Now You are Six.

Dear Lyle,

Once upon a time, you were a little baby. An extremely cute one, at that. See over there to the left? There’s some proof.

But sweetheart, that was a long time ago. Because today you are six. Six is an age that sounds old. That’s because it is.

Yes, you’re starting first grade soon and maybe someday when you’re all grown up and reading this you’ll laugh about your silly mama thinking first grade was old and mature. In order to think so, you’d have to have been there right from the start.

But let me tell you a little about who you are at age six. Because, you see, you’re already shaping up to be a very interesting person. Β When I was about to turn six, I wandered around my street in Hartford and told all the neighbors. On my birthday, a mortifying number of them showed up with gifts for me, according to my mother. I was interesting, too. Thanks for not being interesting in that exact same way, kiddo, I do appreciate it.

You are funny.

Oh, boy, are you funny. Your impressions are spot on and you have comedic timing that frightens me. When your humor turns mouthy it simultaneously scares me for your future and reminds me of myself and your Uncle Josh when we were kids. I had this coming. Last winter your violin teacher watched you performing for yourself in the mirror in your own special way and commented that you’re “the next Jim Carrey”. I’m not sure I’d have paid attention had not Daddy and I said the same exact thing the week before. More than one person has suggested you should have your own reality TV show. You’d bring in high ratings.

You are, apparently, an “angel”.

At school you only show your quiet side. We’re told you are a “rule follower” and you never get in trouble. Yeah, except I was that way too when I was in grade school and I know this won’t last forever. My behavior at school never reflected my “home” self in these years, either. Please keep it that way as long as you can, and I do thank you for not doing the PeeWee Herman dance on your desk in school like your Auntie Sarahjane did.

You’re thoughtful.

Last weekend you “helped” me at the grocery store by following me around and discussing what to give Baxter on your birthday* for at least forty-five minutes. We debated whether he likes books better than toys. (For the record we decided he might get more excited about opening toys, but he doesn’t really play with them.) I ordered him a book and forgot to tell you about it, so tonight you greeted me after work – the night before your birthday – by immediately whispering in my ear, “When are we gonna get Baxter’s present??” and you were greatly relieved that I’d taken care of it. This morning you stopped short as you were running past me and asked, “How are you today, Mommy?”

You love your family beyond the moon.

You’re smart as a whip.

Dude, you are always thinking. Always. Sometimes you come into the room where I’m working and just pace: “I need to figure something out,” you tell me, so I keep my trap shut.

You keep track of everything and everybody. When we’re on a walk and I ask which direction we’re walking, you know we’re headed north. You also know we need to walk east to get home. I couldn’t do that until I was 35. Baxter stares at you and wants to know how you figure it out. I do, too. You also have an amazing sense of time. You are constantly talking about what date it is, how many days until some event or other, and exactly what time you got up (“6:38”) and when you ate lunch (“12:42”). It’s impressive to me.

Last week in the car I mentioned to Daddy that we had a pool schedule on our fridge back at home and I didn’t know if it was the schedule for the city pool or my gym’s pool. “It’s for the gym,” you piped up from the backseat, then told us exactly what the gym’s acronym stands for and when the pool was available for family swim. And you were right.

“It must be nice for you to have someone else in the house who’s paying attention to details,” Daddy suggested thoughtfully. I agreed with him.

Although you learned to read last summer, you were very shy about it. It was a while before they realized at school you were reading years above your grade level. You told me you were trying to hide it. But, finally, this summer you are owning it. One night you asked for a turn reading a chapter book aloud and you’ve done it every night ever since. Your favorite series right now is Junie B. Jones; we fall down laughing over those books every night.

You hate attention.

