Jan 22, 2009

Milestones for a 5-year-old

Zekiah's kindergarten teacher has asked us to write down a few highlights from each of his 5 years for tomorrow's birthday celebration. We were initially stumped - the second-child amnesia syndrome - and then faced the difficulty of pinpointing specific events. We are deeply aware of the beautiful unfolding and blossoming of this beautiful sun-wind child, but fuzzy on details or incidents that illustrate it all.

In the same spirit as my December ode to Galen on his birthday, here's what I'd really like to say about my boy Zekiah. I admire his confidence, his ease with people, his pure and undivided Joy at whatever or whomever he's engaged with at the moment. That same passion that leads him to flop down on the floor or under the bed in total soul-wrenched despair when I removed Galen's sock from his foot this morning - to love and understand Zekiah is to embrace that deep hurt or sense of injustice that occasionally balances the usual laughter and easiness.

He can enter a group of any age and become part of the activity if he chooses, or just as comfortably do his own thing completely unconcerned with whether or not he's part of the gang. He loves to help - dig, cook, clean, hang laundry, anything - though I know that may change by his next birthday. He's strong, powerful in his body, and at the same time so tremendously sensitive that he has always wanted to wear soft pants, and pouts his sad lower lip down below his chin at a scrape or unjust bump. "Galen bonked me." His need for justice and fairness is strong - never crafted to his own advantage. When Galen's chocolate Santa went missing, Zekiah instantly offered to cut his in half.

we continue to be amazed and a bit spooked by his intelligence, particularly ability to see patterns. He can whip through a 100-piece puzzle, make plans for the whole day involving multiple people, and knows which Mexican bingo cards have the highest probability of winning. When Sarah gave him (at age 4 1/2) the task of sorting jars into wide-mouth or narrow-mouth, he quickly figured out how to hold a second jar upside down on top of the first one to compare them - far more accurate and efficient than my eyeball method. One of my challenges as a parent is to celebrate and nurture these strengths but also to recognize that it's just one area of excellence, to be balanced by pursuit of other aspects of his intellectual and spiritual life. If he is destined to some particular path, that will unfold in later years, not be pushed now.

Everyone, and especially me, feels happy and energized when with Zekiah. He brings light and energy and enthusiasm into a room, fills it up with his eagerness even when he's quiet and intensely watching and learning from what's around him. May he always be this loving and inspiring of others and confident and easy in himself.

Having said all that, here's the bullet list of moments that will be understood by his kindergarten peers:

  • Birth - Zekiah was so excited to get here that he came out faster than we could finish our pizza (We had to order another one afterwards to celebrate)
  • First year - Zekiah cried and cried a lot as a baby, and really needed to be with his mom. Then one day he stopped crying and was happy and free, and pretty much has stayed that way.
  • 2-year-old - Zekiah learned to "surf" in Tofino, and joined his brother's 4-5 year-old soccer team. He also loved to pick fresh kale and raspberries from our garden each day for our meals.
  • 3-year-old - His 3rd birthday party was a "Wiggle Worm" party, with slithering kid-worm races on the floor, a cake with yummy worms in it, and his uncle singing on a Wiggle Worms CD. Zekiah also learned to jump off the top bunk in his bedroom.
  • 4-year-old - Zekiah moved to Vancouver Island where he's learned to pick up and care for chickens, ride a 2-wheeler to school every day, and make syrup from our own maple trees. He's also helping his papa "build a house in our garage."


  1. What a soulful, warm, inspiring text about your boys. I meet so many less fortunate, less happy and less conscious parents and children in my work as a teacher and holistic energy therapist...warms my heart to read this.

  2. what a great reminder of the beauty of our boys - thank you, Rick - this was a gift.