At five years old, he still loves to be hugged.

He hates balloons, loud noises, and unfamiliar foods. He’s not too sure about dogs.

He loves spaceships, rockets, motorcycles, and guns. He loves the idea of the Blue Angels but not so much the earsplitting scream of their presence. He loves Legos, and he can build anything.

He loves to argue. He loves to dawdle. He loves to push boundaries. He loves to be praised.

He loves his brother. He loves his family. He loves to run and jump and yell. He moves through the world with everything set to eleven. He is a wide-open flower tilted to catch as much sun as possible.

At five years old, he’s outgrown my ability to describe him. I paint a tiny corner of his ever-expanding picture and it’s never enough.

I can only tell you how much I love him. That’s an easy story to tell.












Five today. All the fingers of a hand, spread wide.


81 Responses to “Five”

  1. agirlandaboy on August 31st, 2010 11:45 pm

    God DAMN. My eyes is all prickly. Happy Birthday, Riley. As usual, it’s been a pleasure watching you grow up.

  2. Kaz on September 1st, 2010 12:15 am

    Happy Birthday from Australia, Riley!

    Wow – it doesn’t seem like that long ago that he was born and now he’s 5. Love the pictures!

  3. Diane on September 1st, 2010 2:27 am

    Just a couple of happy tears, cause grandmas cry pretty easily. One thing that will do it is watching the joyous journey of a growing child. Thank you for letting us all share.

  4. Jo on September 1st, 2010 2:47 am

    Happy Birthday Riley! How can he be 5 already?!
    Beautifully written as always and those photos (specially the baby one) made me sniffle :)

  5. Ness at Drovers Run on September 1st, 2010 3:49 am

    Oh my word, what a stunning child, and I gotta tell you, the photo of him as a newborn made me *seriously* reconsider my *I’m done at two* rule with regards to kids. Maybe just one more. Maybe. I can hear the sound of my eggs clamoring at the door trying to get out as I’m typing this. I wonder if I can find a soundclip of a crying baby to get them to go back to knitting and talking about their younger days.

  6. Kym on September 1st, 2010 4:10 am

    Totally got misty over this, I can totally relate. I have 3 boy’s (5,3,1) and your pictures were awesome!!!!

  7. Michelle on September 1st, 2010 4:47 am

    Happy Birthday Riley! He is such a cutie!

  8. Claire on September 1st, 2010 5:19 am

    I know that whenever my son has a birthday (the 29th) that Riley’s is right after and I love reading your blogs about it. Happy birthday, kid!

  9. Becca on September 1st, 2010 5:24 am

    This post made me teary! The pictures are gorgeous; the love bursting at the seams. My little guy turns 5 in October. I’ve already got the Klennexes stocked up.

  10. bessie.viola on September 1st, 2010 5:42 am

    Oh, Linda… I’m in tears now. I remember when he was born and being in tears then. Thanks for sharing this amazing boy of yours with the world. Happy birthday, Riley!

  11. Sarah on September 1st, 2010 6:13 am

    Happy birthday!!! Five is a big deal! What a great post, I love seeing his growth!!

    Five is big…but he’ll always be your baby (despite his protests ;) ).

  12. Lawyerish on September 1st, 2010 7:18 am

    Gorgeous writing, Linda, and great photos as always. Happy birthday, Riley! What a privilege it is to get to watch you grow.

  13. dorrie on September 1st, 2010 7:37 am


    The last line totally got me. Peace

  14. Marci on September 1st, 2010 7:45 am

    crying! lovely post, beautiful pics!

  15. Redbecca on September 1st, 2010 8:05 am

    Happy belated birthday, Riley. (My maiden name – it rocks!)
    Lovely post, Linda. I only see one Highly Suspicious Face, though!

  16. Eliza on September 1st, 2010 8:58 am

    Riley is awesome.

  17. Kristy on September 1st, 2010 10:05 am

    I’ve been reading along since pre-Riley days…but I just got a lump in my throat because I remember Riley the baby….I’ve watched him get to five…thanks for sharing. I feel blessed to have watched.

  18. wm on September 1st, 2010 10:39 am

    Awesome. Congratulations.

  19. Angela on September 1st, 2010 11:17 am

    Absolutely beautiful. Happy Birthday to him. Happy Birth Day to you.

  20. amanda on September 1st, 2010 12:21 pm

    Happy Birthday, Riley! Love the pics. : )

  21. clarabella on September 1st, 2010 12:40 pm

    Happy birthday, Riley! I love how suspicious he is of that first-birthday cupcake!

  22. adequatemom on September 1st, 2010 12:48 pm

    Happy Birthday, Riley! And Linda, thanks for sharing this journey with us – we love you!

  23. Amy on September 1st, 2010 1:00 pm

    tears, joy, understanding. with my 5yo off to kindergarten and my 8yo beginning 3rd grade, I totally get it. Thanks for sharing the wonderful memories!

  24. Donna on September 1st, 2010 1:53 pm

    Happy Birthday Riley, and may you have a hundred more!!!

    I can’t believe I’ve been reading your blog since before you were even pregnant with him….wow!

  25. Stephanie on September 1st, 2010 2:17 pm

    Happy Birthday to the R-Man! Looks the same as he did as a baby!

    P.S. Your hair is super cute in the last party picture.

  26. Souphead on September 1st, 2010 5:19 pm

    Happy Birthday Riley!
    From suspicious baby/toddler to awesome kiddo. Thanks for sharing with us.

  27. Maria on September 1st, 2010 6:07 pm

    I’m PMSing, so, especially, *CRY*

    This is lovely, Linda. These are the kinds of posts I hope our children really see some day.

  28. Jenn Perryman on September 1st, 2010 9:18 pm

    Aww, Happy Birthday Riley! Wow, how time flies. I still remember bawling my eyes out watching the one-year birthday video you posted. (Kinda got misty reading this post too, to be honest!)

  29. Leandra on September 2nd, 2010 9:02 am

    Happy Birthday (a little late!) Love the pictures at the end.

    My little Punkin turned 5 on the 30th and I feel so guilty I haven’t done her 5 year post yet.

  30. MyFrogs on September 2nd, 2010 9:33 am

    My 10 year old still wants to hold my hand in public and will still on occasion tell me I’m her best friend. This will fade soon I’m sure, so every time she is holding my hand I make sure I realize it.

  31. Gnometree on September 2nd, 2010 9:51 pm

    Happy Birthday DUDE!!

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