For a kid who’s funny and so “out there” at home, you sure hate attention. Β And as much as you love your birthday – I wasn’t sure you’d make it until today to turn 6 – you get very anxious about the attention on you. Two nights ago at dinner I smiled at you and you yelled at me (I believe you called me “Missy” and showed me your claws), and you told me not to pay attention to you. When I asked if this was because of your birthday coming, you burst into tears and sobbed on my lap. For the third year running, we will not sing “Happy Birthday” to you because you can’t stand it; it’s overwhelming, all that attention. And I promised you that at your party on Saturday everyone will be busy in the pool and on the playground and they won’t sit there staring at you. You were relieved. You’re learning to tell us how you feel and you’re figuring out what you need. I’m pretty sure that’s more than half the battle in life.

Six-year-old Lyle, I love your wacky sense of humor, your crooked smile, loose teeth, and twinkly eyes. I love you when you’re lighting up the room with happiness and when you’re growling at me in anger. I love you when you’re learning to climb to new heights on climbing walls and when you’re swimming in the pool. I love listening to your little voice reading with such expression. I love your confidence just as much as I love watching you overcome your fears.

I love that you’re turning six because I believe that at six you’ll be more YOU than ever before. And that is something I welcome.


*Thanks to our friends Cara and Michael, we follow the “corner birthday” tradition, in which the sibling receives a small gift as well each year.

126 responses to “Now You are Six.

  1. Happy birthday, Lyle!

  2. He is so cute! I love that he knows his directions; I need a few minutes to mentally think about it, using my arms as a prop. Happy birthday to your sweet little boy:)

  3. What a sweet, thoughtful and funny letter to your little man. I’m glad you posted it, and I’m glad WordPress freshly pressed it. It really made my day.

  4. What a beautiful post! Our little guy is nine months old and I can’t imagine what he will be like at age six. Your letter to him is absolutely heartwarming.

  5. I wish I had done something like this for my girls. It would have been neat to actually read how they changed in some ways & stayed the same in others.

  6. What nice way to capture the present.. Sure thing, more than him, it’s going to be you who would enjoy reading it 15 years down the line..
    I wish him many Happy Returns of the Day..

  7. This is so heartfelt. It’s cool that you and your child seem to have such a good relationship. I remember the age of 6. Where does time go?

  8. stargirlsays

    Happy birthday to Lyle! He looks so adorable! Best regards πŸ™‚

  9. What a sweet set of observations…thanks for sharing…

  10. I am 61. But everyone insists I am 6. I can’t figure this out. Well that’s all for now. I have to get my crayons to finish the giraffe I drew and then pay the electric bill and send my son $50.

  11. You are an inspiration as a parent! Love to you and your family!

  12. Just one word for your Post: Awwwww! πŸ™‚

  13. Wonderful.

  14. What a joy revisiting times past!

    And to think that just this Monday, the youngest of our daughter’s four grandkids… Karina… started Kindergarten enthsiastically at age four. She didn’t even want help boarding the school bus and waved her mommy away.

    Is that a tear I feel down the corner of my right eye?

    Thank you for such a lovely, loving, tenderhearted post!

    You captured it all so very, very perfectly!

  15. Happy Birthday to Him!

  16. happy birthday! you are growing up to be such a mature, sweet man!

  17. Happy birthday, Lyle! (And N hates the birthday song, too. So we totally get it, and won’t even sing via blog comment. Promise.)

  18. This is completely heartwarming! My mom wrote something like this when I left for college. I really loved it!!

  19. What a wonderful record of your child’s sixth birthday. Thanks for the inspiration. I have a 19 month old and hope to one day record the same about my own son. πŸ™‚ Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  20. Your post brought tears to my eyes. What a lovely little boy. He sounds like a delight to all he meets! And I LOVE that you are honoring who he is and not making him uncomfortable w/ birthday attention. I was the SAME WAY as a child and wish someone had recognized that!


  21. Hello!!! I am a new blogger and i just wanted to let yo know that i really like your blog. A very happy birthday to your son and i hope you continue to write!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Lovely. This post makes me wish my parents had been writers.


  23. Lovely post. This is such a precious legacy for your son.

  24. To the sweetest six year old ever… Happy Birthday. You are most definitely a cool little guy! (Your parents are pretty cool too. Trust me.)

