On this fifth day of the fifth month of the year, you are five years old. In five days you’ll become a big brother for the second time, to our fifth child. I don’t know what to make of all these fives, but I think we can all agree - it’s frickin’ weird, dude!
In your last year we have met with some pretty tough challenges, you have experienced some sad things and have asked a lot of questions that I just don’t know how to answer. You were made to trade one school experience for another, completely different one. You’ve tried many vegetables and shed many tears over spinach. You’ve learned how to be responsible for your first pet, and continue to be an awesome brother to your siblings.
But you are not the only one growing.
You, more than any of my children so far, have taught me how easy it is to be accepting and to love unconditionally.
Very recently you have started to tell us that you are a girl, and that you want things that, typically, girls own and use. You have always loved getting your nails painted, but have never asked for your own polish or makeup. For your birthday, you requested lipstick in a deep shade of red.
And it was hard telling you that you couldn’t have it. But your big sister was not allowed to wear colored lipstick at this age, and we’ve done a pretty good job of not allowing double standards so far. It wouldn’t have been fair to say yes.
We’re not sure if this will be the way you continue to feel, but it’s not something we’ve ever dealt with before and don’t want to screw up by not listening to you. How easily and comfortably you tell us that these are the things you want, shows me that we are doing something right, and I hope we can continue.
My sweet little tiger, every moment with you is a blessing from a gracious Universe, you are such a gift to this family. My love for you reaches heights I could not have imagined even existed, your smile sets my heart on fire, and watching you tell stories, with one eye out the window and your hand gestures making invisible castles appear before my eyes, makes me beam with pride.
I hope that you are never made to feel afraid of sharing yourself with us because we will accept and love you for all eternity. When you’re eight, we can discuss the lipstick thing again if you’d like, but in the meantime I’m afraid you’ll have to make do with flavored lip balms.
Happy Birthday, Mercutio Anthony! Is it time for cake yet?