We had moved to a bigger place by the time Austin's 5th birthday rolled around, so we had his party outside in our front yard.
The theme was Scooby Doo and I remember fondly watching that cartoon with Austin on the couch. I loved Scooby Doo as a child too and Austin thought it was cool (and kind of funny) that the dog had been around on tv that long.
Austin was also into Tarzan that year and one of our presents to him was a Tarzan costume. He surprised me by putting it on, while everyone was still there, and pretending to swing from the trees. He also got his first bike this year and many of his presents from others included items he could use for it, such as a siren and turn signals.
The "big gift" from us that year was a bb gun. Target shooting and hunting quickly became a favorite father-son activity for Austin and Tim. Of course that would come later in years but the bb gun was the start of many fond memories for them.
Age 5 was another changing year for us. Austin started kindergarten and it was our last year to have Austin all to ourselves and vice-versa. (Noah was born in January 2000, when Austin was 5 1/2.)
The best part of kindergarten and most exciting for Austin was that he learned to read. I remember how proud he was when he brought home his first reader. From the start he made the "honor roll" (or PAW award at that time). He was always praised for how hard of a worker he was and his good behavior.
Austin was excited for a new brother or sister and would gently place his hand on my belly to feel him kick. He even offered his own piggy bank money when he overheard us discussing buying a baby bed and other items. Austin was always a sweet and giving child. He also told us after Noah was born that he'd give him all his toys...if we'd just buy him new ones!
Austin was very protective of Noah from the start though. He'd taken a Big Brother class at the hospital and knew all about hand washing and supporting the head. He was sure to correct any visitors who weren't doing things the way he thought they should.
I would often find Austin talking to Noah as he slept or bending down to kiss him. He told him one day that he was going to teach him everything he knew - and he did.