Friday, July 30, 2010
A Letter to my Son on his 4th Birthday
Where is the you I knew? You're drifting. Away from me. Slowly. But you're shining even brighter so that I can see you so clearly. No longer an extension of me with baby rolls and loving gazes but your own little person who can say out loud, "Mommy, I love you." Always at the most unexpected times and oh-so sincerely. You just kind of look up and that loving gaze transforms into an eloquent phrase.
When did pooping become not-such-a-big-deal? Not so long ago we had to cart that special seat around everywhere we went Just.In.Case. Now I can sit here and type as you bellow, "Mommy, I pooped. Come and see how BIG it is (and wipe my butt of course)!"
It used to be that I was your everything. But our worlds are separating and it feels like a chainsaw through my heart. I miss sitting on a stool in the bathroom for 30 minutes reading the same books over and over again waiting for that tinkle to hit porcelain. I guess you don't need me to carry you around on my hip. And you sure don't fit into the baby carrier, or the stroller anymore. And that stepstool is history. What I wouldn't give to change another diaper or take a photo to capture your first spoon of cereal. But the stained bibs are tucked away and when you need to go, you do it all by yourself.
* instructing me NOT to speak Swedish (cuz it's your special language), while you babble away...leaving the natives in awe of your mad skills and your father and me shaking our heads.
* questioning, everything. "What do panthers do?" "What do sloths do?" What do sperm whales do?" "What do INSERT ANIMAL NAMEs do?"
* teaching your preschool friends Swen-glish. Everyday when you leave the park, instead of shouting "Hej do", they all call out, "BYE, DO Joe."
* pushing my hands away and finding your own path
* showing us we're not doing such a bad job, by comforting a hurt friend, using your Ps & Qs, sharing your toys (ok, we're still working a bit on that one) and just being the most pleasant little four year old there ever was.
* observing the world around you, rather loudly. "Mommy, that man has big muscles. I'm gonna show that man my muscles." "Mommy, that lady is crying. Does she have a boo-boo? Should we kiss it better?" "Mommy, that boy is crazy." "Mommy, I just farted (proclaimed loudly in the middle of the grocery store)".
* remembering after a year and a half the love you have for your nanny of two and a half years.
* wondering about your grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousin(s) and your big brother and "maybe he can come to my house tomorrow and play with my dinosaurs." And everytime you wonder, I have to hold back a tear, knowing they are all so far away...for now.
* sensing when I'm having a bad moment, "Mommy, you're not angry, are you?"
* having a bath all by yourself. Up until a few months ago, you and Dad were taking a bath together every night until you exclaimed, and much to your father's dismay, "I can have a bath by.my.self. Not with Daddy."
But when you're sleeping, Ahhhh, when you're sleeping. I can still see who you used to be. My baby. No big words like "Ankylosaurus", no long legs running, no questions like, "What do sea lions eat?" or laughing at a joke you're understanding in a movie. Just silence and that face. I now understand why your Daddy used to watch your older brother as he slept. Until he got caught and was told it was "creepy Dad!"
For some reason, this birthday is a bigger milestone than the 3 before it. You are a real, rough & tumble, beautiful little boy. I know it won't be too long from now that you'll be embarassed to wrap your arms around my neck and pucker up for a kiss. Instead of "Mommy, I want to whisper you.", you'll have secrets you don't want to share. And then a few girlfriends come and go...But that's a long time from now and for now, I'm still your favourite toy. And I'm gonna cherish it for as long as it lasts.
We are so proud of our little man because that's what you are July 30, 2010...four years after the epidural and the c-section, the outline of the man you will become. And we love you, for everything you are today and everything you will be tomorrow. Happy Birthday My Dearest Son. Sometimes I wish I could freeze this year of your life and play it on repeat forever but I wouldn't miss you growing up for the world, xoxo