Five Years

Dear Kids,

I recently wrote about Christmas 2016. I also reposted about Christmas 2011. This got me to thinking about how much you’ve changed over the past five years.

Marshall didn’t talk much when he was a toddler. He used mostly single words and short phrases. We had thought that preschool would get him talking more, but it didn’t. He would come home from school, and I’d ask him about his day, but he almost never had anything to say.

He’s still not the chattiest boy, unless you get him on a topic he’s really interested in, such as “Sky Kids,” gadgets from “Odd Squad,” TNT, or Pokemon. Then he’ll talk and talk. For example, he had a special pass that gave him permission to bring something to school for show-and-tell. He kept that pass for months with no interest in using it. Then one day he got a rare Pokemon card, and suddenly he insisted on using the pass the very next day. He couldn’t wait to tell everyone about his new treasure.

But though he is relatively quiet, he has already demonstrated a love of wordplay and a desire to tell stories. He even wrote a story one night when he was supposed to be sleeping. I found the pages on his bed in the morning. The story went like this:

“One day Marshall and his friends were playing on a playground. Then pine cones were falling and they grew fast. The worst part is someone was jumping on a trampoline to get a drink from the clouds. It was so bad. Then 100 blobs fell from the sky. Then 100 purple blobs fell from then sky. Then 100 pink blobs fell from the sky. Marshall caught all of them. Then a helicopter dropped TNT and bombs on the playground. Then the playground blew up and no one was hurt. The End.”

Livia in 2011 was less than a year old. At Christmas she was running around grabbing snowflake ornaments in her “moist little hands.” Now in 2016, her hands are bigger and not so moist anymore. They are, however, almost always covered with marker, glitter, and/or glue. She loves making art. She colors every day. We had a family art contest earlier this year, and she liked it so much that she has organized another one for January. There will be five prizes: one each for the snowmanniest, the snowiest, the sleddiest, the iglooiest, and the treeiest pieces of art. That should be fun!

But as I sit here thinking about how Livia has changed, the thing that strikes me is how she hasn’t changed in one regard. She’s eager and has always been that way. She came into this world in a hurry, and she doesn’t like to wait. She wants everything now, now, now. For example, she was only allowed one piece of Halloween candy per day, but after a couple of weeks we found a large, hidden stash of candy wrappers from the extra candy she’d been sneaking on the side. Her dad is always telling her to slow down and savor things, but that’s not her style. She wants to ball them up in her glittery, gluey, marker-streaked hands and gleefully run away with them. And there’s a lot to be said for that approach to life. Carpe diem!

And that, my dears, is how you have changed (or not) over the past five years. They were wonderful years, and I love looking back on them. But I also love looking toward the future, and I can’t wait to see how you grow during the next five years and beyond.



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