As of Thursday, you are a big, bad, 5-year-old boy, and though you have said in the last couple of days that you don’t feel like you’re 5, you can’t possibly have that feeling as much as I do. The truth is that your 5 years have been some of the greatest – but most difficult – 5 years of the lives of both your mommy and me. It wasn’t that long ago when we were spending alot of nights together in the hospital, watching Barney’s Manners over and over again, trying to forget about the fact that we were in the hospital watching Barney’s Manners. But through the difficulties, I can say without hesitation that I am extremely proud to be your father, and that there is nothing that moves me quite like hearing you say, “Daddy.”
I love that you are learning to hit the baseball, and that you like to do it over and over again. I love that you want to climb trees that are, as yet, a little out of your grasp. I love that you love Sprite and hot chocolate more than anything else on the planet. I love that you love black olives more than pizza. But more than anything else right now, I love your imagination.
Everything is a story with you, Joshua. When we read books together, I have prepared myself to know that we will be acting out the story immediately afterward. And if I could see inside your feverish little mind, I honestly think I would see grand adventures unfolding at every turn. This, I pray, is something that will lead you in the coming days closer to Jesus, as you begin to understand the truth that He’s the great story-teller and that you can find a place inside that narrative. I pray that you will grow to love the story of the Bible, see the impact of its reality, and have a deep belief in your place in the community of faith.
This is also a big year because in just a few short months you are scheduled to be done with chemotherapy. That should be an interesting moment to say the least, because in some ways, we don’t know a Joshua that is free from those drugs. But Mommy and I are trusting Jesus that we will. We will see you unhindered, free to play and run and jump and climb as hard, long, and high as you want to.
I can’t wait. I love you, son.