He loves to hear the story about the night he was born. I tell him that I was stuck on the couch, resting and trying to wait patiently until it was time for him to come. I read lots of books and even watched twelve episodes of Amazing Race one day. Then the night he came, Oma and Auntie Lenore were here too. They were hungry while they waited on the rocking chairs and so they dug into the boiled eggs that I had in the fridge. (Isn't it interesting what you remember from a birth?). As soon as he was born, wee baby Jasper licked his little lips and looked around the room. (Jasper loves this part of the story the best and he grins and licks his lips every time I tell him). I tell him how I held him and cried happy, happy tears. I tell him that he was the one I always wanted. I tell him he's still the boy I want.

A boy. I was a tiny bit nervous about having a boy, wondering if I'd know what to do with him. After all, I had a girl already and I had grown up with just a sister. Girls were familiar territory. It didn't take long for me to realize that there's this special thing with a boy and his mom, just as sweet, but different than a girl and her mom. He's my smoocher, hugger, kisser and I can't get enough of him.

Last week, out of the blue, he said to me, "Mama, I'm just so happy that you love me." Do I ever.

Here he is at his preschool with the balloons he got to share with his sweet friends yesterday. He was so thrilled to have donuts and balloons.

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Today is actually his birthday and so last week, he and I popped out to take his five year old birthday pictures (before he got the buzz obviously!). I didn't time things so well, and was losing the light as I yelled for Ben to start eating without us with the other three. Jasper ran and buckled himself in and I zoomed down our hill, watching the sun sink as I went. "Don't worry, Mama! I can see the sun still! Let's go get it!"

The sun had set already as I pulled off the side of the road in a grassy field but that warm evening light was still with us for about ten minutes as I teased and played with him and got some very "Jasper" expressions out of him.

Love this one. Love that little freckle on the inside of his bottom eyelid.

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Nobody's laugh is quite as much of a belly laugh as this boy's is to me.

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He is an affectionate boy, always craving lots of hugs and kisses. He likes to tease and mess around with us. He delights in his friends. He sings loudly in the car. He builds things for hours and gets subsequently bummed when his baby brother comes and crashes them down. He loves to laugh. He can talk until the cows come home. Out of all of our kids who heavily favor Ben in the looks department, he's the one that looks a whole lot like me when I was little.

He's been looking forward to turning five for a long time, telling anyone in the last eleven months who will listen, "It's almost my birthday!" Oh, this last picture make my heart so proud and sad and happy and loving all at the same time. My baby boy is growing up. Happy birthday, Son. I am really happy that you love me too.

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