Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Zachary is 5!

When Zachary was born, I instantly noticed his demeanor. His eyes were wide and he was incredibly alert. You could tell that he was taking everything in. I was overwhelmed at the magnitude of the birthing experience and then at how beautiful of a baby he was. He had a full head of hair, and the most perfect complexion. I remember how good he smelled and how warm his body felt against mine. It was the first time I had experienced being a mom. Those are the feelings I never want to forget. I thank God every day for allowing me that experience, and I will always have that special bond with Zachary for allowing me to experience it for the first time.

As the year went on, everyone commented on how he was the "perfect baby." He slept all the time, was always calm, and rarely ever cried. But the older he got, the more frustrated he became. I realized quickly his brain and his desire to make sense of everything was outgrowing his fine motor skills. He was too smart for his body. He would get so incredibly frustrated. His second year, we worked hard on teaching him how to communicate. He pushed through his stubbornness, and started taking his first steps, started signing, and we started trying to stretch him out of his comfort zone.

When he was two, we worked on teaching him to use his words and began to develop his social skills. When he was young, he had quite a bit of social anxiety and preferred playing by himself. But the more he spent time around other kids, and the older his brother got, the more he started coming out of his shell.

Which brings us to now, three years later. On his 5th birthday, I happened to have a parent teacher conference scheduled with his teacher. We sat in that room, talking about Zachary and the boy and student he has become. While she talked, I cried. And then as I shared Zachary's story with her, she cried. She told me there's not one student in the class Zachary doesn't play with. She told me that he is one of the leaders in the class, and is quick to answer and ask questions. She told me he initiates play with kids, and plays well with others, while also standing up for himself when necessary. As I sat there, thinking over the last five years, my mom heart was full while thinking of the journey we've been on with my sweet Zachary. Watching him confront fears, overcome fears, and develop into the boy God designed him to be is such an overwhelming feeling, similar to the greatness of holding him in my arms for the first time.

On your fifth Birthday, Zachary, I am so proud of everything you have become. I am proud of the way you help take care of your sister and brother. I am proud of the way you love your family. I love the way you want to make sure all your friends are included while playing. I love how smart and literal you are. I love how much of a perfectionist you are. I love how much you desire to know more about God and Jesus. You remind us to pray when at the dinner table.

You have taught me so much in the last five years. I thank God every day for allowing me to be your mom. I can't wait to see what the next 50 years hold. :)