last month we celebrated tate’s FIFTH birthday. the baby of our family is already FIVE! this fact renders me fairly speechless… but i’m pretty sure i can pull it together to tell you all about our TATE. : )
i had the privilege of taking tate swimming at our local rec center this morning — just the two of us. tate is your typical baby of the family, in the sense that he has benefitted so much from having two older brothers. in spite of only having one round of swim lessons under his belt, tate flips and flops and throws his body around under water like a fish. granted, he plugs his nose, but that kid was doing somersaults under water and purposefully laying down, arms crossed, on the waterslide — the perfect position to gain as much speed as possible before shooting out the bottom into the pool. he watches silas & lincoln and must feel like he has a lot of catching up to do. tate is MORE than up for the challenge!
as is probably age-appropriate, tate is our question-asker. he wonders about everything from places we went a long time ago (this morning, he was trying to remember “that place where you get to walk around and sample things and play with your friends” — the farmer’s market we frequent in the summer!); to how we swallow; to why we get shots; to when we’ll turn into zombies; to whether or not wolves & bears are in “real life;” to if birthmarks go away; to if his best buddy will be in his class next year in kindergarten… and on, and on. seriously, it seems like tate asks multiple questions a day — good ones, too, and oftentimes humorous. he keeps us chuckling with his questions and his funny faces.
tate is a loud breather. this seriously works against him in a game of spy or hide n seek. you can hear him coming a mile off! tate also has eczema that likes to flare up now and then (see the patch behind his knee in the above photo). random, i know. tate has a bit of a temper — that boy can throw a super loud and MEAN fit when he doesn’t get his way, or his turn, quickly enough. oy! while he seems to be growing out of it slowly, i imagine a good fit-throwing and its subsequent repercussions in kindergarten next fall will speed that process right up! but he is a good kid. he sits quietly and plays “screens” so mommy can have tea/coffee/lunch dates with friends. he naturally shares with his brothers. he helps out as we set up for and tear down after SCY events. he likes to help cook lunch & dinner and wash the dishes afterwards! he asks to spray the spots before we put the dirty clothes into the washing machine. he oftentimes will pick up his toys or put away his video game controllers when he’s finished, without being asked. tate loves to play with his friends — at their houses or ours — and he is already brave enough for sleepovers! he has learned how to quietly leave the bedroom after he wakes up in the morning, allowing his brothers to keep sleeping… but he doesn’t come downstairs until 7am. the kid knows how to bring JOY to his mother’s heart!
tate is a smart kid. a boy who likes to make jokes and notices things out the car window. he likes to be read to, especially at bedtime. he likes to play games like UNO, Spot It, and Jenga. he is actually a great guesser at Charades, and he likes to make suggestions for words for everyone to act out (usually “black panther,” “Hulk,” or “pterodactyl”). he LOVES “arms & legs” — being swung by your (you guessed it) arms & legs by mom & dad and then thrown onto a pillow pile on the couch. he has an incredible memory for a 5-year-old! tate has been begging us to wake them up “so early that it’s still dark outside,” put them in the car, and drive all day long. the last time we did this must have been a trip to MN or IL to see family at least two years ago. he still remembers it, and remembers it FONDly, oddly enough. tate will get his wish at the end of next week, when we hit the open road for a long drive & a short visit to california. i hope he loves it as much as he thinks he will. having room to spread out in our first-ever road trip in the new ford flex will help, i’m sure. as will the all-day media fest of movies, video games and more video games… that, in itself, is a dream-come-true for our three boys!
next fall is sure to be eventful and unusual for our family. tate’s entrance into kindergarten will mark the first time in almost 12 years that phil & i won’t have at least one child at home with us during the day. tate will make his debut in the elementary school scene, and silas will step foot into the middle school as a new 6th grader. life is surely about to change. phil & i plan to step back drastically from our SCY responsibilities (and hire new staff to take over 2 out of 3 weekly programs) and find new/different jobs, so that we can protect our family time on evenings & weekends when the boys are NOT in school. it feels like uncharted territory for us as a couple and for our family, which is both exciting and slightly daunting. nevertheless, i am confident all the pieces will fall into place and life will continue to be as beautiful and wonderful and GOOD as the last 13 years have been.
in the meantime, i hope & pray that our TATE continues to learn & grow. that he grows in patience & kindness. that he embraces all the fun & joy of this coming summer as he learns to skateboard and ride his bike. that he walks into kindergarten and makes new friends with confidence & excitement. that his imagination and curiosity explode as he learns to read. and, as always, that he becomes everything that God created him and dreams for him to be. we can’t wait to watch and see!
happy 5th birthday, tate, taters, T. we love you, kiddo!