The Tovsky Tribe

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Letter to my Sons on their 5th Birthday!

Dear Chase and Ryder,
Good morning, birthday boy!

Rise and shine you are 5!

Happy 5th birthday! Although the category 5-U still implies you are a baby (and also has me dreading 6) there are very few indicators that you are such.   Mostly over the last year you have grown and matured into these wonderful big kids who, despite any trend on the street, are as ready for Kindergarten as kids who fall at the beginning of the

This school year, Pre-K, with Ms. Liz and Ms. Nadine, was a fantastic year where you simultaneously broadened your knowledge and honed in on the depth of your individual passions.   You both had an opportunity to find your individuality and you slowly began to carve your own paths. The school year was great, with amazing teachers and amazing kids, and concluded with a graduation that tore on my heartstrings.  This summer you are spending your very first summer at Briarwood Day Camp where you are both happier than I even anticipated.  

First day at Briarwood
Your 5th birthday was celebrated at camp, where you brought in a cookie cake for your bunk.  That evening we did our traditional dinner show, at Mt. Fuji, and we all had a blast.  

Your party was a Power Rangers Soccer party with all of your friends, at our house, in the heat.  Everybody really seemed to enjoy themselves.  Ryder spent most of the day dressed as the red Ranger and Chase enjoyed the soccer drills taught by the CRUSA instructor. 

Ever since your actual day you take ever opportunity to tell the whole world that you are now 5.

This was a year of heat waves in the summer and blizzards in the winter.  We had very little of spring and fall.  Sadly, we lost Bubbie Evie this year and telling you was one of the hardest things daddy and I ever had to do as parents.  As the inquisitive boys that you are you asked a lot of questions, and still do months later.  Of course there was mild comic relief when you both wanted to know what I would wear to the funeral.    
The Phillies never made it to the World Series, though they were in the play-offs, and the Flyers, who gave us high hopes, fell short in the play-offs as well.  The Social Network, the movie that is about Facebook, won the Academy Award.

Ryder, as the years pass you become an even greater spirit.  You are impassioned, and loyal, and have a creative point of view on everything.  Your mind is filled with more knowledge than you lead on and you have a limitless imagination that takes you to the world of make believe.  And, back.  Sometimes.  Although you are still thoughtful and introverted you are no longer quiet or shy.  You always have something to say and are much more comfortable in your skin.  
You are well liked and easy to get along with and as a result have many friends.  With that being said, however, you are a boy who chooses your close friends wisely, and sticks with them with the same loyalty and passion as you do most things.  Your best friend, now, is Oren Fuchs, a boy you met in Pre-School and will be with all through out Council Rock.   It will be interesting to see what becomes of your friendship.
You began piano lessons this year which seems to have re-ignited your musical spirit and given you a good amount of self-confidence.  You claim your piano lessons are just a step along the path to guitar lessons, which is true, but you do enjoy playing and will tickle the ivories without being asked.  Of course, the minute I ask you to practice I get pushback.  After just 6 weeks of lessons you performed in a recital, which was amazing.  You did great, and were so very happy and proud of yourself.
Although you opted out of playing organized sports this year, you do enjoy playing sports at home, with daddy, your brothers, and me.  You plan to play soccer and baseball in the upcoming year.
Your love of Superheroes was alive and well for your entire 4th year.  You continued to wear costumes and pretend to be the mighty beings.  Just as 5 was approaching you took on a new love, The Power Rangers, and just as the heroes of the past you have taken on a new identity.  You now ask to be called Jayden (the Red Power Ranger, and the leader!)
Over the last year you have grown (42 ½ inches) and gotten stronger and heavier (40 pounds) and now outweigh Chase by three pounds.  You still have a tendency to wet your bed and have finally agreed to sleep in pull-ups. 
You are creative and artsy and remain to be very good with your hands and continue to use them for all sorts of activities.  One day, not too long ago, you came downstairs and had tied your shoes. 

