my big four year old boy

Dear Theo, 
My big four year old boy. 
Your birthday was yesterday and it was a fantastic day for you and our whole family.  Some of our dearest friends came over to celebrate you on your special day. 
Grammy and I were so busy getting ready for your party that I didn’t spend much time thinking about life four years ago. I’ve done more of that today, the day after your birthday. I’ve been picturing your dad and I at the hospital, brand new parents to this brand new beautiful baby boy.  The entire four years have been an adventure. You’ve surprised us in small and huge ways along this path and I have no doubt that your journey from four to five will be just as remarkable.
Four!  Four sounds like such a long time.  High school lasts four years.  A bachelor’s degree takes four years.  A presidential term is four years.  Olympics are every four years.  Many amazing things happen in increments of four years.  Four is officially a kid – there’s nothing baby about you anymore.  You have been diaper free for months. You stopped sucking your thumb cold turkey, because you said it was time. You are starting to sound out letters.  You can dress yourself from head to toe.  You have manners and know how and when to use them (even if you don’t sometimes). You love reading stories and playing games. You also enjoy watching movies at the theater and at home.  You’ve been to Disney World and bring up memories from our vacation often. Your favorite thing in the world is Legos.
You have a great appetite and enjoy a wide variety of healthy AND junk foods.  We call you “Green Eggs & Ham” sometimes because when you come to the table you often turn up your nose and say “I am NOT eating that!” But 9 times out of 10, within moments of trying the first bite, your plate is clean and you are saying “Mommy! Next time you make dinner, you should make this again!”  
You are creative and bright and bossy at times. Stubborn to a fault but you know exactly what you want. When you decide you are ready to do something, there’s no going back. You are sweet and shy and unsure of yourself.  You love hugs and kisses and our goodnight routine.  You know you have our undivided attention and you like to draaaag that out as long as possible. But Theo? 
I will read the extra story. I will play the extra round of Curious George Matching or Sneaky Snacky Squirrel. I will get you one last sip of water.  I will sing the extra song. I will brush your teeth a little longer and hug you a little tighter. You’re on your way to being five now.  BUT. That’s okay – I’m all too aware that it won’t always be like this. Today…for now, you’re just four.  My little, big four year old boy.  And I’m gonna hold on tight and fly through this year right beside you. 
I love you so much. 

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