I honestly cannot believe you are 4.5 years old. I'm writing this letter shortly after your ½ birthday and you've been telling everyone that asks your age that you are "four-and-a-HALF"! I love how much that ½ a year means to kids...but I wouldn't mind if time slowed down a little bit. It seriously feels like your Fourth Birthday Lego Extravaganza was just yesterday, not six months ago.
So let's see...in the last six months you've finished preschool in the 4's class, become a big brother to Ellis, become a cousin to baby Roman, played on your second t-ball team (with tons of friends from church), made an imaginary friend named John, had your first few sleepovers...the list could go on and on. Basically, it's been a pretty busy half-year.
The two main things I want to remember about this stage with you are:
2) your tender heart toward the babies in your life (and the stuffed animal collection you have been accumulating).
From the time you wake up each morning until you fall asleep at night (and most likely in your dreams) you are imagining things. Sometimes you welcome us into your world and invite us to play too, and other times you're so engrossed in the imaginary game you're playing that you hardly even register that we're in the room. Your little brother is absolutely LOVING this about you because he can just sit in his high chair or bouncer and take it all in. There's no one he'd rather keep his eyes on than you. Which reminds me - you're a wonderful big brother. You rarely complain when asked to help with something (unless it's a dirty diaper, you are pretty adamant about the fact that you "don't touch those"). There have been many moments in the past few months when I've heard Ellis crying but by the time I get to him, you've beat me to it...and he's no longer sad, but busy smiling at you as you talk to him and calm him down.
Thank you, Harry. You have been with me more than anyone else as I've been learning how to be a mom of two boys...and I honestly don't think I could have made it without you. There have been some hard moments that involved some time outs and even some spankings (because you're not perfect, and don't worry...neither am I). But there's been a whole lot of forgiveness and hugs, and talk about how much we all need Jesus and how we are so thankful for His grace in the day-to-day struggles we encounter. And aside from these momentary challenges, the majority of our time has been spent laughing together, reading books, playing, baking/cooking, getting to know Ellis, splashing at the spray park, going down slides, spending time with friends, watching some cartoons, dancing to our favorite tunes, eating ice cream...soaking up the sweet spring and summer as a new family of four.
I am certain that someday I will look back on this season in our lives as one of the very sweetest. I'm getting teary-eyed just thinking about it. Of course our lives aren't perfect...they never will be. But being your mama now for the past 4.5 years has taught me to loosen up and let the chaos and mess of mothering a little boy bring me more joy than stress. You delight in life Harry, and live it to the absolute fullest. I pray you never lose that spirit.
And even though it may sound weird, and won't really happen...there are days when I ask you if we can snuggle forever, even when you're grown...and for now you say (enthusiastically) "YES!”
Thanks for indulging me sweet boy. Thanks for climbing into my lap (even though your don't fit as well as you used to), for wrapping your arms around me and giving me sweet kisses. I know time will bring more independence as you grow into boyhood and eventually into the man that God created you to be. But for now you like to hold my hand, gaze lovingly into my eyes and tell me that you love me the most-est (most of the time). Hopefully all of this tender loving you give me now will make you one sweetheart of a husband to your wife someday ;)
I love you Harry. I love the way you play and talk constantly. The way you make up silly rhymes (even though they sometimes sound like curse words). I love your little baby teeth and your under bite (don't worry, we're saving up for braces now...just in case). The freckles you get in strange places (like your earlobe and on the side of your finger). I love the high-pitched voice you use to talk to your brother (that is basically an imitation of the high-pitched voice I use to talk to him too...but it's cuter coming from your). I love the way you fall asleep at night with a half-dozen stuffed animals, books, and toy cars strewn around your bed. I love everything about you...even that crazy-intense cry you've been doing lately that is way more dramatic than any situation you're crying about. I could honestly go on forever, but by the time you're old enough to read this I'm sure you're shaking your head and saying "Oh mom...just quit it!"
Just get onto YouTube (or whatever we're using these days to watch videos) and look up a show called "The Goldberg's". I'm basically a carbon copy of the mom in that show, minus the 80's hairdo and shoulder pads. You're welcome. I'm sure you're getting a good laugh at my expense...but it's true so I have to laugh at myself along with you.
Love you (shmoopie*) always and forever,
*Look up "The Goldberg's" to understand this reference. I promise you won't regret it ;)