To Lincoln on His Sixth Birthday

Dear Lincoln,

I’m kind of terrible at this.

From the very first one I wrote, I had every intention of doing one of these posts with all your birthdays, kind of recapping the past year of your life as you move into the next one. But I’ve kind of failed.

I’ll try to be better going forward, especially now that things are really going to start happening in your life. Not that the past six years have been lacking things by any stretch, but with school and just growing up more and more, the next few years should be very big for us as a family, but especially you as you continue to develop your personality and learn new things.

On your fifth birthday last year, we were a couple of months into “the virus” as you liked to call it. This would define nearly all of 2020, cancelling school for you when you struggled with the version of online kindergarten that we were provided. But you are still as smart as you’ve ever been, and I hope that we did enough over the past year to get you ready for first grade in the fall, so you can return to school and meet some new friends and share your knowledge with the world.

You did well spending your days at home with mom and dad, entertaining yourself with your favorite toys, which varied from week to week. An obsession with the Titanic led to hundreds of LEGO models of the ship (and other similar ones as well), and you even watched most of the movie, though you cared more about it sinking than any of the boring Jack and Rose stuff. You managed to turn boring bricks into amazing ships, and your imagination knows no bounds, which warms my LEGO-loving heart.

Thomas and his friends still find their way into the rotation, and all over the living room. From reenacting crashes from the show to just building tracks from room to room, you’ve found a lot of joy in those trains. Like the LEGO model building, you were able to understand how the tracks went together and work, and while you wanted us to help you build, you would also just do it on your own if we were busy doing something else. I’m glad that you are still able to find joy by yourself, and I know that you are developing skills to share with other kids in the near future.

The big event of last year was our road trip with your grandmas, as we rented a van (probably your favorite part of the trip) and drove to some spots in Utah, Arizona, and Nevada to some new places and some of our favorite places. The virus limited some of our trip – I’m still bummed that we didn’t get to see Four Corners – but for the most part it was pretty amazing.

Arches National Park was a great start to the trip, a stop at the Grand Canyon was very amazing, and though we just drove through, it was nice to return to Las Vegas. This year, we’ll take another trip, this time heading to California and the things you want to see there, and we’ll also try to stay in Las Vegas for at least a day so we can soak in one of our favorite cities.

That trip was the one time we really left the house for any extended period of time. Obviously, we tried to stay at home so we didn’t get sick, and it seems that we escaped mostly unscathed. We will begin to journey out of the house a little more as the year progresses, like our trip to the Utah State Railroad Museum in Ogden not that long ago. We want to make sure that you get plenty of exposure to the world to prepare you for school in the fall, and you’ve been a true champ this past year in spite of all the things that were going on in the world around you. We hope that this resilience translates well once you start school in the fall, but I’m sure you will do amazing, but if it takes you some time to adapt, that’s okay too!

Since you came into this world six years ago this morning, you have been the most important thing in my life. Everything I do is to ensure that you are always taken care of, and trying to give you the best life that I can. I hope I’m doing a good job… though two of these entries out of six is not a good start. We’ll check back in another six years to see if I’ve been a little better about these entries in the future.

But even if I never write one of these things again, know that I love you and always will. Every so often, I’ll watch you doing something and just marvel at how far you’ve come from that little man that wanted to get an early start on things. The sky’s the limit for what you can accomplish, and I hope you succeed in everything you try in life.

Take care of yourself, Buddy. I love you.

Your Dad

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