Last Day of Being Five

Dear Declan,

I usually don’t write birthday letters, but for some reason I feel like I need to this year. Something about leaving 5 behind for 6 feels BIG. Like I am losing my baby.

Maybe because this year has been so big for you. If you hadn’t been so determined to come 2 months earlier, this year you would have been starting Kindergarten rather than 1st grade. But you decided Friday the 13th of September was the day for you, come hell or high water, and in turn, your dad and I had lots of decisions to make. Do we send you to school at age 5, and make you the youngest in your class? Or do we hold you back so you could be the oldest, yet possibly the boredest as well? In the end, just like with your birthdate, you decided for us.

You started reading amazingly early and amazingly well. In fact, I have no doubt you could read this letter word for word if I were to show it you now. Your preschool teacher thought we were insane when we forced the discussion of “if” you would attend Kindergarten last year. But we wanted to make sure you were ready emotionally. Clearly you are smart. Like crazy, scary, freak me out sometimes smart. (And that is not just mommy brag talking.) You are also clearly more immature than your peers. How could you not be? Some of your friends turned seven this summer! When you are not even yet six. That is what we worried over. Lost sleep over. Would you have trouble fitting in, and keeping up?

But in the past year, you have amazed us. Truly, truly, amazed us. Sure, some of the growth has driven me to my wits end, but I have also smiled a secret inner smile – knowing the pushing back, the smart mouth, the rolling of the eyes – ALL OF IT – were signs of maturity. Signs my little boy is growing up.

You and I have this special thing. At night before bed, we talk about the big stuff. For some reason it never interferes with your sleep – it’s like you want to offload all your questions on me and then – HUHUHH! Whew, you can sleep. We talk about the most amazing things. Last night, if you look at the calendar, it was 9/11. It was the first time we had ever discussed it, and I went ahead and told you everything. (OK, not everything, but a lot.) You listened, you absorbed, and tears silently started falling down your cheeks. I could see them glistening in the dark. When you quietly asked me “why?” – I had no answer for you. But I felt so honored to be having to discussion with you.

Maybe that’s why your last day of being 5 feels so big. It’s like you are stepping into the next place in your life. The next big adventures. The big talks. And with all those big things you will experience, I know your dad and I will have less and less to do with them.

It doesn’t make them any less magical, or special – and we can’t wait to hear about them.

I’ll be waiting in the dark.


This article has 28 comments

  1. Kath

    This is so beatiful.

    Happy birthday Declan!

  2. Anonymous

    awww. I am sniveling.

  3. Tree

    I am choking back tears. What a lovely tribute to a special little person.

  4. zipper

    Happy birthday Declan!

  5. Anonymous

    What a beautiful letter for a beautiful special little boy. I’m so proud to be Declan’s Pata.

  6. zenrain

    I’ll never forget the phone call we got when he was born…i can’t believe it’s been 6 years…happy birthday, dex!! xxooxxoo to you all

  7. Beth Fish

    Happy Birthday to the big little man!

    I was the youngest kid in my class, and it was always a little hard, but being a year later would have made me miserable. He’ll do great.

  8. Kit-Kat

    *tear* what an amazing letter! Happy Birthday Declan!

  9. Sarah Jackson

    Happy happy day to both of you! Turning 6 is indeed a Very Big Deal. My oldest baby turned 18 today. Time flies by so very quickly.

  10. Mayberry


    Happy birthday, Dex!

  11. Dean Mama

    Oh my goodness. I never should have read this at work—I am an emotional mess now! How touching this was to read. And happy birthday Declan!

  12. monstergirlee

    Such a beautiful letter Aimee. Declan is so awesome, you and Bryan are such an awesome job with him. Lucky Momma.
    And it made me cry, both for my little boy, and my big boy. Its so hard seeing them grow up. I just want him to keep being the sweetest boy in the whole world.
    Someday I bet it’d be cool if our boys met.

  13. monstergirlee

    Happy Birthday Declan! I hope its the happiest day yet!

  14. carrie


    Happy Birthday Big D!

  15. creative-type dad

    Happy Birthday big guy!

  16. Anonymous

    amazing post. amazing kid.

  17. Sizzle

    You are raising an amazing kid.

    The last line of this really struck me.

    Happy Birthday to Declan!

  18. Anonymous

    Awww, what an amazing letter. Beautiful!
    Happy Birthday!
    Diane C.

  19. drop dead chris

    wow! that letter was awesome! I wish my mother would have written me letters like that when I was Declan’s age!

    Happy birthday dude!

  20. wheremytruthlives

    Happy Turning-Six Day Declan!

  21. Karen

    That’s beautiful – these are the bits I love so much about your blog – have a great day Declan.

  22. Becky

    OH my! I have tears.
    That was beautiful.

    Happy birthday to Declan and Mommy!

  23. motherbumper

    Simply beautiful. Happy Birthday Declan.

  24. nutmeg

    I’ve been waiting for this post…

    And you rocked your ending!

  25. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Thanks to everyone for your nice comments and happy birthday wishes. We had a great weekend and the birthday boy was thoroughly over stimulated. 🙂

  26. Catherine

    Happy, happy belated birthday, Declan.

    And what a beautiful tribute to five, Aimee. You’re right. It’s BIG.

  27. BethanyWD

    Happy B-day, Declan!!

    (And now I am going to ask a stupid question about school. Your school district must have a later cut off date from ours – most around here in WA State are August 31st. Is Denver the end of September? When I was starting school, I remember the cut off used to be November 4th!)

  28. Rebecca F.

    I loved the shot of him in the wagon with the huge pumpkin!

    Happy birthday Declan! (And Mommy)

    Rebecca F.

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