  25. This was just so precious and I’m sure Lyle is TOO!I wish him the best & Happy Birthday! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. This is probably the nicest present Lyle will receive, keep it forever!

  26. Thanks for posting this sweet blog. It really touched my heart. Happy birthday to your son. My son turns eight next month (also a big Junie B. Jones fan) and we went to his second grade open house last night. It was hard for me not to tear up in the classroom when I saw him sitting there at his new desk. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to hold back the tears with each milestone as the years go by. I just love that boy to pieces.

  27. Oh Lyle, this makes me miss you so much! I hope you and all of your friends have a great party at the pool. Please give Baxter a big brother hug for me too, you both were the best brothers I ever had the pleasure of playing hide and seek with!

    Happy Birthday



  28. I am not yet married or a parent, and many of the mommy blogs I read make me laugh and roll my eyes and say “I know that’s coming someday, but I still look forward to it”. This post made me think, with a tear in my eye, that is why I look forward to it despite the rest. Thank you! Keep celebrating your children!

  29. I read the whole thing, and I was REALLY touched and moved, and I really want to do the same thing as you did to my kid(s). I really hope he does read this in some years. He seems like the greatest kid you could ever ask for, and I wish my kid(s) will be like yours is.


  30. Look at you all freshly pressed! πŸ™‚ And happy birthday to sweet and silly Lyle from all of us. We miss you terribly and wish we were there to celebrate with you all. With love!

  31. Still expecting my first baby, that brought me to tears.

  32. Oh, give that handsome card a hug from me & his cyber-pal, Nik! Wishing you BOTH a very happy day of celebrating the wonders of Lyle and all that he brings to your lives. xo

  33. My son is six as well today, congratulations!

  34. shatterboxvox

    Pitch perfect. My 5-year-old started Kindergarten Monday, and now you’ve got me all teary-eyed again.

    Hope you don’t mind if I do a simple name search/replace and paste this into his memory book πŸ™‚

  35. What a tribute! Great shots, too!

  36. special, very special

  37. This is adorable! As the mother of a freshly minted six-year-old, I can totally identify with the amazement and joy that accompanies watching a little person grow. Thank you for sharing!

    http://jessicavitalis (Stop Pinching Your Sister!)

  38. Happy Birthday, Lyle.
    My daughter, Emily, turned 6 this year as well. I simply can’t believe that she’s already six.
    And, as far as ‘having this coming’… My father laughs at me whenever I tell him the latest trouble Emily has caused… He tells me, “Good. It’s your turn.”

  39. julieperrault

    Now that I am smeared with tears, I am going to go outside and play with my almost-six-but-for fifteen-days-still-five-year-old.
    Happy Birthday Lyle!

  40. Happy birthday to baby Lyle-ey. I have no idea how TH would have spelled that…and TH probably doesn’t, either. And congrats to you, Jordan, on your freshly pressed self. Your writing deserves a wider audience. You new people oughta stick around!

  41. It all happens so quickly. My son is 18 now, and I remember his toddler days as if they were yesterday. I swear he was 6 just a few months ago! Your blog will be a great source of memories down the road. Thanks for sharing.


  42. Happy birthday Lyle…always remember, mommy loves you.

  43. Happy birthday little guy!

  44. Awww this is so sweet! I hope he has a RAD 6th birthday!

  45. so sweet. I have a vivid memory of promising my mom that I’d stay 4. Now at 31, I find myself tryin to cut deals with my 6 month old.

  46. Fantastic post – he sounds like a marvellous little man!


    Brought me to tears :’)


  48. Pssshhht, no WONDER you made the front page of WordPress’ Freshly Pressed…

    *Envious Grin*

  49. Congratulations Lyle! What a sweet post!

  50. Happy Birthday!
    He is such a handsome boy!
    Great post

  51. What a sweet message from you to your son!

    The most beautiful thing in this world is truly felt from the heart! Lyle is an adorable child and would grow up wise and smart.

    Wishing Lyle all the best that life can bring. May he always be blessed with good health, wisdom, joy, happiness and success!

    Have fun!

