As a parent, it is so much fun to watch the kids grow and develop. With Stephen being 5 now, there are a number of traits about him that seem fairly stable. I'm recording this for fun now and posterity later to see how he develops later in life.
Stephen is incredibly creative. He can pretend all sorts of things, making up new names for whatever new invention he made. Many are based on the last cartoon he watched or book he read, but not completely - they always have his own twist to them. Same for his Lego toys - he gets me to build to the directions, but then goes off and builds whatever he fancies. I really hope he keeps this trait and that his engineer and scientist parents don't teach it out of him. Example: We bought our Christmas tree on Friday and I brought it in that evening. We didn't decorate it until Saturday afternoon. Stephen, not wanting to wait, set up a "tree" upstairs (the old green desk chair) and decorated it with various toys.
Stephen is outgoing and social. He's rarely shy - sometimes and usually in a completely new situation. But he warms up quickly, finds kids (or adults) that will talk to him, and proceeds to entertain them. He's often the ringleader in whatever is going on. He also wants to play WITH people. He does play by himself some, but much prefers to have someone active with him. Sitting on the couch and watching is not sufficient, as I have learned. Lydia adores him, so she often plays along, or at least imitates him.
Stephen is rambunctious. He needs movement and noise. It's interesting sitting next to him at the dinner table because he'll often be leaning over on me, playing with my placemat, or just plain out of his seat standing between my chair and his. He likes to have a toy to fiddle with while eating - the noisier the better. He's often humming or talking while we eat or driving in the car. Oddly enough, he's used to being (fairly) good in church. He also loves to be outside, no matter how hot or cold, just so he can run and play more wildly than inside.
Stephen loves media. He likes watching shows on the computer or TV and really likes computer games (much like his daddy). But, he also likes being read to and I think he's excited about learning to read.
Stephen is giving and compassionate. He enjoys helping (when he pays attention long enough to do so). He very much wants to take care of his little sister. If one of us is sick, he wants to come and pat us till we feel better. I suspect that giving/compassion/hospitality may be his spiritual gifts.
Stephen reacts strongly to discipline. When we confront him with something he did wrong, he is usually very penitent. I think it upsets him that he did something to make mommy or daddy upset or disappointed. Assurance that we love him is an important part of discipline for him.
Stephen loves to learn. He loved looking through a book about rocks with me not long ago, and had me tell him the names of all the rocks in there. The other day he told me about how worms move through "soil." He's really brilliant, sponges up information, and generally makes logical conclusions.
To sum up, Stephen is a lot of fun now and I look forward to seeing him grow more over time.