Oh River! What fun and joy and light you bring to my life. You are such a precocious, silly, sweet-hearted boy. I think at least once a day, "how did you turn out so sweet?! I am so lucky to be your mama." I'm so thankful that you still crawl into my lap and let me hold you like a giant baby, let me hug you goodbye when I drop you off at kids' church, and that you still need me to kiss you when you get hurt. The ache is going to be strong when you get too big for your mama to love on you.
We are knee-deep in potty humor, goofy dancing, silly faces, and wild and rambunctious play. All day, every day, I remind you probably 27 times to calm down, slow down, and take a chill pill. You have gotten so used to this phrase, that when we were playing an animal game one day, after saying, "I'm a monkey" and making monkey noises while scratching your armpits, you said, "I'm a chill pill" and proceeded to curl up in a ball and sit calm & quiet on the couch. You crack me up. Your sense of humor is blossoming to the point where you actually make me laugh... not just pretend to laugh!
Your nature has remained so loving and sweet. Knowing that Chasey does not let me sleep very well at night, often you come to my room in the wee hours of the morning when she wakes up and ask me if I would like to put her in her exersaucer while you play with her so I can get some rest. Recently one afternoon after I'd had a hard day and was at my breaking point (I'm hoping you don't remember these rough days someday... can I please just be Super Mom in your memories?) you said, "Aww, Mama... you don't have anyone to pray for you. Here, I will pray for you. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit... dear Jesus, please help mama to feel better and to not be distressed. Amen." Your faith in God is inspiring to me, sweet boy. You pray for your sister to not feel scared at night, you pray for protection over our loved ones and you pray thanking God for good days. Your little heart is turned toward God and I only hope and pray I can help you nourish that relationship and faith. You are thoughtful and generous with your love.
This past school year as you attended kindergarten in public school, you really discovered a love of math. You like puzzles and mysteries, and always have ideas about how things work and why things happen. You are ever curious, and simple answers do not satisfy -- you want facts, examples, and your questions never cease. I don't always have answers, either! Your thirst for information goes beyond my well of knowledge. I love that about you.
You have a wildly creative imagination, like most children. You love anything involving music. I don't know how many times a day I tell you, "River, don't drum at the table. River, don't drum in your bed, it's time to go to sleep. River, don't drum while I'm trying to teach!" You love to create melodies and rhythm. "Mama, listen to this." Your teacher told me you are unique and bright and think outside of the box. Of course, I always thought that, but it's nice to hear it from someone else who spent every day with you for 9 months! You are, unfortunately for my nerves, daring and adventurous. If I let you, you would climb the highest tree. You're a monkey and have the agility and bravery to match.
You love to help me. The other day, you told me, "Don't worry about my toys, I will clean them up. I don't want you to have to clean up after me." Of course, these sweet intentions may be forgotten, but you truly do want to be helpful and that you think of me and making things easier for me is a gift. You willingly (and without me asking, often) vacuum or unload the dishwasher for me. You are willing to complete almost any task with a great attitude -- I realize this will change as you grow older and it dawns on you that feeding the dog and clearing the table are not the most fun tasks in the world, but right now, it's simply sweet. Your enthusiasm and pride when I've told you thank you light up your face.
I am aware more and more that these years go by so fast, uncomfortably so. This year, I just want to enjoy you being my little six year old. You'll never be six again! River, I've said thank you to God all these years for letting me be your mama, and this year I want to tell you thank you. Thank you for letting me be your mama. Thank you for being sweet and cuddly, thank you for being encouraging and kind, thank you for being forgiving and positive. I love you so much, my sweet baby boy!