I cannot believe you are five today! You know your mama always gets emotional on your birthday. Watching you grow is so bitter-sweet. I want to keep you little so badly, but I also know there are BIG THINGS ahead for you, and I never want to hold you back from that. I usually write you an overly sappy letter through tears, so this year, I wanted to do something different. You my son, are so much fun. You absolutely love playing, being silly, making people laugh is one of your greatest joys in life, you just love having fun and doing fun things. Sometimes, I get so in the zone I forget to have fun, and you always know how to make me break out of that and lighten up. So today, I just want to celebrate you and leave you a different kind of sappy letter, a fun one! Kai, here are the things I just absolutely love about you. This is not an exhaustive list, and this list is ever-growing.
- You give the greatest hugs. You give truly life-giving hugs. Hugs that you can just feel the love radiating from, like you just can’t squeeze hard enough to show how much you love us. When mommy gets sad or overwhelmed, or we’ve had a rough moment and need to reconcile, you are quick to give that hug that says so much.
- Your laugh is the absolute best. That laugh that comes from your toes and rises up and just overflows. You giggle deep from your belly and it’s the greatest sound my ears have ever heard! It’s even more special because we waited for that laugh for a few months. To us, it’s such a sign of trust, because when you first came home and we were getting to know each other, you were learning that you can trust us. We could tell you were holding back your laugh. The day you let it go, we screamed “HE LAUGHED!” because we knew, that was the real Kai. That was the real laugh. Your laugh is contagious and never ceases to make me smile and laugh too.
- You know and can imitate all the characters. Every Star Wars character, every super hero, all your favorites from Disney (which right now are Russell from UP, Remy from Ratatouille, and Peter Pan and Captain Hook). We live in a movie most of our days together, which is my favorite because guess what? That’s exactly how I was when I was little. You may not have any of my DNA, but you sure do take after a lot of my mannerisms. I love that characters are a way that you and I can connect. Playing with you has deepened our relationship. Every day, multiple times a day, you’re someone different and asking me to take on the supporting role, or you are totally my heroine, always protecting your mama from the bad guys. It’s my favorite.
- You are one of the most caring, empathetic kids I’ve ever known. You may love to be rough, but you have a tender, sweet heart. I know your beginning wasn’t perfect. We acknowledge what you have lost and truly grieve that with you. But I do believe because of that, you are able to see what others do not. You see hurt, big or small, in a different way. When you hear a baby cry, you make sure that baby’s mama is nearby and coming to their aide. When one of your friends is having a hard time or gets hurt, you are the first one to run over and help them up. You are the first one to give encouragement and say “I can help you!” It has made you aware, and you care deeper than any other little boy your age. It’s absolutely beautiful to see and makes my mama heart soar. My prayer for you has always been Micah 6:8, that you would act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. I’m already seeing evidences of that prayer being answered.
- You trust me with the hard things. Oh sweet boy, I do not take this lightly. Truly, I feel the weight of being the holder of your story. We have had some hard, candid conversations as we process your story and give you pieces as you are able to handle them in age-appropriate ways. It cannot be easy to have someone else know more about your history than you at this point, and I simply want you to know how much I deeply love you, love your birth mom, and intend to fiercely protect what is rightfully yours. Thank you for trusting me with your emotions about this. Thank you for trusting me to process this with you and help you make sense of your story. Thank you for being so honest with me. I hope and pray that aside from teaching you about the One who created you, that if I do one thing as a parent well, it will be this.
- Your insane athletic ability. You seriously amaze me with all that your tiny but mighty body can do. When we brought you home at five months, you legit would do planks on the floor. I don’t know that you ever really walked, you only have one speed, and that is fast, and that is running. You can rock a non-stop, two hour gymnastics class and ask to go do the Ninja Warrior Gym after that. This summer, you practically taught yourself how to swim. You ask to learn to surf, to snowboard, to do stunts like in the Indiana Jones show we watched at Disney World, and you could probably do all of it right now. You’re just supernaturally athletic. This is a whole new world for me, but truly, I believe you have a future as an athlete, and the Lord is going to use those gifts He’s given you as a platform to reach a lot of people. I can’t wait to see it.
- You are so creative. You have insane athletic ability, no doubt, but you also have this really creative, artsy side to you. You draw and paint really well, you love to make up stories like your daddy, you love to build and create things with legos and design new rides for Disney with your tracks and blocks. You love to figure out how things work, and if there is a problem, you always find a solution. When I think there’s not a way to do something, you always come back with, “Oh I have an idea!” and it’s always awesome.
- You love a good adventure. I think this is where all of this ties in together. Your creativity, your empathy and love for people, your athleticism, how much you just enjoy having fun, you are always up for new things, and adventures together. I have a feeling you are going to be my kid who goes to college and I still track your phone because I’m going to get phone calls like “hey mom, I’m going rock-climbing, I’m going cliff diving, I’m going on a 3 day hike in some obscure mountain range, I’m auditioning for American Ninja Warrior tomorrow, I have 8 gymnastics competitions I qualified for all over the world in the next 2 months…” Seriously, you just asked me last week as we were driving to the gym if you could please sky dive. Sky dive. I do love your adventurous spirit, and that your adventures can be as small as going to look at fish at Cabella’s to something like a 5 year old wanting to sky dive. Mommy will have to keep praying, huffing her essential oils, and doing yoga on the daily so as to keep my stress level down for your adventures, but I love that you’re not afraid to do anything.
We love to you Neverland and back Kai Kai. Happy 5th birthday!