On Thursdays I post something from the archives. This is from November 2010 and it makes me more than a little weepy, because my youngest child is now this age. It’s still my favorite, and I’m going to be really sad when, in two weeks, Karis turns 6 and this fun age is never more to be in this family. At least not until the grandkids.

“I have a plan.  The plan is to one day throw paper airplanes at the ice cream truck.  It’s not going to be easy.  But I’m never going to give up on this idea.”
-Jafta Howerton

I’ve always had an affinity for five-year-olds.  When I was a teenager, I taught Sunday School at my church, and the five-year-olds were my class.  I just adored this stage – when they are developing their own little personalities but still have such an innocent curiosity about the world. 
Jafta’s fifth year feels like a whole new phase in parenting. Finally, there is a kid in this house that can be reasoned with.  Who is able to talk about his feelings without a tantrum.  Who gets my sarcasm.  Who doesn’t need me to dress him or wipe his bottom.  (On most occasions).   Who loves Tuesdays when we strategize what he can take for show-and-tell that won’t be “too obvious”.   Who frequently starts sentences with “The fact is . . .” or “Dude, I’m not even kidding.”
The other day I let him watch Little Shop of Horrors for the first time.  A little inappropriate, yes, but I make major concessions for musicals.  He liked it, but he told me it was basically Dreamgirls, only with a plant that eats people.  Which, in my book, is just a perfectly awesome observation.  He likes showtunes, but he also loved Greenday, The Beatles, and The White Stripes.  He is the master of air guitar.
It has been a delight seeing him blossom this year as he entered kindergarten.  He loves school.  He is learning to read.  The sight of him sounding out words in a book makes me a little misty.  Yesterday he brought home a book from school and read it to Karis.  I DIE.
The other night we were eating dinner and I was frazzled from a long day.  He could tell.  As we sat down, he took charge and suggested that we light a candle and put on some music.  He also suggested we do some affirmations, and he went around the table giving a thoughtful compliment to each of us.  It was such a surreal moment.  I do so much caretaking all day.  Seeing him step up and lead us into a more connected dinnertime was an awesome glimpse of the young man he is becoming.
He lost his first tooth.  And then his second.  If I could just freeze him at this age, I would.
So, to exhausted moms of busy, hyerpactive three-year-old boys everywhere . . . I am here to tell you.  It gets better.  Five is a magical age.