Daily Archives: September 13, 2019

A letter to my son on his 5th birthday: A year of big changes, a big surgery, and my pride grows deeper

Dear Nate,

Hi! It’s Daddy again. You know, Daddy, the guy who gives you way too many snacks way too close to dinner, is always losing to you in board games and on your Hot Wheels track, and has so much fun with you, every day.

Another year in your incredible life has passed, and just the other day you turned 5. FIVE! I can’t believe it, you’re half a decade old. Halfway to double digits! (Trust me, when you get there it’ll feel like a HUGE milestone).

There have been so many changes in your life in the past year, and so many things I want to get down here in this space, as I do every year, to try to “time capsule” every year of your life, so one day you can look back and say “Oh, that’s what I was like when I was 4!”

Since your last birthday you’ve gone to a new preschool called Gan Shalom, and had so much fun and made so many new friends there. You were blessed with two outstanding teachers who gave you the building blocks you needed for your next challenge: Kindergarten.

You’ve only been there a week but you already love it. Your teacher, Mrs. Michaelides, seems great, and getting a crown on your birthday last week and having the whole class sing to you sure got the year off to a good start (good thing you’ve mostly overcome your fear of loud noises, otherwise that might have scared you!)

You also got to go to your first full-day day camp this year, riding a bus and playing sports with your friends and getting to love your counselors! Your swimming got so much better and you only lost about three hats and four T-shirts, so all in all, you know, a good summer 🙂

Another major change this year was having your tonsils and adenoids removed in July. That was a big deal for you, having to go under anesthesia and have surgery, and Mommy and Daddy were so proud of how brave you were (except for those 30 seconds before surgery when you screamed so loud you could’ve woken the dead).

You handled the surgery like a champ, Nate, getting to eat lots of ice cream and cold stuff afterwards. Even us waking you up every three hours during the night for the first 10 days, to give you medicine, didn’t bother you too much.
Now, you’re sleeping better (no more snoring, hooray), and not nearly as stuffy as you used to be. We’re still waiting for you to eat more food, and have bigger portions, but hey, we can’t have everything.

You’ve undergone so many changes this year, but so many things have, happily, stayed the same. Your love for trains, and the creative way you build your tracks and play with them, still blows my mind. You can spend an hour down in the basement and then emerge with a wonderful creation, and it’s times like this that I know you got your mechanical/building side of your brain from your mother (as we always say in our house, who fixes the boys’ toys? “Mommy.”)

Your love for “Paw Patrol” and “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” shows no signs of slowing, and lately you’ve really gotten into tennis, which makes Daddy so happy (but I’m still afraid to force it on you, since I love it so much I don’t want you to feel like you HAVE to love tennis!)

We are so proud of you, Nate, for so many reasons: You’re a wonderful listener, you have such an inquisitive mind (when we got our new car you were so excited to figure out the various machinations of where everyone could sit, now that we have 3 rows!), and you have a kind heart that’s always sharing and being friendly to others.

Finally, we’re so proud of the big brother you continue to be to Theo. You love playing with him at all times; riding around the kitchen on your toy bicycles, rough-housing in your room, or always giving him a kiss goodnight and a “Hi, buddy!” greeting when you see him first thing in the morning.

You and Theo have so much fun together, and I hope it never changes.

Happy, happy birthday, sweet Nate. Five years in, you’re still one of the two best things Mommy and Daddy ever did.


P.S. Oh yeah, one more thing: Listen to me when I tell you not to root for the Jets, ever. You’ll thank me when you get older.