Boy. Five years old. Even his preschool teacher teared up a little bit about it today. There’s no going back, no returning to four or three or the time in the womb when baby couldn’t live without Mama. Even if you’re wanted, you’re never needed in the same way.

Brand new Boy

Boy, on his birth day, 2010.

Like Girl, he’ll get to go in the attic now that he’s five – but he’ll have to wait until tomorrow. That’s the thing about turning five when you have an older sister: the day isn’t as wholly yours as it might have been. Tonight he had to compete – no, not compete, but share – with his sister: she had her first softball game tonight, just as he had his first t-ball game last night. It’s not a bad thing: having an older sister means more people to love him, a steady playmate, a friend. At first, we weren’t going to take him to her game, as it didn’t start until 7:00 (!). Girl got upset, saying, “I want to play for him on his birthday!” So we took him. She hit the ball each time she was at bat, and she hit it for him. Even just with the two of them, they’re a team.

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Boy and Girl in the daffodil field, March 2018

In lieu of cake, we celebrated his birthday with homemade ice cream sandwiches, and we ate them in shifts, with grandparents, Mama, and Boy eating them before the game (and after Daddy and Girl had left) and Daddy and Girl eating them upon their return.

And another birthday, half a decade, has passed. He will only be more than five after today.

He’s not my birthday girl, but I still have been hearing Loudon Wainwright III’s “Five Years Old” in my head today – just like on Girl’s fifth birthday. We dropped Boy off at preschool, and there was the music in my head, and it showed up all of its own accord, like I was my own antenna.

The pet store was all out of ponies
Maybe next birthday.

I won’t forget the day that you were born
Five years ago
We were happy and excited
and we loved you so
You’re growing up so quickly
Now, I feel a little sad –
That’s to be expected;
after all, I am your daddy [mommy].

Benjamin with birthday cake 2018

Five years old. Happy birthday, sweet Boy. May happy days be sandwiched between happy nights, and may your best (and safest!) wishes come true.