    Love from sunny Singapore

  52. You wrote this beautifully, and someday your son might read your words, but until then, he’ll grow up with your showing him that you mean all those words you write. And the time will go by so fast…my son turned 21 last week.

  53. Sheila Holtberg AKA Kaiser

    Okay…coulda warned me like do did about Toy Story 3…I did not have KLEENEX handy!!! (At least I was in the privacy of my home though!) Lyle and Braxter you have a wonder-wheel mommy…that is better than wonderful!!! Six is great Lyle!!! Happy Birthday!!!! And Braxter & Lyle keep on reading and someday you’ll be able to write even better than you MOM!!!

  54. I really enjoyed this post. Every stage in a child’s life is so special! Thanks. Cheryl:)

  55. how cute. :] the love of one’s child is never comparable.

  56. The cool thing is she’ll have this always and things that might be forgotten by you at a later date can be relived through this.

  57. What a lovely gift from a mother to her child!

    Happy Birthday Lyle.

  58. paulasparadise

    One of the best posts I’ve ever read β€” Happy Birthday to your wonderful Lyle!

  59. What a thoughtful Mom! I could just imagine Lyle’s reaction once he read this many years from now….:)

    Happy Birthday, Lyle!

    Jess B. Hinkle

  60. This little man is sure gonna love you more when he grows up and reads this post. Your post was so thoughtful and emotional that it brought tears to my eyes.

    Happy 6th Birthday, Lyle!

  61. I like your post. It is very touching and shows a different perception from a mother’s view. Thanks.
    Kind Regards,

  62. mysecretlife2

    Nice one. Lyle reminded me of my son, he also hates attention. He’s turning 7 this September, and he pleaded not to celebrate it like he’s a prince, with the dancing and formal thingy… at last he was relieved when i told him it will be all about toys, toys and toys, games, games, games.

    God, I’m so relieved that he’s not the only one…

  63. We do this, too — and it is something that my son really looks forward to! I’m glad this was “Freshly Pressed!” Congratulations!

    Come visit me sometime at

  64. wow!! that is so cute!! and happy birthdaay!

  65. For one of my three daughters, I have been keeping a journal entitled “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle and we both love it. Found the blank journal at Goodwill for 3 bucks, normally $20(?).

  66. Thanks for sharing this open letter to your son; what an amazingly meaningful gift to him. I just started a blog with my four kids and our crazy life as the focus. Your example of writing to your children in addition to writing about them is one that I plan on using. l I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  67. this is so sweet I cried. I’m at work crying about a boy I don’t know being wonderful and perfect and turning six. gee, thanks a lot! πŸ™‚

    Happy birthday, Lyle (don’t worry, I won’t sing) and a very happy “Labor Day” to YOU, Momma.


  68. Happy birthday! A very sweet post from a very loving mother. I like the pictures, too.

    I have two kids myself and yes they do grow up so fast. Slightly off topic but if you haven’t thought about it yet, please consider opening a college fund for Lyle. It’s one of the best things you can do for your son because in a “blink of an eye” he will be all grown up.

  69. such a lucky son!

  70. I was reading this while my five day old daughter sleeps in her bassinet. Hormones or not, this post has touced me deeply. Lyle is as lucky to have you in his life as you are to get to experience him. Thank you for letting me stumble in on this moment.

  71. That was such a great post! I have been trying to convince a co-worker of mine to write letters to her son while he’s still young…ill be honest, it made me tear up a little!!

  72. Nice post. And if you’re anything like my mum you’ll be reading this out to every girlfriend he brings home from 16 onwards! πŸ˜‰

  73. Ohhh … how touching! I have a 6yr old myself so this one really hit home. What a wonderful post; such a treasure.

  74. I love letter-to-the-birthday-kid posts. It always warms my heart. I hope you will still have a copy of this post to show him when he is older. I can’t see how it wouldn’t bring a tear to his eye πŸ™‚

  75. keymomentsmom

    Scary how quick it goes. Can’t believe my oldest will turn three soon. Imagine how OUR parents must feel! πŸ™‚ thank you for sharing this sentiment with all of us!

