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Dear Charleston,

Happy Half Birthday, Bud! Can you believe that you are half way to turning six? You don’t seem too fazed by this milestone, but it feels significant to me, and though I’m a little sad about how quickly you’re growing up, I have LOVED this age with you!

We’ve barely left the house in months, but for the most part you are enjoying and even thriving in our quarantine life. You continue to be an amazing big brother and play with/help with Kali and Sully at every chance you get. Watching you interact with them has been the most incredible experience of my life, and I admire your patience, thoughtfulness, and sweetness as you play with, read to, and console then.

You enjoy spending as much time as possible with me and with Daddy, but are also really good at entertaining yourself independently. You’ve gotten very creative with your various crafts and projects, and though you do occasionally tell me that you’re bored, once you settle in with a toy or activity, you can occupy yourself for hours (singing LOUDLY to yourself the whole time).

You like to take your time with things like schoolwork and eating, so much of your days are spent doing those things. While this slowpoke tendency is frustrating for Daddy and me, it’s been nice that we don’t have anywhere to rush off to these days and you are able to take your time.

Though you don’t officially begin Kindergarten until next month, we’ve really been hitting it hard with our homeschooling efforts lately and you have done fantastic! You aren’t reading yet, but you are able to identify all of your letters and you love to write things that we help you spell out (you write notes to family, make lists of things to do, or write in your journal). You excel in math and are doing first-grade math work with very little guidance; I’m amazed how quickly you pick up new math concepts, you definitely get your number sense from your dad!

Your absolute favorite activities and topics for discussion are Mario Brothers (the Nintendo game) and Plants vs Zombies (the ipad game). We limit your video game time to two hours of Nintendo on the weekends, and you have to earn ipad time (you get to play twenty minutes of ipad for each row you complete on your challenge boards, which equates to about twenty minutes every couple of days), but when you aren’t playing these games you are talking about them, drawing pictures of them, writing stories of them, and acting out the games yourself. These current obsessions are absolutely reflected in your answers to the questions below. And speaking of those questions. . .

You’re old enough now to tell much of your own story, so I’ll dedicate the rest of this update to the answers from your half-birthday interview. You loved answering my questions and took our interview quite seriously. I just love how your answers reflect who you are at this moment.

What/who is your favorite. . .

color? Rainbow and orange. Rainbow ’cause they’re all together, all the colors.

tv show? Probably Big City Green. . . yeah I would guess Big City Green, yeah.

movie? You already got that one, Duck Tales. (He’d told me that earlier in the day.)

song? Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?

game? Zombies Two (Referring to a version of the ipad game Plants vs Zombies)

person in the world? Jesus, ’cause he always saves you if you’re in danger.

animal? Cats, ’cause I like to pet them.

book? Probably the Boxcar Children. I like it because I just really like it.

story in the Bible? Probably David and Goliath?

What is your favorite. . .

thing to eat for breakfast? Oatmeal.

thing to eat for lunch? Yogurt.

thing to eat for dinner? Something that doesn’t take too long to eat, but I’m not sure what the real food could be. So that’s all I’ve got for now on that one. (“Long to eat” refers to one-dish meals like casseroles and stews.)

snack? Probably goldfish and maybe fruit snacks too. And probably messy cheese. (Shredded cheese.)

drink? Different kinds of, like, juices.

food? Ice cream.

memory? I remember when, the day before yesterday, me and Daddy were playing Spider Man. So we can say the ones when I’m playing with Daddy, those are my favorite memories. 

part of school? doing mazes.

time of day? Eating candy. I’m gonna say . . . Skittles.

thing to do with mom? Go on a date. I would probably plan, like, swing on the swings for a little bit and maybe watch the Magic Cookbook show on the tv and that kind of stuff.

thing to do with dad? Play anything. Except for things you’re not allowed to play, so you can add that, at least naughty things to play.

