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It’s been a month since your fourth birthday and so far I have to say, I like four better than three . Don’t get me wrong, we had some great times last year, but we also were introduced to Owen the “threenager”, and he was more often than not grumpy and defiant. While you still have some tough moments, I’m beginning to see you coming out of your angst and shining through as a really cool, smart, and insightful kid.
You seem so big to me now. Part of it is that the moment Drew was born, both you and Ryan seemingly grew three feet overnight. But that’s not the whole reason. You are a preschooler — a kid who likes to read, and build, and explore. A kid who fearlessly rides his bike down hills and makes up funny songs. You are sensitive, and your capacity for love is overwhelming. When you’re not beating up your brother, you are hugging and kissing him. You throw yourself into my arms when you first see me in the morning and your adoration for your daddy is written all over your face. And you LOVE your baby Drew. Sometimes I catch you just lying next to him holding his hand. The other day I was in the kitchen when you yelled for me to come quickly.
“Mommy! Drew smiled at me so big! I feel so special!”
Well, I teared up right there.
Every mother who has encountered you has taken me aside and told me you are just so sweet, just so kind. And so inquisitive. This part always makes me laugh because, oh buddy, do you ask a lot of questions. There is so much in this world to know, and you want to know it all. You begin talking as soon as your eyes open (which is still usually no later than 6:15 a.m.), and continue all day. Sometimes the questions are silly (or make no sense, really). Other times they are really interesting and make me stop and think before answering. And sometimes they are really tough.
My mom always said age four is magical — that the attitude calms down a bit and the child begins to say very profound things. I’m finding that to be true, as now you are beginning to ask the hard questions; questions about why people are different shapes and sizes, what it means to die, questions about god. You ask the things I don’t always have the answers to and I can feel the protective bubble I’ve been able to keep you in slowly beginning to burst. I hope I do my best in answering these things for you, while also keeping you as innocent as I can for a few more years. The world isn’t always a good place, my love. For now, I only want you to see the best in it.
I’m really proud to be your mommy. You make me laugh with your goofball humor and you might not notice it, but I often find myself just staring at you, especially while holding your baby brother, and wondering where the time is going. Your chubby baby cheeks have long given way to those of a long and lean boy, but your eyes continue to twinkle as brightly as the first moment I held you.
Here’s to your fourth year, Mr. O. I can’t wait to see what it will bring.
I love you through and through.