Buddy – you gotta stop growing up on me. I know I need to “let go” and be so glad to watch you grow up – and I am… but… you’re my baby. And while I have 3 other babies, you’re my baby. The one who couldn’t sleep without me. The one who screamed without being held. The one who just wanted me to wear him around all the time. The one who needed me the most and I think that’s what is most painful about it. You need me less and less. And less and less.
You are the most independent and determined little boy I have ever met and have been since you were about 2 years old. We are always having to remind you that just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you have permission to do it. We know there are so many more strengths to this attribute than weaknesses though and your daddy and I are excited to see what you’ll do with this incredible gift of determination. Did you hear what I just said? Gift of determination.
Sweet boy, you are so much like your mother (who is so much like her father in many ways), and one of those ways is determination. It has often been spoken in my life as a difficult thing, even if joking. Your daddy and I still joke about it – how my father “warned” Skyler when we were talking about getting married about this crazy determination that I have. That he better be able to handle it. Well you know what, buddy? In my humble opinion, I think it’s really not a negative or difficult thing. It’s such a gift, especially in such a time as this where I watch so many being unwilling or not wanting to do things themselves. Keep that determination, utilize it for good and for the Kingdom and you will do amazing things Asher. I am so thrilled to see that side of you and want to encourage it instead of speak it over you as a negative thing which could hold you back.
You, at just barely 5 years old, have the absolute biggest heart of anyone I have ever met and watching the sweetness and tenderness you hold can swiftly bring tears to my face. You are selfless, always wanting to care for other people and make sure their needs are met and their hearts are cared for. You love surprising and spoiling other people and put them far above yourself – often to where your daddy and I have to remind you to take care of yourself too. Just the other day, you asked us if we could take you to Toys R Us because your grandma had given you a Toys R Us gift card for your birthday and ooooooh, how you wanted to spend your own “money card” that you have been longing for! We both said no, that morning wasn’t a good morning but we could go the following day. Shortly after, your daddy needed to run an errand and you asked to go with him. You both were gone for a long time and I had a hunch of where you went. Sure enough, you returned more than an hour later with a Toys R Us bag in hand. I inwardly laughed as I knew that GIFT of determination had won out once more! And you know what surprised me but didn’t surprise me? That big Toys R Us bag didn’t hold just a bunch of toys for yourself. You know what you spent your birthday money on? Your siblings. You bought something for each sibling to have that day, plus something for Ellery and Ezekiel’s upcoming birthdays. You reserved a small portion of that money for a play sword for yourself but otherwise, you took your gift and made it a gift for others – and that, my boy, is exactly what I see for your life. Taking your gifts and making them into gifts for others.
You also have a heart that seeks justice. Not in a tattle tale sort of way but in a way that truly wants to see things done correctly, honestly and fairly. You have a high sense of morals and order. I love that about you so much! You know why? Mama’s the same way. I get it, buddy. You know what your daddy always has said about me? He always jokes with me that I should’ve been a police officer because I’m always seeking justice too. And you know what you’ve told us recently that you want to be? A police officer. My heart couldn’t swoon any more. Of course this could change and it could change 10 times before you’re grown and are at the point of making that decision. But when you say you want to be a police officer, my heart leaps and says yes. Yes. My boy of sweetness and tenderness, selflessness, incredible bravery and courage, and seeker of justice. YES. You, Asher, would make a mighty fine police officer.
Asher, you bring out every sort of emotion in me and I couldn’t be more proud of the young man you are becoming. It makes me want to cry to think of my sweet little lovey/free-hugs boy growing up and possibly not needing cuddles as much, but my goodness. I sure have enjoyed the 5 years that we’ve had so far of cuddling you. You still ask to be rocked by daddy at night, you still need a “huggy and kissy” every night and before naps, multiple times before you’re content to lay down and sleep. And we’re going to milk it while we can.
You had your 5th birthday this week on January 2nd. For 5 years now, I have purposed in getting all of Christmas taken down, put away and the house cleaned by January 1st so that we are fully ready for the new year, for the new “birthday season” that our family so quickly enters in to, and for decorating the house to celebrate! Daddy and I love to decorate the house the night before your birthdays so that you wake up to a house of balloons, streamers, banners, gifts, a special birthday plate and special birthday food. Simple, inexpensive things that truly omit so much joy from you precious children! This year, you asked for a police birthday which we thought was fitting and I was so excited to do this for you.
We decked the house, had a “donut stack cake”, even a coffee for my coffee loving boy, and the best surprise? We had a couple police officers arrive for a visit and to show you and the neighborhood kids the police car, lights, siren and say Happy Birthday to you. You are my ever so shy boy and I fear the police officers didn’t think you were that into it, but they do not know that that visit produced 8 random hugs from you throughout the rest of the day, followed by “I love you, mom”, and you haven’t stopped talking about it!
You were incredibly pleased to know that the real police officers carry two sets of handcuffs, just like you now have. You and the neighborhood kids ran around all day with your handcuffs and whistles and bandanas, playing cops and robbers. Your grandpa also gifted you an incredible heavy duty flashlight that has 40x the strength as a regular one and really looks like a spotlight when you shine it, just like a police officer! Oh the fun we can have with that one!
Asher, you have forever taken the hearts of not just your family but also of many others. There’s just something about that twinkle in your eye and that sweet little grin of yours that is so captivating. You are a treasure, a gift to us, and on your way to becoming an incredible young man. I pray you always know these things and keep them close to your heart. That you always know your worth, that you are valuable and loved. Keep on loving and caring for everyone with that gigantic heart heart of yours, son. Because your mama is learning an awful lot from you and your ways.
Happy 5th Birthday, Asher Milo.