Sometimes I think back to how we almost didn't have you.
We were worried about having the bandwidth to get through another pregnancy with hyperemesis gravidarum - the vomiting, the IVs, the constant nausea, the endless fatigue, the march of days with so much sickness.
Thankfully, we pushed our fear outside and locked the door. We looked up and boldly whispered, "If it be your will." We knew there was someone missing and that someone was you. Wonder of wonders, you were born and you were instantly adored. Passed around from arms to arms, you were treasured and delighted in.
As baby #4, you fit the stereotype of an "easy baby." Always smiling, cooing happily - rarely crying - hardly ever bothered by much of anything.
As a toddler, you were curious and energetic - but rarely naughty. You were never the type to "get into things" or test the limits. Instead, you listened well and loved well. A joy of a boy.
One story that I often recount to you is when you and I flew in an airplane together when you were about six months old. After the flight, the women around me exclaimed, "What a good baby! He never cries!" I smiled back and stated sincerely, "I love being a mother." You tell that story by heart now and the sentiment is still true. What a gift it is to be your mother.
Now, at just turned five, you remain obedient, tender-hearted, and gentle. These qualities will make you a great man, a man of incredible integrity and stature. Never let society tell you otherwise. The best men are those who pursue holiness with their whole hearts. There is honor in doing what is right, in holding fast to the good and fleeing from evil. As Elisabeth Elliot wrote to her nephew, “The world cries for men who are strong – strong in conviction, strong to lead, to stand, to suffer. I pray that you will be that kind of man…” That is my prayer for you also and I already seeing it come true. Even at age five, you stand up for your sisters, you lean into your father's instruction, you see things in the light of truth.
This year, you are putting babyhood behind you and stretching into childhood.
Your favorite things are playing with trucks and observing vehicles of all kinds on the road, serving up pretend food to anyone who will submit an order, reading books galore, and doing preschool (which you eagerly look forward to on the days when your sisters are in school). You also enjoy going places - especially on "RV trips!" We are all glad that you have acquired the adventurous Sheaffer spirit.
For your birthday meal, you requested plain noodles with parmesan, followed by new york cheesecake. Your other favorite foods are cherries, watermelon, and ice cream.
At church services, you sit quietly during the sermon, coloring pages and listening in. During the songs, you sing with expression, seriously and wholeheartedly - even when you don't know any of the words.
When you grow up, you "might want to be a cook, army man, police man, or fire man."
At just turned 5, you are still all of the Hs - handsome, humble, and heroic. We love you to the moon and back (and so much more than that).