Happy Fifth Birthday

Dear Son,

I can’t believe you are five today. It felt just like yesterday when my bundle of joy came into this world. Time sure flies, doesn’t it?

You may be too young to fully understand what I’m trying to say to you. But hear me out and try not to give me that confused look like you have no idea about the words that are coming out of my mouth, or in this case, appearing on your computer screen.

When you get older, you will hear all about five year plans, and the head scratching, but thought provoking question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” I’m embarrassed to admit, even at my age, your dad struggles with this question. In the meantime, I’ve learned to reflect and appreciate good things I’ve accomplished and look for things I can improve. I thought it would be fun to go through this exercise on our last five years.

Crazy Enthusiasm

As you grow up, you should notice that your dad likes to start with a good point first and then talk further about areas that you/we need to improve. The first thing that comes to mind is your crazy enthusiasm!

Everyday, almost without fail, you run screaming with joy when I pick you up after work. I tell your uncles, this is priceless for me and wouldn’t trade it for the world. Secondly, if we are going somewhere fun or doing something you love, your crazy laugh, where you close your eyes and stick out your tongue is infectious.

A close second is when you are so excited you spin around like a top, clapping your hands like a madman. Don’t ever forget this feeling or mindset. As you get older, you will naturally have more responsibilities. Many people older than you get so caught up with life’s pressures and challenges, that they forget how they were when they were five. Obviously we all grow up and have to act our age, most of the time. Just don’t forget this precious moment in time and if you do, we have tons of pictures and video to remind you.

Crazy Temper

The flip side is your crazy temper. Since you are our first born, your mom and I love you to death, but we also spoiled you to bits. It gives us great pleasure in giving you everything you want. I still can’t believe all the toys you have and how many surprises your mom has given you over the years.

However, for your own good, we need to scale this back. I know you “don’t like this daddy”, but not everything in life is served to you on a silver platter. When you don’t get what you want, you scream and cry almost instantly. You wig out if traffic delays us from getting home at the usual time. In the short term, you may think daddy is being mean. But in the big picture, I’m trying to toughen you up like Arlo’s Dad in Good Dinosaur.

You can’t start bawling at the drop of a hat and if this continues, you may develop road rage. Calm yourself down and ask if this little road block is worth flying off the handle? Tony Robbins, a world famous personal development expert, suggests to be grateful for what you have. Why? If you feel gratitude, you can’t fell anger or fear. To be fair, you are much better than before, but let’s keep working on it. I am not perfect so I promise to do my best to control my temper as well. Deal? Give me multiple high fives!

Riding Your Bike

I’ve been very impressed at how you’ve been riding your bike with training wheels. You pedal like a speed demon and hit turns with reckless abadon. Your threshold for pain and discomfort is low, but I like how you took my advice about rocking your bike so you can use the momentum to pedal from a complete stop. When something slows you from your goal, remember to “Rock and Roll!”

Building Legos

On the flip side, I know it’s frustrating and the tiny blocks hurt your fingers sometime. But look how far you’ve come. When you first started, you couldn’t make a thing. Now you’ve help construct fire engines, Star Wars vehicles, and tons of adorable animals. If you can’t get it the first time, stay calm, take a break, and try again. If you absolutely can’t do it, ask for help. Learning to fish will be more beneficial, and fun, in the long run, than having it delivered to you.

Final Thoughts

I could go on and on, yes your dad is wordy, but it is because I love you and want the best for you. Your Chinese is improving everyday. I know saying things in English is easier. But it will serve you well in the global economy. Even Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook speaks it. Use it and don’t lose. You have a healthy appetite, but watch your sweets and remember vegetables are good for you and can be quite tasty.

Checking in at 45 pounds and 42 inches, I hope you get into sports because the exercise and camaraderie will be great for your health and confidence. Please don’t get upset when I tell you to put away your iPad or iPhone. I know it’s fun to watch your cartoons and play games, but spending quality time talking and doing things outside will become more and more precious as you get older. “I’m asking so nicely!”

Finally, I’m proud of you for being more respectful to your relatives and friends. You’re doing great with not panicking (like Elsa losing control in her castle) and using your magic words like “Please, Thank You, and Excuse Me.” Doesn’t that sound better than “Skunk Kunk” anyway?

Happy Fifth Birthday, Boo Boo, I love you more than words can say. Like Maui says, “I’ve got your back!” I hope you do wonderful things with your life and make your mark like the Good Dinosaur. I’m sure you will because like Arlo’s Dad says, “You are me, and more!”


Your Dad

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2 Responses

  1. Arlee Bird says:

    Happy Birthday to your son! What a sweet letter you’ve written to him. It’s hard to believe how quickly they grow and that time doesn’t slow down. Enjoy these years while they are here.

    Arlee Bird

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