The other night we were snuggling before bed and you asked me to sing to you, as you often do. I was surprised when you requested the Moon Song, because it's not one of the normal songs on the rota, but the song we used to dance to in the kitchen all the time a few years ago, back when you were only two. I truly cannot remember the last time that I sang it to you, but I still know the words and started to sing.
We were in a hotel on our way to vacation, so we weren't in the normal spinning chair, but laying down on the pullout bed on the couch. As I sang, you twirled the ribbon on your bear's neck, occasionally hummed along with me and held my hand, and wiggled your legs all over the place because you are SUCH a wiggle worm. And as I sang and held you in my arms, tears slid quickly and steadily down my cheeks and onto the pillow.
I can't believe we used to dance to this song when you were two, and now you're FOUR. That seems crazy to me.
One afternoon just after you were born your dad and I were riding with you in the car and I started to cry. He looked over at me and I shrugged towards you by way of explanation and said, "I just love him so much!"
You were a new baby. You slept pretty well, then you cried it out for a week and you slept amazingly. You ate perfectly: bottle, formula, nursing, baby food, adult food, all of it. You travelled easily. You played happily alone or sweetly with whomever approached you. You were the most content baby that I have ever known.
Then you were one.
You started to walk, sign please, and eventually talked. You didn't like the cockroach or the jack in the box. You hit a golf ball off a tee with scary precision. You took 2 long naps every day and kept to a precise routine.
Then you were two.
You loved to kick a soccer ball, watch your dad play softball, and at the softball games you would "golf" the softballs with your bat. You loved to sing any song that we taught you, and dance to any song that was playing. At play dates you began to play with your friends instead of everyone just playing alongside one another.
Then you were three.
You started preschool and loved it. You got potty trained, then untrained, then re-trained. You shot a basketball and hit a baseball with scary precision. You became a big brother. You struggled and acted out at first, but eventually you (and the rest of us) fell peacefully into a new rhythm, that of a family of four.
And now you're four.
You turn anything that you're doing, into a song about anything that you're doing.
You use adult phrases with profound accuracy 95% of the time. 5% of the time you're way off, and I love it.
You insist that I call Hannah's favorite lovey a bear, despite the fact that it's an elephant, because your loveys are bears.
You pump both fists into the air and say "Yay yay" when dad gets home from work, greet him at the garage door, and then run away, either for him to chase you right then, or to hide so that he'll come find you.
You sing the Fireman Sam theme song often, and you dance while you sing it. You have a version where you replace "Fireman Sam" with "Jayce and Dad." "So move aside, make way, for Jayce and Dad. Cause they're gonna save the day. Jayce and Dad...
Everything right now is "Amazing!" or "Impossible!" or "How did they do that?!!" You slip these phrases into our regular conversation and seems that the world is a mystery to you.
When I think about the little(r) you and cry, it's not because I'm sad that you are getting older, or sad that you aren't little anymore. It's just that I love the four year old you so much that it overwhelms me. I remember feeling the same way about the one, two and three year old you. Apparently, just when I think my heart is completely full, it stretches just a little bit more.
You, at age four, are all that we ever wanted in a little boy, and I can't wait to see how you stretch our hearts (and surely our patience) in the years to come.
Happy birthday buddy. We love you.