Dear Tolliver,

You sat with me for nearly thirty minutes on Thursday, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. At one point I asked if maaaaaybe you’d like to grow up to be on Broadway, so I could come watch you perform. You explained you’d rather build a colony on Mars.

The gift you wanted more than anything this year was a small "tank in a tin" we saw at the Denver Art Museum.  We let you open it early, so you could play with it during the holiday break. As we decorated yesterday, you wondered whether army men got to celebrate Christmas, or if they had to army the whole time? You made a small tree out of Legos and asked me to tie it to the top of the tank.

I walked with you to preschool today, and held your hand in mine.  You keep your years on that same hand, and today you got to add the thumb.  Five.
You are beginning to read, and solving more than simple addition problems.
You require adult-sized, adult-priced meals.
You still wake at too early thirty, but you are on top of the bedtime toothbrush-mouthwash-pee-pajamas routine.
You are so good with your little brother.  Like you could be captain of the doting big brother team.
You are essentially a nose with two legs, coming into the kitchen at the faintest whiff of sautéed garlic or toasted bagel or taco meat.  When Daddy mopped the basement with vinegar last week, you were sure it smelled like mustard.  On Saturday you wore some Christmas undies; you remembered wearing them last Christmas too, and swore they smelled like pine.
You frequently cast serious doubt on my credibility, and often want to A) ask Siri or B) check with Daddy after work.
You lave a LOT of right answers, and launch most opinions like lit grenades.
You might like to be an Army guy when you grow up.
You can be anything you want to be.  We are most proud of you when you are kind.

You asked to celebrate your birthday at the grocery store, where you could get pizza and cake and balloons. You took plastic Pokemon characters to decorate with and lots of cousins and aunts and grandparents came and you got Legos and Star Wars and Hot Wheels stuff, plus your very own bag of cheese balls!  It was perfect.  You are perfect.
When you were born, I found myself feeling like I’d been missing you so badly even though I was just meeting you for the first time.  It's hard to believe we've spent five years together now.
I worry I haven't always paid close enough attention. I barely make time to blow dry my hair, much less notice the way the days stack up.
What I do take note of, fairly regularly, is your extraordinariness.  You are amazing.
We appreciate every ounce of your spirit, Tollie.  And we love you more than words.


top photo from late summer, the rest from the past several days of celebrations


rht said...

There's nobody I'd rather lose a game of Candyland to.... xoxox

Kristy G said...

Happy birthday Tollie!

Send that kiddo to me in 12 years if he still wants to be an Army guy. ;)