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Today I asked what you wanted to be when you grow up. Instead of the usual answer of "Ninja" or "Superhero," you thought for a good 10 seconds and then responded assuredly, "A Planter."

Some observations you've made since we moved back to Oregon. The mailboxes. At first, you were fascinated by all of the shapes Nike Air Max 1 Moire Black

"Yeah. I want to grow things."

The pear, apple, peach, and cherry orchards fill the air with the sweet smell of nourishment, of life, of new beginnings. The views of Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood are breathtaking. I'm sure a time will come when I'll be too rushed to take it in, too lost in my own worries and concerns to appreciate its beauty. I hope not.

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"Look what trick I can do, daddy!" {overheard from the other room.} "Oh wow, Solomon, that's like how the Native Americans used to drink water from the river!"

"A planter? You mean, like, a Gardener?" I asked.

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living in our new house for 11 days now, and I am finally feeling like my head isn't spinning. There is still a list of to dos (which will likely never end, right?), but we have curtains up and our closets organized and I just ordered the boys' Halloween costumes, so I'm basically superwoman. . . or something.

I do have peace in knowing that we made the right decision, at the right time, for our family. In every change there are things you give up, and there are moments you will wonder if what you gained outweighs what you gave up. The doubt may always be there, but you have to somehow find a way to trust yourself, and move forward.

Are blueberries healthy? Are tacos healthy? Is everything that grows healthy to eat?

I think you are really looking forward to our new home, and having routine and some semblance of normalcy. I know that the idea of a new school is still a bit too much to wrap your mind around, so we are still taking it slow. There's time.

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The other day Mr. P and I snuck away for a few hours to tackle some shopping to dos. Target beckoned. We complied.

::giggles:: "Oh yeah, I am! I'm gonna grow up!" ::giggles::

After a comprehensive walk through of the entire store (not my wisest moment), I was starting to feel overwhelmed, overstimulated, over hungry and over tired.

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My favorite thing about you right now is your thirst for knowledge and your innocent curiosity. Why do bikes have gears? What is a gear? What is it for?

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Arms Wide Open

I needed to find a birthday gift for Solomon, some birthday party items and miscellaneous groceries for a BBQ.

But pickles. I needed pickles. After 8 years of pickle deprivation, you cannot have your burger pickle less. You just can't. So, despite my urge at this point to run to a dark, quiet corner and hide from the world, I ventured back into the grocery section for the final item on my list.

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and sizes and frequency of mailboxes. They were a mystery to you, and for some reason delightful. Another is the houses, and how they are not behind walls or gates. "Everyone lives in a coto here!" You miss the corner "tiny store" in Mexico, and let's just say you ate your weight in mangoes when my sister bought some at Costco the other day.

I'm learning the ins and outs of living productively here in the US of A. Important things like depositing checks with your iPhone and how to properly recycle so that the truck actually empties your bins. Going to the grocery store still feels weird, as I awkwardly try to navigate the aisles of English labels and endless choices, but I haven't had another near meltdown, so we're good. We are still bleeding money, but that's part of starting over, and it's definitely bittersweet. I feel lucky and blessed to hang pictures on our new walls and drink water from our faucet. Solomon stands on the stool in his bathroom, cupping the water in his hands and slurping it over and over.

"Solomon, don't ever grow up! Promise me! Stay five forever."

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I love you in all of the silly ways, the tickles and giggles at surprise bodily sounds. I love you in all of the inexplicable tears, the heartaches and disappointments and rubbing tired eyes. I love you in the drawings and beautifully formed letters, and in the spaceships built with purpose and care. I love you in the fears, the ones that make the least sense are the scariest of all. I love you in the hot sun; jump after jump, kick after kick, throw after throw, ride after ride. I love you in the enduring drive to learn and grow and just BE.

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Your eyelashes seem thicker today, enveloping your chocolate eyes like a fur coat. Your arms are lankier, longer, tanner. I've loved the hugs you've given lately; spontaneously wrapped around me, warm breath in my face and your goofy smile, too wide for your face. You probably feel vulnerable, like we all do with these changes before us and within us, needing a little bit tighter, a little bit more frequent embraces.

It's the little things.

My heart swells as I watch my boys play on the sidewalk in front of our house, running barefoot through the grass and to the house next Air Max Zero Tinker

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door to play with the neighbors' Chiweenie. (Yes, that's a thing.) This morning Solomon tagged along on his bike for my morning run, and in less than a mile we were on a trail, alongside a creek, shaded by huge beautiful trees, Mt. Hood in the distance. The short stretch of actual road we ran on was glorious as the cars MOVED INTO THE OTHER LANE to pass around us. I still can't believe it, sometimes.

Your latest {re kindled} love is bike riding. You ask to go to the bike track or the dirt trail by Nonna's house or the skate park, or simply ride old fashioned loops around the neighborhood from the moment you swallow your last spoonful of Cheerios. It doesn't matter if it's 90 outside, you cannot be persuaded to leave your bike shorts complete with shammy or your Pearl Izumi gloves behind. This love is real, yo.

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Your nose has a splattering of dark freckles, much browner than I remembered them to be just yesterday. Your right front tooth is chipped, and I don't even know how it happened. Was it from something you ate? A bike fall? A fight with your brother? All too soon that broken tooth will be a foggy memory.

You know what surprised me the most in all of this crazy madness?

Today, you're six.

I never knew how many things I could feel, so deeply, and all at once.

I miss the fruit truck in Mexico. I even miss the noise, sometimes. I miss my friends and my kids' friends, and I miss our nanny. I miss the mangoes. I miss walking Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit Olive Trainers to the plaza and watching the night come alive.

You surprise me in so many small and wonderful ways. This morning the doorbell rang, and you bounced up to answer it; for a few split seconds abandoning timidity and just being "you." I smiled. You often feel compassionate toward Rainer and his very extreme emotional outbursts, and instead of resenting him, you seek ways to make him happy. Truthfully, you are often the only one who can snap him out of his tantrums, and it makes you feel important. Entirely on your own, you decided to give Rainer nearly half of your presents from your birthday party. You love making people happy.

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