To My Son On His Fourth Birthday

First of all, you should know that I did not approve this. I did not say that it was okay for you to just keep growing and changing. Where are my chubby little legs? Where are my tiny baby toes? Mommy votes no.

That's another thing - at some point this year I went from being Mama to Mommy and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Mommy is something that kids say. Children. Not babies.

I may need to come to terms with the fact that you aren't a baby anymore. Shit.

I'll be honest, kiddo, three was a rough year. So many of the things that make you youwere just gone. My quiet, thoughtful little dude turned into a raging threenager who was snarky and loud, demanding and angry a lot. You tested us pretty much every day. I like to think we passed.

Three was also the year you made your first best friend. Her name was Vivienne and for about a month she was your best bud. And then you found out that Keegan had Legos at his house AND a dog and Vivienne was out. Since then it's been all Keegan all the time.

I love the way you love people. The way you always want to show every new toy or book you get to Keegan. I love the way you take care of your sister and try to make her feel better when she's upset. I love the way you get so excited when your dad comes home from work, or when your grandparents come to visit.

You try to figure everything out on your own, working through problems out loud in these mutters that I'm not sure you know we can hear. But I love the window it gives me into how your mind works.

You are, quite simply, the most beautiful boy that has ever been born in the history of the world. You are so freaking funny. And you're really smart. You have your dad's engineering type of smarts where you see the world as a puzzle to solve. You have the biggest heart. You give the best hugs.

Thank you for thinking I'm funny. For loving our family. For being so sweet and caring. Thank you for trying to listen. Thank you for telling me when you're scared or sad. Thank you for still sitting on my lap and giving me hugs. Thank you for pronouncing really as ree-wee.

Sometimes when we're sitting in our big chair together watching a movie you reach up and pat my cheek when something sweet happens on screen and that makes me feel like the most loved mom in the world.

I promise that next year you can have a dog for your birthday. Just please stop growing up so fast.

I love you,