  76. Happy birthday Lyle!
    I’ve read this blog post together with my 7 years old son and he thought it was interesting (his word) because Lyle sounds like a smart kid with his good sense of direction and sense of humor. I though it was lovely and reminded me all the things I love in my kids.
    Johnathan and Keren

  77. This blog post warmed my heart! Happy birthday Lyle! Even though you don’t like the attention, you should get used to it, because it sounds like it’s coming your way!

  78. So sweet. What a loving letter – Lyle will treasure this message one day πŸ™‚

  79. And I am here crying, because in so many ways I see my son when I read your letter to yours. Mine is turning 7 in October. Happy birthday to Lyle. He is so lucky to have a Mommy like you!

  80. What a beautiful letter to your son. Happy birthday Lyle, you are a very lucky little boy.

  81. This is so lovely, I really hope he reads this when he is older! And he is absolutely gorgeous πŸ™‚

  82. I was caught by the title, A.A.Milne’s poem “Now I am Six” has been my FAVORITE poem for at least 32 years (yes I’m still 6 though):)!

    I hope Lyle, loves being 6 and EVERYDAY after:).

    I happen to have a son who ALSO is “so ‘out there’ at home”, but hates attention or should I say did, he’s now 11, just started middle school and through coaching is starting to really open out away from home too. Not that we’ve pushed, just mentioned, and God and he are doing the rest.

    Blessing to you and Lyle for many years to come:)

  83. I have never read your or your blog before but this little post made me a get a little teary-eyed. Beautifully written. Happy, happy birthday to your little man.

  84. Made me cry, love it! ❀

  85. I am new to this Blog and stumble upon this cute boy. Nice Blog and I remember my daughter when she was like time years before. Belated Happy Birthday wishes to your son.

  86. Happy Birthday, Lyle.

    Congratulations to your Mom and Dad to have such a special boy.
    This article is so moving and I found myself in tears and laughter.


  87. I just started my blog about my unborn child last night, and I’m inspired to read this post. Nothing is too small when you grow up and Lyle, how I want to play with you someday, because ‘corner birthday’ has always been my tradition when I was little. And even up ’til now, I’m still unconfortable with too much attention. Congratulations to Mommy for giving him space he needs. Keep up the good work, Mom and Dad! πŸ™‚

  88. Happy Birthday Lyle! Happy “corner birthday” to Baxter, too.


  89. He so reminds me of my son at that age. Now he has reached the grand old age of seven and he has turned into a worrier. He wakes me up in the night with questions like, “When will the sun die?” “When will you die?” “Why do you have to die?” Gosh, what comes next? It’s never boring.

  90. nikkibrandyberry

    I loved it! I’ve got a almost 8 yr old boy and a 5 yr old girl…I understand exactly what your saying! Happy Birthday to you little man!

  91. Mom you are awesome.

    What a lucky little Lyle!

  92. AnNisa Salman

    its so funny, like d post

  93. The Roaring Decade

    Wow. I am not yet a mom…maybe in a few years…but this blog post was amazing to read. I think it’s incredible that you are capturing and documenting the incredible moments and milestones of your son’s life. I really commend you for this – it has inspired me to do the same when the time comes. Thanks!

  94. My ‘baby’ also just turned 6 and is going to grade 1 soon. I LOVED your entry. Such a tribute to your little man. One day he’ll look back and be amazed at how much you understood him and all his nuances.

  95. Happy Birthday to Lyle πŸ™‚ First time reading your blog, but I think I’ll be back πŸ™‚

  96. What a beautiful post! Happy birthday to Lyle (and parents, you are celebrating for you too)

  97. Beautiful. There is no other way to describe this post.

    Beautiful, straight from the heart memories.

    Beautiful little boy, count your blessings.

