5 Years and Counting! To Jude on his 5th birthday.

December 30, 2013

Year 4-5 was a big year, as expected!

Early in the year, your coloring went from lazy scribbling to an interest in staying in the lines…

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Somewhere along the line, you learned to write your letters and to spell a few words. I figured we could work on that later since you still had a year and a half before school, but you decided to teach yourself. Typical.

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The picture is poor, but you wrote CHERRY BEST TREE, in hopes that your picture and sign would attract people’s attention so they could come admire the cherry tree we planted (which ended up being a weed–just like everything else in our forlorn little garden this summer…)

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You proved yourself a sharp-shooter (excuse the laundry arena in the background!)

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hitting the bulls-eye from over 30 feet away.

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You played your first soccer season, even scoring a few goals by the end of the season.

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You faced your fear of water (sort of!)

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and learned to ride your bike. See here for your maiden voyage!

You flew your first kite

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played (and won!) you first game of bowling

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you grew a nice head of hair

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just to chop it all off. sniff.

You mastered the selfie…

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Maintained your status as the reigning puzzler

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and small games champ

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You’re still chock-full of sparkle

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and have grown into just about the best brother a little girl could ask for…

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In fact, sometimes you amaze us. You are the middle child, sandwiched between two intense (formidable even!) personalities. And yet you somehow hold your own. I’ve heard both intense personalities yelling at you at one time, but to my utter disbelief you generally remain calm and reasonable. You’re quick thinking. You’re my problem solver. You’ve patiently taught Haven how to play Uno, Candy land, Whack-a-mole, Memory, and tic tac toe–a daunting task to say the least. You’ve endured many hours of “house” with her while Asher is at school. You’re often loyal to your siblings even when they mistreat you. And you are always generous with your things, offering to share your new toys and split your desserts.

Year 4-5 is a big year in a child’s life, and your life has been no exception. You look so old now. You act so old (sometimes) now. You’ve come into your own as a big brother. Your mathematical mind is exploring new avenues of interest and curiosity. You’ve learned to copy Asher less and express yourself more. You’ve emerged as a formidable catechism memorizer. You’re a Lego champion. You’re learning your number bonds right along your older brother, performing addition, subtraction and even some division in your head. Your logic is unassailable–you have very strong arguments for why you do the things you do and why we should listen to you rather than exert our authority. You know the law and all the loopholes.

Yet you continue to be forgetful and klutzy. You inner life is a busy and  undisciplined one–sometimes preventing you from hearing our instructions. We joke that you’re so occupied running through the multiplication tables in your head that you don’t notice the 3 things in your path as you walk down that hall and you consequently trip on them all! In your excitement to observe all the details around you, you forget to notice there are people around and you often step in their way, back into them, or trip them up. I think this classifies you as an absent-minded professor. And since we have a couple of these in the family, I guess you come by it honestly. While Asher and Haven are interested in people and are busy memorizing names and family connections, you’re busy observing engineering feats and doing mental math. Today while we were driving to a church for daddy to preach, Asher and Haven were asking about the people and the nursery and whether we’d been there before. You chimed in with a question about why the water drops on the windshield were moving up rather than down. Just the other day you corrected my math when I miscalculated how many days were left until Christmas. (I can only imagine how the math corrections will increase over time as I don’t share your mathematical inclination!) I’m so grateful for the variety and interest you bring to this family.

It is one of my greatest delights as your mother to see you develop physically, mentally, and emotionally. I love to observe your personality unfolding and learn how you think and relate. My thoughts and conversations are full of you, dear boy. I admire your agile mind, your engineering bent, and your fortitude with your siblings. But while I enjoy these things tremendously, my heart aches for the development of your spirit, for the growth of your soul. It is not enough to see your body develop and grow strong or to see your understanding of our world and the rules that govern it increase. I long to see your soul prosper as does your body. And I pray–every day, with increasing fervency–to this end. I pray that you might know Jesus, that you would grow to love and trust the one who left the comforts of Heaven to live on this earth as we do, to suffer and die as we ought. I pray that your heart will delight in the one who stands ready to exchange all your sins and imperfections for his perfect holiness. And years from now, God-willing, when your physical strength begins to decline and your mind is not so agile as it is now, I trust your soul will still be healthy, having having been renewed daily with the words of life so that your loved ones can then pray the reverse “that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” 3 John 1:2.

Happy 5th Birthday, Jude!

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