To my Dearest Peregrine Boy,
You turned five, almost five months ago. I've been meaning to write you this, your birthday letter, ever since. Our life has been a bit on the busy side, and your baby brother will be born any day, so I figured I'd better not wait any longer.
I really can almost not believe that you're five. Well, closer to five-and-a-half, really. Didn't you just turn four? You like to say you're almost six, and I think you really believe that November 1st is just around the corner. And, if the next several months are anything like the last, it'll be here before we know it. Five is not a little kid anymore. I look at you and wonder when you got so big, learned so many things, developed so many of your own opinions. You have an amazing imagination and you love to tell us stories and ideas that you come up with. You have big plans and big ideas, my boy, and I like that about you.
We celebrated your birthday with a costume party, as we have now for five years. It's hard to believe we've thrown five of these parties, parties where Grandmas and Papas, Aunties and Uncles and Cousins and Friends all come to celebrate you. Where we eagerly watch out the window, waiting for "the guests to arrive" as you would say, anxious to see what kind of costumes everyone has chosen for the event. This year you were a knight. A knight in shining armor, and a red tunic with a dragon on it. You went to the fabric store with me and carefully helped me pick out the fabric for each part of your costume. You're a boy who cares about details, who notices- and remembers- and is able to describe- things in great detail. You are fully drawn in to stories of knights and dragons and far-away lands and adventure. You hear them, you think about them, and then you go to your dress-up box and become the characters from these stories. And it's not enough just for you to be someone else; you dress up your sister and get her into the story, and, when it's possible, you assign characters for Mama and Daddy too.
You love your sister with a fierce sort of love. She is your darling, your best little friend. She adores you in return, and much of the time your play together is very sweet. At other times you get frustrated with her for not doing what you want, but she holds her own pretty well. You often draw her into your adventures, but you also enjoy playing with her things too- you help her care for her dolls, cook in her play kitchen, and (you'll be embarrassed about this someday) dress up like faeries together. You're all boy, but you do have an eye for beauty, and are known to practically swoon (you're a bit on the dramatic side) at the sight of a flower or a tree in blossom. That's something else I like about you though, that for all your boyness you see and appreciate what is lovely in the world.
You have a baby brother who will be born very soon. It could be today or it could be two weeks from now, and you are excited. A couple of months ago you could hardly wait for him to be born because you were so anxious to have a brother to sword fight with. I'm excited for you to have a brother too, but it's going to be a while before you can teach him to wield a sword! First there will be what will seem like ages of having to be very, very careful with him, and of giving Mama a lot of extra help. You're a good helper, and sometimes I'm amazed at just how many things you're able to do.
You've been learning a lot about self-control lately. Maybe it's partly your age, but we're glad to see this developing in you. You don't hide your feelings, which sometimes is hard, but we're glad too- you are transparent and easy to read most of the time. You have, and always have had, a real sensitivity to the things of God. We pray that this will continue as you grow, that you will grow ever more aware of the kingdom of God and that your heart will not be turned aside by the things of the world. You care very much about the poor, and often remember them and want to do things to help them. I hope you never lose that.
Not long ago I was snuggled up with you in your bed and you told me that you want to have a heart like David, a heart after God. I encouraged you to pray and ask God for this, and here is part of what you prayed "Dear Lord, Please help me to have a heart like David's and the angels and the saints. Please help me when Mama gives me hard jobs to do to do them. Even if evil pagans kill me someday please help me never to turn back from you. And I won't ever take up the spear and sword but follow after you, and just be a humble monk and a missionary to foreign lands, an American missionary."
Our prayer too, dear boy, is that you will follow after God with all your heart, that you will use your imagination and your creativity, your ability to tell stories, your desire to "lead people", your passion and compassion and love all for the glory of God. We are in awe of you, and very often feel completely at a loss as to how to raise you! But we are so incredibly thankful that God has blessed us with you, and we're very excited to see you becoming the boy God created you to be, a boy after His own heart.
I love you my Peregrine, my firstborn boy who has grown so very big. Thanks for being my boy.
Your own Mama