Sunday, October 26, 2014

Happy Birthday, Ben! You're FIVE!

Dear Ben,

I love you SO MUCH!!!  You drive me nuts some of the time, but you are always ready to come back with a kiss and a cuddle, and snuggle in to be forgiven.  And I have to ask you to forgive me a lot too, for yelling and getting impatient, and you always say, “I forgive you, Mama,” and cuddle in close.

I have been so proud of you this year, Ben.  It’s not easy being a younger brother, and you have persevered in learning to play well with Will and expressing in words when you’re feeling frustrated and left out, instead of hitting or lashing out.  Your words will be the thing that saves you, if you learn to use them well.

When Will started school last month, I saw you blossom at home.  You started being more responsible to get dressed and make your bed in the mornings without being asked; you are playing well with Ruby and helping her kindly; and you are happily sitting up at the table with me for school-time and working so hard at your letters and numbers.  Way to go, Ben!  You are even starting to learn to read with our 100 Lessons book, and as long as I can keep you moving and hopping, you concentrate and finish the lesson.  Woohoo!

You love to move: basketball, soccer, rugby, cricket, tag, climbing trees, running, jumping, somersaults, gymnastic tricks, tricks on the swing, the ropes, the play-hut… you are a blur of motion!  And you are strong and coordinated and brave to push yourself to try new things.  It’s awesome to watch!


Then, every afternoon, my favorite time of day with you is when we cuddle up together in your bed and I read you stories.  You have an insatiable appetite for stories, and you absorb them like a thumb-sucking sponge.  The rest of the day I hear you weaving your own stories with your brother and sister, or by yourself, out of all the bits and pieces you remember.  It’s amazing what you remember, and your imagination is beautiful to watch and listen to.  Never stop telling and acting out and reading and writing and living stories, Ben.   It’s what you were made to do.  

You are the perfect guy to be right in the middle of our family.  You help Will to imagine fun games, and you are compassionate and expressive towards Ruby.  She really looks up to you - she copies everything you do and say, including your attitudes… So we really need to keep working on your bad habit of sulking and pouting when you don’t get your way, huh?  Because now Ruby’s starting to do it, too.  Uh-oh, right?

But we know Jesus is living in your heart, we know you trusted Him as your Savior and Lord when you were 3, and every day we see Him rescuing you from your sin and filling you up with the fruit of His Spirit - love, gentleness, kindness, self-control.  You have his JOY in full measure - it bubbles out of you and makes the rest of us so happy!  You are a bright spot in our family and on our street, and you will be a shining light for Jesus in this dark world, Ben.

I love you SOOOOOOOO much!  Mm-MMM!  

Happy Birthday to our big, cuddly, 5-year-old 



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