I think I start every year by telling you that you are the light of my life. This year is no different. It’s amazing to me that I can be just as in awe of you, if not more so, as the day you were born. I feel like you are the same incredible little boy that you have always been, but now you are a year older.
This is the year where I feel like you have really become a little boy. You have strong opinions and wants. You speak with so much expression. You are dramatic like me. Your talents are starting to show. I’m getting a glimpse of the person you are going to be.
You still love to make people laugh. You like to make up stories and words. You like to dance around making funny sounds. You like to call people silly names. Your number one goal in life is to see people, especially me, laugh at your jokes. And you truly are funny. When we came home from parent teacher conferences this year, we said, “Your teacher said that you are doing a very good job at school,” to which you replied, “And they said that I am a funny guy?” They did, in fact, say that. They said that they whole class laughs at your jokes and that several of your friends said that you are the funniest person they know.
You continue to be one of the most gentle, kind hearted people I know. You are always taking care of me. After my surgery this year, you never left my side. You would walk me to the bathroom so I wouldn’t have to walk alone. “Walk slowly, mama. Be careful.” And you wouldn’t leave me until I was safe back in bed. You always ask about my “swollen arm” and kiss it to make it better. You are still trying to wrap your head around the fact that I will have this condition my whole life and that a kiss doesn’t make it all better. But that doesn’t stop you from trying. You are always talking about friends who have felt sad or angry during the day and how you have hugged them to make them feel better. Your love is what this world needs. I think when you grow up, your love and caring for others will be the thing that shapes who you are. I think you are going to change the world!
This year you have become more adventurous. You like roller coasters and other rides. You like to run right into the waves at the ocean, even in your clothes in the cold weather. You take risks that you have never taken before. It’s awesome to watch you push your limits and discover that you can do things you never thought possible. You are beginning to understand that taking risks can reap rewards.
You still are obsessed with trains. You like other things like blocks, legos and puzzles but you are passionate about trains. You love learning all about them, from old steam engines to modern bullet trains. You can’t get enough!
You have learned so many new things this year. A few of them are…to put on your clothes and shoes by yourself, to poop in the toilet, to write your name, to begin to read and spell, to add and subtract, to put a puzzle together by yourself, to ask life’s deep questions (“Am I going to die?” “Why am I here?” “How was I born?” “Why does night happen?” “Why does the mood follow us?”), to use big words like, “frustrated,” and “deflated,” to gallop, to sing whole songs that aren’t nursery rhymes (“Let It Go”), to reenact parts of the musical Oliver, for which you are named, and to make yourself cry on cue.
You love to play with your trains, take train rides, go to the park and run around, ride on your scooter, play with your friends, play with babies, go to school, sing, make up songs and eat sweets. Your favorite books are The Big Book of Trains, Insects, Snakes, Train Song, The Gingerbread Man, How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?, The Three Bears, and so many more I can’t even remember them. Your favorite foods are muffins, lollipops, pancakes, runny eggs, peas, corn, turkey burger, tortellini, ham and cheese sandwiches, ramen (not the cheap, $1 kind but the real stuff), grilled cheese, mac and cheese, ice cream, bananas, grapes and blueberries. You love to bake with daddy. You are starting to love the arts; singing, dancing and acting.
I am proud of you every single day. There isn’t a moment that goes by where I don’t realize how lucky I am to have landed a son like you. You are my everything. I love you to the moon and back, the stars and back, the planets and back and the galaxies and back.
Happy 4th birthday!