Dear (Five-Year-Old) Tyson,
This is what happened. I had told your brother to keep his cup at the table because I didn’t want a spill in my living room. So when I saw him by the couch and reminded him of the rule again, and 5 seconds later I heard the spilling noise, I wasn’t feeling very patient or understanding. After I told him in some less-than-loving way that THIS IS WHY I SAID TO KEEP IT ON THE TABLE (don’t pretend you would’ve been loving!), he moped off to his room and you followed him.
I went about my business cleaning the mess and doing some dishes, which is where I was when I heard you come back down the hallway. You stomped angrily right up to me, exuding the dominance and power of a giant, with your chest puffed out and elbows back. Your face was the epitome of what we’ve come to call your “f-u face” because you convey all of your current feelings in that expression, quite appropriately. There were even a couple snarls, as I looked at you with my own “go ahead and try me” expression, and you went back to comfort your brother.
This is who you are. Force, strength, and intensity who also fiercely loves and defends.
As I looked back at your other birthday letters, it was clear you have been Tyson all along. When you turned one, I said “You’re going to keep growing at a lightning speed and I’ll be right there with you, trying to fix the boo-boos, and forcing myself to give you the independence to wander and discover.” The Good Lord knew then that I had no idea what the extent of boo-boos would be even by the 5th birthday, and who knows what is still to come! (Don’t think about it…) When you turned two, I said “You’ve earned the nickname Stinker, but I wouldn’t trade your ornery-ness for the world.” Still so true! At your third birthday, I wrote a list of words that describe you and the list included ornery, funny, snuggly, and playful. I went on to say “You are feisty and sweet. You are handsome and strong.” And just last year, emulating much of the same, I wrote “you are ornery and feisty, and you have a way of making people laugh.” All the people who know and love you are nodding along at all the years of personality traits and agreeing that you really haven’t changed.
The best way I have found to describe you is to say you are 100%. When you are mad, you are 100% mad (see above example). When you are feeling goofy, it is all the way goofy. When you’re done being cooperative and patient, you are 100% done. And when you are feeling sweet, cuddly, and loving, you take it all the way to 100% still.
Last night we watched you graduate from preschool. We’ve already sat in your classroom for kindergarten, and you’ve been watching what will soon be your bus for the last 9 months. You were the only kid in your preschool class (I think) who won the Listening Award 3 times, and it is somewhat mind-boggling to your dad and I that our spit-and-vinegar kid is the example of a star student. You must have kept all your energy for when you got home!
New to the last year is your infatuation with all things Army and soldier. You love dressing up, building forts, and having shoot-outs with Dad… especially when he gets all dressed up in his uniform too. You still love going to the farm, getting as dirty as possible, and being anywhere where your brother might be. You love playing with Legos, but would rather put blocks together to create something completely unique and leave the intricate directions to Trent to figure out.
But for all the energy, all the crazy, and all the ornery, holy cow are you one sweet kid. When you are ready to cuddle, you are the best at it. You still love being wrapped up in your Paw Patrol blanket and find your frog lovie before bed. And no matter how big you get, or how big your attitude is at any given moment, I always look forward to feeling the weight of you on my lap, my nose in your hair, and the bits of skin that slip out from your blanket because chances are that if you’re not in an Army uniform, you’re as naked as you know you can get away with. And I love every single thing about you, even during the times you’re snarling at me.
We are beyond blessed that you completed our family, and your brother is lucky to always have you to defend him. For as long as I am your mama and your daddy is your hero, our baby you’ll be. Happy 5th Birthday Tyson Steven!
Love forever and ever,