Happy 5th Birthday, Aiden

Dear Aiden, 

Days after your little sister Riley turned one, you turned F I V E. And because I can't help but look back...here you are at 1 year / 3 years / 4 years. (Apparently I didn't write about you turning two? Maybe because Emma was 4 months old and life was crazy!)

January babies are so sweet because it's cold out and you can stay home and snuggle your little one without missing out on all the fun summer plans (who has winter plans??? No one, right?). So, thank you for making January festive and fun, forever!

You are my photo-hating adventurer who loves doing "experiments" with baking soda/vinegar/oil/dirt/sand, expertly climbing a tree terrifyingly high, and running ahead of me on a trail. You love playing with Lego guys, superhero action figures and army men. You're articulate and tell insanely long, intricate stories, and your best friend is Emma. When you two fight (which does happen!), I've heard you say "that made me feel angry because..." and it blows my mind that you can put how you feel into words when really, in my mind, you're still so little!

You have no interest in doing "preschool homeschool" activities with me, so of course I'm a little nervous about kindergarten next year. Without a pandemic, you would have been in preschool 4 mornings a week and very prepared for writing and sitting down to learn in kindergarten. And while part of me is sad you didn't get to have that preschool experience, the upside is that it's been SUCH a gift to have this whole "school year" all together at home. 

We've been able to play whatever we want at home together, meet up with friends wearing masks outside, and plan whatever activities you want. Whereas we would  normally have had preschool scheduled and inside library story times and children's museum trips,  the pandemic pushed us outside to go on hikes and nature walks on trails we otherwise wouldn't have discovered. In the summer, you crossed creeks and climbed trees, and now that it's winter you don't even complain about the cold as you run ahead on the trails and play in the snow until your mittens are soaked through. 

It's been such a joy to have so much "extra" time together this past year. I'm so glad I get to be your mom. 

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