Today you are four years old which means you have travelled around the sun four times! It also means that I have been a mother for four years which is fitting because today is Mother’s Day. When you lived inside my body I thought that you might be born on Mother’s Day, but you weren’t. You waited until your exact due date two days later. Because of the timing, your birthday will land on Mother’s Day every so often which is fine by me. I’ll share any day with you, any day at all.
You were a wonderful three year old! This is the year that your confidence really shined through. Up until then people sometimes called you shy, but I always knew the loud, playful part of you. Now the world does too! You approach kids on the playground with by smiling and saying, “hi!” or sometimes you just laugh-scream and dare them to chase you. It’s so beautiful to watch you navigate the world as if you owned it.
If I had one word to describe you this year, it would be competent. You can do so many things well: ride a scooter, kick or hit a ball, sing a song (You know so many), peel a carrot, scrub mushrooms, write your name, follow directions, cut with scissors, throw a ball, ride a trike, use the bathroom, eat your vegetables, paint a picture, climb, run fast, balance, jump. Oh there’s so much more. You’re good at just about everything.
One of the best parts of this year has been watching you play with Jack. You are truly best friends. You create games and worlds that Daddy and I can only marvel at. Sometimes you fight and we are shocked at how quickly you boys can turn violent. Luckily, you get along most of the time. You boys share the same sense of humor, the same interests and now bunk beds. I am certain that the best gift we will ever give you was your brother. Before nap each day you put your arms around each other and then you give Jack a brother kiss. It is my favorite part of everyday.
You have spent a lot of time figuring things out this year. You ask me lots of questions, especially at meal times, about whatever is on your mind. The wheels in your brain are so obvious when you’re thinking. You scunch up your forehead, pause and then nod when something finally makes sense. You also have ideas of your own and love to share them with me. If I’m ever too busy or short with you, you get upset. I have learned to take the time to listen to you. Your ideas are not only important to you, but also important to me. Lately you’ve been struggling with understanding how and why some animals eat others and if that makes them good or bad. Every time you ask a question or make an observation, I see that you put one piece of the puzzle in its place. It’s not all there yet, but you’re working on it.
Speaking of puzzles reminds me of our activities. That’s what we call school. You have learned so much this year. You’re pretty good with numbers and letters. You love science and geography! Never on the face of the earth has there been a three year old so adept at naming the parts of a fungus or listing the traits of living things. Recently your artwork took a huge leap forward. You understand how to color in the lines and also how to create a picture from your imagination! This is important because you used to just scribble and I wondered how you would learn to create art. It was when you were drawing rainbows at St. Patrick’s Day story-time that you suddenly made the connection. Something clicked in your brain and from that moment onward it has been amazing to watch you draw.
You also wrote a story. Not by hand, but you dictated it to me out of the blue. Here it is:
Once upon a time there was a boy who was walkin’ without his mama. He went by a bush and behind the bush there was a big, BIG WOLF! And so the boy started runnin. He run and run and run and RUN! And then he stopped walkin’ and the wolf ate him.
I love that story! Even more, I love that you create stories!
This is the year that you became a builder. Legos, bristle blocks, wooden blocks. You finally loosened your obsession with trucks enough to see how fun it is to create something. You like to make barges, tunnels and cranes.
As I write this it sounds so funny, me telling you what you like. But I am the gatekeeper of your memories and I have no idea how far your mind will stretch back when you are older. I suppose now that I’m aging and starting to forget things, this act of preservation might be for me too. But it’s hard to imagine forgetting the best years of my life, which of course, are the ones I’ve spent with you.
Happy birthday my darling boy.