I write letters to my children on their birthdays. Here is last year's letter to Aaron.
Happy Birthday, son. Holy ninjas, you're six!
We had a birthday party at Magic Island Park with family, friends, a bounce house, and chocolate cupcakes. This was the first birthday when you had an opinion on friends to invite; it was fun to see you playing with your classmates.
Highlights of this year...
You started kindergarten, where you enjoy playing during recess and learning how to read. I realize that learning to read is a pretty common skill, but it amazes me that you've gone from identifying letters to actually reading multi-syllable words and sentences. You also love math, and thank goodness your dad is a great math teacher, because I am totally not. I will do lots of art projects with you, though.
You're a great older brother to your sisters. Being the oldest comes with challenges, but you're learning. You and Alex go from best pals to worst enemies about twenty times a day, and often need coaching in conflict and reconciliation. You're super affectionate with baby Aria, and treat her with so much gentleness. Thanks for your willingness to help with dishes, laundry, and the occasional diaper change.
I can sense you transitioning from little boy to boy. You still need our help in lots of ways, but are also growing into your own independent person. You still cry if you're hurt or sad, but are now able to recover quicker and manage your emotions.
The other day you took your first karate test (and passed!), and I was amazed at your confidence. You take after Dad, and love board games. On a typical week night, we'll sit around the dinner table and play a good game of Settlers of Catan. Not the kid version, but the real adult one.
You love peanut butter sandwiches, reading Elephant and Piggie books, making paper airplanes, watching the Friday Waikiki fireworks from our porch, playing Plants vs. Zombies on my iPhone, making people laugh, counting the money in your piggy bank, and sleeping with Herman the stuffed manatee at night.
There are days when I look at you with disbelief. How did the time pass? And I remind myself to give you a quick hug and to listen well to you.
I love the boy you are, and the boy you're becoming.
I love you always.