Henry, Age 5

Henry turns five today, and he’s sick. Plans were made for a fun day at school with cupcakes, followed by a LEGOLand visit with some friends. But nope. He has a cough and a fever, so birthday celebration will be adjusted and postponed. That’s life, right?
When I explained all this to him this morning before I left for work, he registered barely disappointment before he asked when he could open his presents. He was up the majority of the night. I think it was, like, 15% dealing with the fever, and 85% anticipating the presents. He was in our bed, staring at the clock all, IT SAYS 147, CAN I GET UP NOW, MOMMY?….NOW IT SAYS 453. CAN I GET UP NOW????
So, when I told him “Happy Birthday, Love!” on my way out this morning (at 609), and he instinctively replied, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOMMY and then laughed at his faux pas, I was totes OK taking some birthday credit, too.
For the sleepless night last night, and all the others over the past 5 years. There were a lot.  For the fears and funs of parenting. For the fact that he’s a funny, empathic, interesting, kind, intentional, weird and wonderful person. I’m taking some credit for all that. Not much. He came out pretty great and he’s working on his own Henry goals, I just mostly stay out of his way and let him do him..but I will accept a cupcake for my involvement.
He’s at an exciting time of life. I keep telling him that kindergarten is some of the best years of my life. 😉 (No, it’s true. I did it twice. I think because of glue eating). It’s so much learning how to be a good friend, learning how to slot new knowledge into useful places in your brain bank, so much maturing intellectually, physically, and emotionally. He already has his own perception of how things work and opinion on how they should go, but is also so very absorbent of new ideas. He really wants to understand how things work. Robots, human bodies, trees, jokes. He asks brilliant questions, and uses his information gained like a tiny lawyer. “Henry, when we get home from dinner, it’s going to be time to take a bath.” YEAH, BUT I’M A CAT AND CATS HATE WATER. (There’s simply no way to argue with that, so he’s going on 9 days unbathed).
He’s sensitive and loving. He shows great compassion and worry when people or animals (even on TV) are being mistreated. He’s tender with his sister, who is often not. He’s a pretty cautious kid, precocious most of the time, but timid when it comes to trying new things. It’s neat watching him know his own boundaries, but also choose to take risks and be brave. (His sister is a good influence here). He’s also gaining control of his reactions to change and disappointment and such. He’s developing a way to describe the huge spectrum of emotions he feels and to learn what to do with them. This is important stuff and it’s thrilling to see him improve there.
Anyway. He’s a great person and I’m so thrilled to have him living in my house all these 5 years. Even when it means he’s awake in my bed going, MOMMY, THE CLOCK SAYS 503. CAN I WATCH A SHOW NOW?
It’s possible he’s actually nocturnal and we just haven’t caught on yet. We’re all still learning each other. It’s only been 5 years. It’s still a new relationship, really.


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