed seeing what you had drawn or come up with while in your own space and world.
We moved into our house just a few months ago. It is truly the exact space that I would want to raise my children in, but I can see that you, especially, thrive here. There is open grass and space, a creek you splash around in, sticks to collect, and most importantly – the chickens! Those baby chicks were so loved on by you! You checked on them every day. I loved seeing your nurturing side, and watch you be so tender with them. You had a special favorite, Henrietta. She died within the first week and I was so angry that OF ALL THE CHICKENS! it was your favorite one that had to die. You buried her, and still talk about her and how she snuggled into you when you held her.
You have a big, soft heart Rhenner. I hope you never let the world get in the way of you and your love. I hope you never allow bitterness to take your emotions away from you. I hope you learn to be angry without lashing out. I hope you continue to love deeply, despite the inherit risk of doing so.
Rhenner, we love you so much. We can’t wait to see you start kindergarten this year. I can’t wait to see you learn to read, what topics and subjects will interest you (dinosaurs is a given), and what motivates you to learn more. Five IS a big year, but I know you’ll handle it with gumption, courage, and a whole lotta heart, just like you do everything in life!
Love you forever Rhen Rhen