We had never practiced together nor did I know you were trying (although shoe tying had been talked about) and that was it your shoes were tied.  You can also take apart almost any toy and can manipulate a technological device better than most of us.  You have a profound interest in letters and sounds and have selective reading and writing.  This is evidenced by my constant Facebook status updates.  You will take my phone and update my status to say: “Superman”  “Spiderman”  “Power Rangers Samurai” “Power Rangers Mighty Morphin” and the latest one “Michael Jackson thriller” All of these words are committed to your memory and can be read, written, or typed on command.   All of my Facebook friends are aware of your ability and consistently comment with a “hello Ryder.” I am not yet sure if this selective reading skill is anything beyond a good memory and a strong passion but as you are about to enter Kindergarten I suppose we will find out.  You have, however, sounded out a few words accurately, leading me to believe you are capable of reading more than you let on.  Which is typical Ryder fashion.
Speaking of Ryder fashion.  You have your own unique style and strong opinion about what you wear and how you wear it.  You spent most of the school year wearing your favorite jeans, your high top converse sneakers, a button down shirt, untucked, and a tie.  You love his look and were so devoted to it that your tie became an item to take away if and when you misbehaved.   You looked adorable in this outfit and it was something people talked about.  Your personality and your natural way made this a perfect fit for you.

At camp this summer, you have blossomed once again, enjoying the thrills of Day Camp beyond what I even expected. 

Chase, at 5, you seem a bit closer to 40 with your maturity and your verbal skills.  You are a happy, confident boy, who likes to tell stories and share your knowledge with the world.  You are well liked and like everybody and make it a point to make new friends everywhere you go.  Your presence is warm and happy and inviting and it is no wonder people welcome your company.  You are often called the Mayor and have an innate ability to work a room.  You are caring and sensitive and want to make sure everybody is accommodated and happy.
You have become a jock this year.   You love sports of all kind, particularly soccer, and want to play and to learn and get better all of the time.  You are competitive and driven in everything you do and won’t settle for being less than the best.  You will practice anything you are not good at until you are better and will seek out answers to anything you don’t know until you know it.  This is a trait that I envy and hope stays with you forever.
You started Soccer this year and played both in an indoor winter league and an outdoor spring league.   You are really good at Soccer.  You have a lot of natural athletic talent, an ability to stay on the ball, and quick feet.  Although you love to kick and to run and to score you have a fondness for defense and for goalie.   I think you enjoy stopping others from scoring more than you enjoy scoring.
You also love baseball and have a fantastic and quick swing that will allow for good hitting.   We have been working on switch-hitting, which you are getting more and more comfortable with, and it excites you to know you are capable from both sides.  Although last fall you played in an indoor baseball clinic it is not until this upcoming spring that you will play Township baseball.
You enjoy music and telling jokes and laughing out loud.  You still love television and the movies and have also fallen for Power Rangers like your brother.  You have amazing focus and retention and what I believe is a photographic memory.
You have grown to 42 ½ inches and are skinny at only 37 pounds.  But, you are a good eater in that you will try just about anything we offer you. You love onions, and spicy foods, and tomatoes.
You enjoyed school the same way you enjoy everything and are starting to have a real interest in reading and math skills.  It is important to you that you get good reports, that you are well liked, and that you are amongst the best and because of this you are showing signs of being a very good student.  You are charming and kind and silly and bright!

You both love camp.  You love everything about it and come home everyday both happy and tired.  You have learned to swim, love that you play sports all day, love being with other boys, and have a bit of a crush on your Junior Counselor.
You both love the beach and are always happy when we spend our weekends there.
You both love your brother and will always happily help him and include him in most that you do.  You both love each other.  Most.  Although you are two different boys who are starting down individual paths and are able to separate without difficulty, each reunion, whether it is minutes or hours since you parted, is greeted with hugs and smiles.  You complement each other in such amazing ways and though you are each wonderful and interesting and independent alone you are also an amazing package when you are together.

I am not always sure how I have been lucky enough to raise you.  I marvel at you both (all three of you, really) with wonder.  To the world it may seem like daddy and I have done a few things right with you guys, and perhaps we have, but really you make us look good with the wonders that you are.

Every single day, every moment, through the stressful roller coaster of the last year I am grateful for what I have in you, my wonderful sons, and am humbled to think of all that you are and all that you will still become.  Though you are two good-looking boys with soulful eyes and bright smiles, your beauty lies within you.  You are unique and personable and smart and sweet and funny and I could not be more proud of you.

I love you so.

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