What makes you feel . . .

scared? You know one time, at Friday night, I was having a dream and then I felt like something attacked me on my back. I looked behind me, nothing was there, looked behind me again, nothing was there. Checked twice, looked behind twice. Maybe Satan could trick like that? That was my only guess that I could really think. I told Daddy and went to sleep with him. 

happy? Going to Urban Air.

excited? Even going to Urban Air with my friends.

angry? Maybe if I get a chance to play Plants vs Zombies and we have to cancel it.

sad? Maybe if bad guys wanna fight.

What do you want to be when you grow up? An outer space astronaut ‘cause I want to see what space is like.

How many kids are you going to have when you grow up? I hope I have two. A boy and a girl. I would probably say their names would be Kalinda and I don’t know what the other one’s gonna be, just Kalinda. 

What is the best part about being a kid? Hmm, you don’t have a job, except for I do, but it’s a fun job. My job is (whispered) fighting bad guys. (And then a tangent:) You know, every adult in the world is at least allowed to come through the rope (referring to a “kid’s area” he’d made in his room) at least once and I’ve got something about that in there, but they’re only allowed to come in it once. Daddy took his one turn to go inside.

What is the worst part about being a kid? Uh, maybe, I think it would be that, um, you sometimes get distracted on school so you have to do it more. Next question?

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Definitely to Oma and Opa’s so I can visit them for at least five days.

What do you like about being a big brother? You get to play with the babies!

What is the hardest part of being a big brother? I don’t like if the babies cry because it might be loud.

Who is your hero? My powers.

If you could have any super power, what would it be? A long hand. It can stretch as loooong as you want it to. That’s what it’s called, long hand, ’cause it can stretch far instead of just your regular size. (Demonstrates with hand.) It can stretch all the way around the world and out of the universe, and after your whole arm covers the world it can go out of the universe and then out of the galaxy. 

If you could be an animal, what would it be? A cat.

What would you buy if you won a million dollars? Probably a playground that’s got sixty five hundred things to do. 

What is a goal you have for yourself? I would definitely want to play Zombies for the rest of my life except for when I play it too much it makes me sick.

What is something you are really good at? I’m good at beating Zombies.

What is something you wish you were better at? I wish I was better on super hard jobs, like one day, like, there’s this kind of version . . . there’s different ways you can play, this way you have to protect the endangered plants, so it’s a shortcut for the zombies to win. It’s a little hard.

What do you dream about? Well last night I dreamed about going to the pool, like, a super fun water place with, like, a waterslide and stuff!

What is something you really don’t like? Definitely, like, if everything I like in the world gets canceled because of the sickness. I really don’t like it’s around, if it wasn’t around we could go to Urban Air more, so that’s what I can give you as my answer.

What is something you would like to learn how to do? How to bounce a basketball and then throw it up, I’m not really good at that.

What is something that is really gross? Something that’s made out of trash, like a necklace?

What is something that is really funny? Does it have to make me laugh? Well, it is funny that I put a paper in my pants after I was at Grandma and Grandpa’s so I could show it to you when I got home. It kind of is silly ’cause I could just get it out real quick.

Who is your best friend? Well I only have two best friends, but my best BEST friend is gonna be Hudson, so that’s my best friend, but my best best BEST friend is God.

What is something you wish people knew about you? I wish everyone knew that I wanna have real super powers so they can help me get real super powers.

Are there any questions you would like to ask me? What’s your favorite Disney Plus show? What’s your favorite Netflix movie? You gotta answer it ’cause I really want to know. (Then, when I said our interview was over:) Whoa whoa whoa, two more I’ve got for you. What’s your favorite Disney Plus movie? And what’s your favorite Netflix show? (And when I answered with Parks and Recreation:) I don’t know what show that is, but I’ll take it.

Charleston, I tell you all the time how much I love and appreciate you, but I don’t know if I could ever fully convey how much I admire you and am proud of the young man that you are. I positively hit the mom jackpot when God gave you to me as my son. You are smart, funny, compassionate, thoughtful, and an absolute joy to be around. Here’s to a fantastic second half of your sixth year!

Love Always and Forever,


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