My darling Jude,
I'm sitting at my computer and typing this letter up to you. I haven't blogged in a million years (okay, a few months), and it's a few weeks past your birthday, but I'm doing it.
Ah Jude. Where to even begin!?
You are a plucky 5 year old. You are tender and can be sensitive, and then the next minute you're terrorizing Blaise. You do have a compassionate heart, though, and there have been multiple instances of you seeking out a new kid in your class (whether it's the YMCA or church) and playing with them, or offering them a toy or trying to cheer them up when they're upset and scared. This speaks volumes to me about who you are and that you are listening to God's still, small voice inside you urging you to show love and friendship to those who need it most. I love for this. Seriously. My heart almost explodes a little when I hear about these occurrences.
But there's a sassy mouth on you too. You love shouting, "FINE!" or "OKAY!" when things are neither fine, nor okay for you. It's hard for you to receive instruction or criticism, but I do see growth in you in this area.
You played on a soccer team for the first time this summer and you learned so much! We watched (and okay, we laughed too) from the sidelines as you would run up to the ball but only really hover around it and the other players instead of just going in and kicking it. This was a bit surprising for me as I wouldn't have thought you to be tentative, but by the end of the season you did end up going in for a kick or two.
You learned so much at school this past year too! Junior Kindergarten wasn't too difficult of a transition for you, but you did have some teary goodbyes in the mornings for a few weeks. Your teacher, Mrs. Fulton, was an absolute gem and we are so super excited that you'll get her again in a couple weeks for Senior Kindergarten! You learned tons of songs and loved gym and recess and you can even read a bunch of words. You made a bunch of friends but I think struggled to find that one friend that you really clicked with even though we would hear you talk about many different kids in your class. I'm praying for one really good friend this year and that s/he would be someone that would be a good influence on you and vice versa.
You are one smart cookie and I often hear you sounding out words or when Noah was learning to read this past year, you would intuitively guess the ending of the sentence.
You are my affectionate boy. You love saying that you love me and that I'm "the best" and giving hugs and cuddles. You definitely need to hear words of encouragement and affirmation and I'm constantly reminding myself to give you those as it's not my first instinct to do so.
You got a scooter for your birthday and you are getting so good on it! I'm so proud of you and your desire to stick with it and get "really good" at it. It's really cute to see you bombing down the sidewalk and learning to balance with both feet on it at the same time.
You are musical! You love clapping out rhythms, you pick up on songs and lyrics (and even was a voice of conviction in a Lumineers song when the guy says, "Oh my God", telling me that you didn't like that song because of it.) and you have lately started requesting jazz music. Which totally melts my heart. You pick up on moods and feelings in music and it makes my heart so happy to discuss music with you!
You love Noah. You miss him when he's not around and I'm so thankful you have each other, even if it does mean that you fight with each other a good deal of the time.
And you're really calming down around Blaise which is good for all of us. I know you love him, but how it comes out is sometimes a little too aggressive. Regardless, you have a really special relationship with your baby brother and I see it in how you and he interact and make up games together and the giggles you share as you engage in things like jumping on top of each other from the armrest of the couch. Yeah.
Sometimes you seem older than a five year old and I know I expect a lot from you. You are just my favourite Jude ever and I am so thankful you came into our lives on that hot, July day five years ago. Such a calm, (quick), chilled out entrance into this world and yet you have one of the biggest personalities in this family. I love you, Super Jude!
I love you, Jude.
Mama (Mom, Mommy)