Saturday, March 28, 2015

5th Birthday: Bennett

He's five!  I have heard it said time and time again, "There is something about 5..."  It's my mind I view it as the first of many milestone birthdays that will force me to begin processing the leaps he will take into independence.  It has also led me to assess God's work in his life, in my life, in our life as a family and how He desires us to continue on this journey of "family."

Bennett is:
  • raw emotion
  • contagious laughter 
  • defiance when ignored
  • responsible when given a specific task/role
  • close talker
  • information sponge
  • driven to do things the correct way
  • tree climber
  • patient brother
  • lover of technology
  • fish in the water
  • unbelievable reader
  • processor 

You don't have to ponder what he is thinking or feeling, because he wears it on his sleeve (just like his momma).  The raw emotion of the moment pours forth when he is happy, sad, angry, determined, frustrated, etc.  He is a sensitive soul. 

His LAUGH is simply the best laugh I have ever heard.  It is loud and deep and simply contagious.  To know him is to know his laugh, to enjoy it, to appreciate it, to look forward to it.  

He likes to interact with adults.  He prefers it over interaction with peers.  Unfortunately, when adults want to talk amongst themselves B often becomes defiant.  It is an area we are constantly working on and have seen progress, but it can be very challenging.  These are the times I am reminded that we all have sinful hearts and are in need of God's salvation and His daily grace.  While the moments are challenging they have been the most fruitful in conversing about our need for a Savior.  

He thrives when given a task to complete or role to play.  He takes joy in being the door holder, the line leader, the caboose, Zoe's teacher, the assistant during reading class, the assistant while passing out items to friends/classmates.  He can be frustrated at one moment if someone is tearing up his "creation" or not playing the game the way he wants, but if shown how to include and guide his peers to join in he calms down and joyfully teaches them how to do it.  

Dude is hilarious!!!  Personal space does not exist in his world :)  More often than not he speaks about 2 inches from your face.  It can be a little overwhelming/intimidating (or A LOT) for some people, but if I am honest it makes me laugh.  I try to be careful in my correction, because it is not on purpose.  He is simply a close talker and I should mention an over talker ;)

I have never met another child like him when it comes to the amount of information he can retain. His memory, his retention, his attention to detail is amazing.  He simply loves to learn.  It is one of his qualities that astounds me.  The intent look I see on his face when he is learning something new or adding to a knowledge base he already has will be a look I will never forget.  It is a serious expression, yet one that displays his love of learning.  Currently, he is fully immersed in the book of Daniel and has enjoyed every detail of Nebuchadnezzar's life as king.

I wouldn't describe B as a rule follower, but if it is routine rules he certainly wants them followed and does not like it when they are changed.  He is driven to do things the correct way and will not cut corners or cheat in order to win or be the best.  I love that about him and his teachers have pointed it out multiple times.  For example, they have a race at lunch time.  B is not the fastest runner, but he does not cut in front of people or try to hold them back in order to be faster.  Instead, he follows the rules and works to be his best.  This is also displayed while he plays with Legos.  He wants instructions to follow.  He will occasionally free build, but if given a new Lego set he will sit for hours and build.  He follows each instruction rarely asking for help with the sets designed for 7-12 year olds.

He looks up to his cousins sooooo much and has wanted to climb trees since he first saw them climb the mango tree in our backyard.  He has worked very hard to learn to climb trees overcoming a slight fear of heights and a few other issues.  I feel pride when I watch him climbing trees, because it is something that has not come easy to him.  Several gross motor activities have been challenging for him to achieve and this was no different, but he really wanted to do it, so he has worked hard to succeed.  We'll get there with monkey bars and swinging ;)

He is so very patient with Zoe.  There have been times when she has yelled at him and hit him and he calmly says, "Mom, Zoe hit me."  If she breaks his Legos creations or throws his books he usually says, "Zoe, stop it" and tells me or moves on.  He grows impatient with her and argues with her as siblings argue, but for the most part he tries to teach her and play with her.

He would sit and play games on my phone or on Sam's tablet all day long if I would let him.  ALL DAY LONG!  His asking to play and constantly talking about Angry Birds got so bad that we placed restrictions that he can only play Friday-Sunday at our discretion.  Funny thing is he was not allowed to play it every day prior to our restrictions, but the daily asking was too much.  I do not see this getting better as he gets older, so we are trying to set boundaries now praying they will be held up later.

The water is his happy place.  He loves to swim in the pool and the ocean.  He is a little fish diving under the water, jumping out of the water, and crashing against the waves.

He began reading around his 4th birthday.  Initially, people were curious if he was reading from memory, but I knew he wasn't.  I knew, because he would read books to me that were new to him, books from the library.  He still enjoys picture books, but during the last few months he has been enjoying chapter books more and more.  He thoroughly enjoys reading to his friends.  This is an area that has greatly improved as he continues to work on it at school each week.  I have been asked several times, "What did you do with him?"  I am quick to reply, it is not us, but the way God made him.  He has always had an intense interest in letters and sounds and words and books and character studies.  One of my greatest joys is watching him read.  He is getting so fast I often wonder if he actually read the whole book.

He processes before he participates.  For example, he played soccer this winter and it took several games before he did more than slowly run and watch what was going on.  I always know when he is processing a situation, a game, a new environment, because of the intent look on his face and the way he looks lost in his own thoughts.  While, it can drive me crazy, it has become something I appreciate.  He is not quick to jump into things which can be very good.

Happy Birthday to my first born son!!!  You captivated us with your raw emotion and intelligence the first day you entered this world and have continued to do so.  God has given you a love for His Word and is working out the application of it in your life.  Your laughter, your hugs, the way you ask to place your hand on my chest while falling asleep are precious to me.   I treasure our reading and building time.  I enjoy watching you jump on the trampoline, dig in the sand, play in the mud, climb trees, and crash waves.  You challenge me in ways I never thought possible, but I would be lost without you.  Love you sweet boy forever and ever.


Kindra said...

Beautiful! As I read your words about his laugh, I could hear his laugh so clearly! It is a wonderful laugh! He is such an amazing little boy and we're so thankful for his life!

JCo said...

What a lovely summary of your B!

Amanda said...

I love this description of him. I feel like I know him just by what you wrote. He's so sharp! I have loved, loved, loved my five year old Emily. I just want to do this year again.