The last week of September is SUCH a special week for me. It's may be my favorite week of the whole year. (Christmas week might trump it...) I love late September! The weather starts to cool off, we have football to watch, the boys are settled into their new school routines, and I get to celebrate my babies. I've spent several late Septembers pregnant - 3 of them very much so. It's such a fun time of year!
In a few short days, I will be mom to a 12 year old and a 5 year old. WOW! Can you believe Zane is FIVE? Where has the time gone?
I love the age 5. Adore it! It's one of my favorite stages (at least so far). At least with my boys, when they get near that 5 year old milestone all sorts of things start changing. They become big boys in many, many ways! It's fascinating to experience.
Zane is pretty awesome. He's in a super sponge phase right now. He's soaking in everything and seems to love learning just to learn. It's kind of refreshing after dealing with elementary school homework and projects and all that stuff. Zane delights in working on his worksheets and getting star stickers from his teachers. He's learning to read. I LOVE that! He's sounding out words and trying to put it all together. So sweet and innocent!
We got him started in sports this year. Our soccer experience was kind of a train wreck, but that didn't prevent Zane from having a blast. Right now he's playing flag football. He has no idea what's going on or where he should be or what to do. He requires a TON of guidance from the coaches. (God bless people who willingly coach 4-6 year olds!) But even though he isn't always sure of himself, he's having SO much fun! I love to watch him get so excited that he does a little jump or pumps his arms over his head. And it melts my heart when he looks to the sidelines to give a little wave!
Zane is a little timid and can be pretty shy. He's not an outgoing kid. He's not the first one to jump into new situations. He's quiet and somewhat calculating. He really thrives on order and consistency and routine. That's all OK! I understand him because I am exactly the same way. I am not my best in new situations where I'm not sure what to expect. Despite the fact that Zane could be considered shy, he still has lots of friends and talks them all the time. It's pretty fun to watch his friendships develop and hear how he's working through all the new social interactions.
I think Zane will have lots of friends as he grows up because he's got a vivid imagination which makes him really fun to play with. I adore listening to my two little guys play together. They come up with some super fantastic storylines. This kind of play is not something the big boys ever really did. It's unique to the little guys and I credit Zane. He lives a lot of life inside his head. My job is going to be helping him figure out how to get out of his head and share with the world, because he's got many gifts that he can share.
Zane is such an important part of our family that it's hard to imagine what things would look like without him. (For one thing he raises our "beauty quotient" a great deal!) He's gotten to the point where he's not the most demanding - of time or energy or food or things. It would be kind of easy for us to overlook him from time to time as we race around. I want to make sure we are stopping to celebrate the fact that he can get himself dressed now. To applaud the stick figures standing in front of the house he drew depicting each member of our family sized relative to each other. I want to stop and let him put his arms around my neck and hug me for as long as it takes for him to wake up in the mornings. I want to stop each night as he gets ready for bed and climb up his bunk bed ladder with him to snuggle and shower him with kisses while I listen to him giggle.
I want to celebrate Zane. Not just on his 5th birthday, but every single day. He is a gift that I will forever be grateful we get to enjoy every day. My wish for him this year is that he continues to blossom in all the ways that are uniquely him. I hope he finds joy and laughter in every single day. And I hope he always remembers how much he is loved.
This weekend we will celebrate many times in many ways! Zane's party for his friends is tomorrow night (try finding a time for a birthday party with changing sports schedules on a busy weekend...) while Spencer and Quinn are at practice. Saturday we have overlapping football and lacrosse games - so it's a divide and conquer kind of day - boo! Spencer is letting us celebrate his special day with cupcakes after his game and has requested a quiet family dinner of Kentucky Hot Browns. Sunday we will get to celebrate with cupcakes after Zane's game too. And then finally on Monday we will be doing cupcakes with his class and a special family dinner at Chuck-E-Cheese (Zane's request). Come Tuesday we will be a family with 12, 10, 5, and 2 year olds and will start the countdown to Beckett's birthday.