This morning you woke me up in order to ask me if I could get out of bed soon. Even though I was still feeling a little fuzzy with sleep, I could hear the anticipation and excitement in your voice about the pile of presents on the kitchen table. But I could also tell that you were holding yourself back, trying to be polite and patient, and it made me think of how much you've learned about self-control.
We talk a lot about the five tenets of tae kwon do that you learned in your karate class: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit. You know them all by heart, but more than that, you've learned a lot about what they all mean. Sometimes you make mistakes--just like all of us do--but when we talk about them, you're able to tell us which tenet is the one to work on. Every day I'm amazed at how much you understand and how mature you've become. I'm very proud to be your dad.
Now that you're older, we've been doing more things together. I love getting to take you to the movies, and watching shows with you in the evenings like Avatar. I love getting to show you things that I loved as a kid, like Star Wars. I love putting together Lego sets with you, and reading chapter books with real stories to you. I love that you can really swim now, and that when we go to the beach you are as passionate about digging big holes as I am.
Last night as I was putting the finishing touches on your birthday video, your mom asked me how many more times I'd be making these videos and writing these letters to you. It's something I've thought a lot about and never really figured out. But for now you're still excited about it--you asked to watch the video six times before I even finished it, and you got a big kick out of seeing yourself on the screen. So I figure that at least this one more year, I'll do this.
I don't know what the future will bring or how we'll all change in the next year, but I'm looking forward to finding out together.
Happy birthday, buddy.
Soundtrack: "Boop" by Podington Bear. Used with permission.