And just like that, this little boy of mine is turning 5…5!!!! How in the world did this happen? I feel like we were just celebrating his first birthday and now here he is at this new turning point in his life and I’m standing by feeling equally proud and bewildered at the same time. We had a party in the park this past Sunday with lots of wonderful friends coming by to celebrate with us. A chocolate cake with strawberries, whipped cream and sprinkles…designed by the birthday boy himself and made by Mama. (They had no idea how healthy it was or if they did, they didn’t care because they all gobbled it up.)
It was the perfect day for kite flying and bike riding, climbing trees and playing chase. The morning before we left for the party we were talking over the different activities we could set up for the kids, but when we got to the park it was so windy, we were glad to have had the kites handy instead. It was so sweet to see all their little bodies running through the grass with a kite string in hand.
It was an emotional good-bye to all of his teachers and friends (both human and animal) and I have a hard time believing that it’s no longer a part of our weekly rhythm. It’s become such a home-away-from-home for Levi (and admittedly myself and Calvin included).
I’m going to miss seeing him run down the hill to greet me after a morning of outdoor fun, his sunhat flapping in the wind, his clothes covered in dirt (or mud) and a huge smile on his face as he excitedly tells me about all that he did that day. We are so grateful to have had the time at the ranch and feel lucky to have made so many special friends while there. The type of education he received, while most would consider unconventional, was invaluable to him and our family.
Who would’ve thought that collecting chicken eggs, grinding corn, cleaning up goat poop, harvesting garden greens, planting vegetables, climbing trees, hiking through the woods and playing with turkeys would be a part of his early childhood education? They sang songs about the seasons, played outdoors rain or shine and gave thanks daily to Mother Earth for her bountiful gifts…so many beautiful lessons learned about the cycle of life and our place in it.
So, now you are 5, my son…you are taking life in stride, absorbing the world around you and observing it with open eyes and an open heart. You are my sweet and curious, inventive and imaginative, spirited and loving little man. You continue to amaze me with your growing confidence, wisdom and independence and I sometimes wish it weren’t so, but you are doing just what you’re meant to…growing up. I cherish your ways of affection, which are so sincere, especially at night while I’m lying next to you in bed and you wrap your arms tightly around my neck and tell me how much you love me and that you will never let me go. That sounds just fine to me.
Happy Birthday, Levi Henri!!