Crew is Five.

In many ways, this fifth year has been your biggest and most formative year yet. You began as a full-blown preschooler, and now at 5, I see glimpses daily of the boy who will climb the bus to elementary school in mere months.

You continue to have an all-in attitude for any fun activity or family outing. I want to remember forever how you refer to us as “guys” as if we’re simply three roommates, and not necessarily a child and his parents.

You continue to do well in school and are becoming more and more interested in reading, while already able to sound out some simple words all on your own. If the book topic is anything military or police, you are PARTICULARLY interested.

I’ve seen you grow by leaps and bounds this year in patience and tenacity. You have my (sorry) desire to be an instant expert or you’re not interested, but I’ve seen you stretch this as you’ve gone from wanting Dad to build all the LEGO sets to barely letting us watch and you follow each step meticulously and see the project through to the end with little or no help.

You think any and everything Dad does is the coolest, the latest of which is introduce you to video games. Again, it’s an exercise in learning and perfecting as you go — you have to fail a bit to get better, and more often than I’ve seen you storm out of the room to take a break from it all, I see you come back to it with renewed determination and frown at the level until you’ve finally mastered it.

You’ve explored a lot of new activities per your request this year. You stopped soccer at school which you’d be doing for a while, in favor of a round of swim lessons this summer, followed by tennis lessons, and eventually karate. Aside from the last activity with your friend, Owen, you didn’t know kids at these activities and I’m happy that it doesn’t make you nervous to walk in on your own and try something new. You DO articulate to me sometimes that you “can’t find a friend” or “you’re a little nervous” so I know it’s on your mind from time to time, but I’m so proud of how you overcome your hesitation and dive right in.

Despite telling me you are going to stay a kid forever, you have lots of questions about being a kindergartner, and eventually an adult in general, and your preference is to hang with the bigger kids, but I think that’s true of most kids!) You LOVED Vacation Bible School this summer, not so much for the activities or the change in routine, but because the helpers for your group were a bunch of 10-12 year old boys who you were certain were your new besties. You ask me a lot “what can six year olds do? what can ten year olds do?” always curious to know what’s next for you — please slow down growing so my mama heart can keep up!

Of course the big news of this past year has been that you will become a big brother. You’ve rolled with this remarkably considering we weren’t sure ourselves if we’d have another and certainly never gave you any indications that it was a real possibility.

Four and a half into five is such a mature age to get this news as opposed to being even a year or so younger. You’ve had questions (very specific, detailed ones at times that I’ve tried to answer as best I can!) and then there are days that go by and no mention of baby sister comes up. It’s more frequently discussed now that I’m showing, you can feel her kick, and signs of her are everywhere — most recently the nursery in progress and the car seat installed (per your request!). I try not to overwhelm you with information or hit the topic too often, but I’m also trying to slowly prep you for some inevitable changes, like the fact that baby won’t IMMEDIATELY sleep upstairs on the “kids floor” that you’re so excited about, with the promise that you and Dad will have a couple basement sleepovers as a compromise. You were delighted by the newborns we saw at a recent big brother class, and you know how to be careful with a baby, but it WILL be interesting to see how much you try to be the expert toward US – (look out baby girl, you’re about to be parented by THREE firstborns, lord help you!)