That's how old my handsome, intelligent, kind and comedic son turns today.
It's also the number weeks early he was when the little man decided he just had to arrive before Christmas back in 2013.
In five years he has taught me so much more about myself and life than the twenty-seven years without him did.
My son is the kindest, most gentle-hearted, sensitive (in a good way), feeler-of-feelings, young man that I know.
He has an incredibly infectious smile that is almost as endearing as his oversized, adorable cheeks.
His laughter, typically from his gut, is without a doubt contagious and it's a practical guarantee that his spontaneous, but absolutely well-timed comedic one-liners will have both you and he rolling.
He has kept me on my pedicure-needing toes ever since he arrived within two hours of my water breaking in the early morning on 12/15.
A lover of outdoor play, animals, science and music, my now five-year-old has increased the size of my heart, and it's capacity for love, ten-fold.
I mentioned that he has taught me a lot since being placed in my arms in that hospital bed, and here are just five of those lessons.
This life is about and for you, but it's a lot more fun if you spend it caring for and with those you love.
From his unexpected arrival that December day -- and his decision to come whether we were ready for him not -- my son reminded me that everyone does things on their own time, and typically, when, how and why they want. All of us should be living for ourselves, unapologetically, but what all of us will come to learn is that such must be balanced out with ensuring those we love are cared for and receiving deserved attention as well. My son is a rockstar at being one who is confident in knowing what he likes and doesn't like and what he wants to do and doesn't, but he is also capable and willing to be a team player when it comes to bringing happiness to those in his family who he loves.
Laugh loud and laugh often.
No big long explanation needed here. My son laughs without prudeness, and the more he does it, the more I am encouraged to do the same.
Make people laugh; early and often.
I've said it before that "humor is both arming and disarming," and my son, well, he is innately comedic -- something I am not. Thankfully, though, he's got a Dad with a knack for farce (or buffoonery depending upon who you ask). Being able to banter back and forth with other people is an integral part of social interactions with those you love, friends, neighbors and in the workplace. It is essential to know how and when to sound intelligent, how and when to bicker respectfully and how and when to use sarcasm and humor. My son does this very well.
I'm a sensitive-soul or depending upon who you ask, like my husband, I am over-sensitive and my son, fortunately, or unfortunately, inherited that trait from me. I believe that our tendency towards sensitivity actually makes us more empathetic, intuitive, creative, grateful, aware and passionate, and nothing worth apologizing for.
Use your imagination.
Our imagination is what allows us to dream big. Our imagination, along with some faith helps to breed our confidence, which in turn aids with productivity which of course, helps us reach those grandiose dreams. My son's imagination has no ceiling, and therefore neither does his expectations for himself or this world -- when there is no ceiling to reach and shatter, there is no limit to what you can do.
So now you see that I wasn't lying when I said that my son has taught me so much. I'm a very lucky lady to have shared a body with, share a home with and forever share a heart with my little big man.
Happy Birthday, Buddy! I have absolutely no doubt that you will continue teaching me and so many others just how to live our best life!
I love you.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.