Dear Little K,
This week you turned 4 years old.
I will always remember you at this age with an ornery grin, messy hair, the longest dreamy eyelashes, the bluest eyes, mismatched jammies, and cowboy boots.
I, like every mother on Earth, simply cannot understand where time has gone. I really feel like we just brought you home from the hospital. Even the long nights full of colic and acid reflux seem like just a blink of an eye ago.
No longer are you a baby. Nor are you even a toddler. You are a full fledge little boy full of spunk and energy and ideas. At least three times a day, you look at me, stunned, holding your forefinger up in the air, and say, “I got an idea!” Usually it is something like, “You should go to the store and buy me a toy, mom! Is that a good idea?”
You love your toys, particularly anything with wheels or wings. And you are smart. So good are you at memorizing names and details and events, that Daddy is ready to teach you how to play Black Jack right now.
You tell me you love me at least once a minute while you are awake. You talk to me non-stop. Non-stop. Someday I know I will miss this, but right now we need to learn about phone etiquette.
You are an incredibly sweet little boy, but you are also a tough little guy to parent. You are head strong, determined, and stubborn. You do not like to be told what to do, and you have a fiery temper. You get these qualities from your dad. Okay fine, and me too.
You know how manipulate situations, and you have some incredibly strong leadership skills. While this is tough now, I am proud for the future. Because I know that you will grow to be assertive and you will not be used as a doormat.
You are also a ladies’ man. Already. You have a girlfriend at every place we go. Sophia at swimming lessons, Lilly at the Y’s toddler time and Chloe at school. I am concerned for the years when hormones drive your decisions. I’m really considering lobbying to bring back the chastity belt as a legal birth control option. My hope for you is to wear the steel belt until you are thirty, with your go-to pick-up line being, “would you like to meet Frisky, Snuffles and Fluffy, my cats?”
Of course, I’m kidding. I just hope you learn to make wise decisions, and that you show respect to the women around you. And, someday, when you fall in love, I hope it is of the forever kind.
I hope you will always be kind to animals the way you are to Daisy. I love that you tell people she is your black and white sister.
I hope you learn to appreciate naps. Now would be nice. But someday seems more achievable.
I hope you always stand firm in your faith.
I hope you are never afraid to be silly.
I hope you always believe in magic.
I hope that you are always confident and carefree enough to spontaneously dance.
I hope you will karaoke (not as a profession, just on occasion).
I hope you are always free to be loud. Your voice deserves to be heard, but give others a chance to be heard as well.
I hope that someday I will embarrass you. Because then I’ll know that I’m doing something right. You won’t be allowed to hang out at houses belonging to “cool moms”. For now, though, while you are little, I’m glad that I’m still your best friend.
I hope you continue to be encouraging. I love how you cheer me on at CrossFit, or just when I’m trying to find a lost toy. “Come on Mommy, you can do it!” always makes me smile. Encouraging others and giving praise will make a heart happy.
At four years old, you seem to already grasp the importance of family. I hope you always love your family like you do now. The enthusiasm in which you love your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins is adorable and contagious.
While I hope you are tough, I also hope that you won’t be afraid to talk about your feelings.
I hope that you, even though you hate it now, are learning something when you do chores. Someday your wife will thank me.
I hope you will always appreciate the wisdom your grandparents have to offer. Despite what you may think, they were young once too.
I hope you are always funny. Laughter is truly the best medicine, and, Buddy, you are full of laughs! You have just, in the past few days, learned to tell your first joke. And even though the chicken always crosses the road just to get to the other side, your charisma and eye-sparkle make it worth hearing every single time.
I hope you always know that you are loved. No matter how naughty or downright dumb you will ever be, you are loved. Mommy and Daddy are always on your team.
I know that you are already in a hurry to grow up. You always correct me when I call you my baby boy by demanding, “I’m NOT a baby!” You keep asking me if you are a grown-up yet, and if you are big like Daddy yet. Don’t hurry too fast, Little K. Swallow up every moment of being carefree and full of wonder. Too soon it will vanish, and the wanderlust of childhood will be evaporate into term papers and first jobs and careers and engagement rings and dirty diapers and bills.
Be little, little one, for as long as you can.
I love you more than the earth and the sky and the moon and the stars.
Love always and forever,