    Beautiful behaviour. Its ok to monkey around, so long as he knows when and where, which he seems to. My mom once (before i was born) got called into my brother’s school by his teacher. she said she was freaking out all weekend because she thought her son was a trouble maker and bullying other kids. This was in first grade too. she said when she got there the teacher just said “Your son doesn’t talk.” And she was woried that he didn’t speak properly. Even now my brother is very taciturn, going of to university a shy little boy inside, hiding behind his music, he never liked the attention either. It was ok when he was playing music, though still scared, at least he knew no one was paying attention to him dirrectly, just the music he was making. You said your son plays violin? Thats awesome! SO do I! I started when I was about six too.

    And you seem to be a beautiful mother, doing all the right things, nuturing him well, bringing him up right.

    just absolutely beautiful. Enjoy the time you have together, because as my mom would easily tell you, having packed up one son for university this year and another getting ready for the year to come, time flies and in the blink of an eye, he’ll be all grown up, silently shrugging his way through the grown up world, your little baby.


    and congrats on being published on freshly pressed.

  98. I loved reading this. I have 6 children and all that you have said is oh so true. the joy of motherhood

  99. Girlwithapinkpen

    wow. I can feel the love oozing out of each word. its so beautiful. I can’t say I relate coz I don’t have a child, heck I’m only 18, but I do love kids, and you, seem to have a beautiful boy πŸ™‚

  100. THE Γ£dventurist

    You make parenthood seem like a joyride, very lovely post πŸ™‚ Happy Birthday Little Mr. Big Guy !

  101. A very cute and amazingly smart kid. Great job seeing all his traits and recognizing all of them!

  102. hope he will be remember this…

  103. Pingback: Now You are Six. (via The Wonderwheel) « Philosophy Hub

  104. That is a beautiful letter. Lyle sounds like an amazing little boy (not so little now eh! Happy birthday Lyle!) Thank you for sharing this and thanks to WordPress for putting it up there for us all to see!

  105. He’s so cute!

    Such a beautiful entry. It is great to read that the world is filled such unconditional love and care. Happy birthday Lyle.

  106. Love this! three cheers to motherhood πŸ™‚

  107. Wow…. Firstly, my wishes to the little champ.. (tell him, I’m looking away and not singing and not at all paying any attention to him)

    secondly, I really respect you; you look like an awesome mom..!! I’m gonna keep this in mind for when I become a mom myself….

    Cheers to motherhood!!

  108. awwww πŸ™‚

  109. Happy Birthday to Lyle! Congrats on being Pressed. Perhaps, someday……

    I wish blogging was around years ago. We have a soon-to-be 15 yr old daughter (and the joy of my life) and twin 12 yr old boys (they’re coming along). I had good intentions of journaling their childhood, in individual books. I haven’t written in years. I am afraid I have forgotten many precioius memories, as normal life, with day-to-day activities, becomes consuming.

  110. Happy Birthday to Lyle!
    This is an amazing post, thank you for sharing. And congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  111. This is so sweet! πŸ™‚

    Time really flies fast, huh? I have an 18-month-old daughter and, already, I miss the baby that she once was. She is such a feisty, adorable little girl already! I keep a journal for her, filled with letters and stories about … guess who … HER. πŸ™‚ I’ve been writing in it since I found out I was pregnant with her and I’m planning to give it to her when the perfect timing shows up. Maybe when she turns 16 and she starts to think that I don’t love her simply because I wouldn’t let her go to all the parties. πŸ˜‰

  112. I live in a town in the Netherlands and I ride my children (4 and 6) to school. My 6-year old can ride on his own bike and my 4-year old rides with me. Most of the parents ride their bicycles as it is in the centre of town and you can’t park your car anywhere. I don’t know when I will let them ride to school on their own as there is a lot of traffic. The school is next to the hospital so there are a lot of taxi’s, ambulance and other cyclists that don’t pay a lot of attention to the children riding their bike.

  113. What a wonderful post. Happy Birthday, Lyle!

  114. Late to this beautiful post, loved it so so much, Jordan! Especially since my little guys just turned six too πŸ™‚ How wonderful so many got to read it.

  115. TomitoysSlots


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