Four Years Old

21 Dec

Dear Lucas,

My four year old boy…. oh how times have changed.  It used to be that I couldn’t imagine being even one day late for your monthly letters.  I’d want them published within hours of waking up each month.  But these days, I’m two weeks late and feeling pretty good about that.  You and your brother, you two trouble makers, you fill me up.  My cup is full to the brim on nearly every day, and by the time I’d sit to write, there isn’t room for me to pour out words without risking spilling the whole cup and ruining the delicate balance I maintain each day between you, your brother, your daddy, our home, my work and all the other many things that need to get checked off the daily ‘to do list.’

But my delay in writing this letter is far from a reflection of how I’m feeling about your change in age. I’m truly stunned to have a four year old.  Day-to-day, I recognize that you are my big guy.  You bound around our house with unbridled confidence and curiosity.  It was a year of “whys” and “hows” – constant questions about big things and small.  Nearly every time we are in the car alone, you pepper me with questions.  It’s a machine gun spatter of inquiry, and while at times it makes me desperate for peace and quiet, more often I’m in awe of the things you are asking and how your thoughts and thought process grow.

And speaking of growth, grow you have – you are nearly forty pounds and more than forty inches. That makes you slightly taller than average and perfectly normal on weight.  I find that hard to believe as lifting you is more and more challenging.  It’s all long legs dangling and gangly arms wrapped around my neck.  Amazingly, you still love to be held, and I’m so grateful.  You often scramble up onto the couch and stretch your long body on top of mine.  You love for me to snuggle you and laugh like crazy when I tell you stories of how you grew in my tummy.  “Again, again!” you insist when I detail how you used to kick and roll and bump me from the inside.  I think you might be most astonished with how you’ve grown, as you often tell us “when I was three, I was this big” and so on and so forth.

It was a year of big adventures for you.  From trips to the park, the Aquarium, the beach, even Disney World, we were always on the go, and you were our perfect companion (most of the time). You are happiest out of the house and exploring, even if it is just in our neighborhood. I’ve never been much of an outdoors girl, myself, but I have a feeling you will be just the person to disabuse me of that preference.  From bike rides around the block to picnics in the yard, afternoons at the playground or mornings at the amusement park, we were outside at nearly every available moment this year, and, I concede the point and note, that it was fabulous.

Let’s talk about your brother for a minute.  Oh how you are his favorite… he just adores you.  And most of the time, it seems that feeling is mutual.  You always have a keen eye on what Benjamin is doing, and if it appears at all interesting, you’ve got to get right in the middle of it.  Unfortunately for Benny, that decision nearly always results in him getting knocked down or cast aside as you demand he “share!!!” the toy or game with you.  You are rough, tumble and every bit a wild boy, and your brother is following every footstep.  I think this may be the year that he catches up in the pushing and shoving department, and I’m not quite sure you are ready for what that will mean!

At four years old, you are a man of your own mind.  Your preferences are well established are rather unyielding.  Vegetables = torture.  Television shows = riveting. Jeans = crunchy and unacceptable.  Sweat pants = soft and fabulous.  Nearly all our dinners involve some kind of temper tantrum, and they aren’t always about vegetables.  If I’m not serving tortellini, you are probably not happy with what’s on your plate.  You’d like every meal to include tortellini (extra sauce), fruit, a cheese stick and some kind of crunchy carbohydrate. As such, you skip dinner about three nights a week after I offend you horribly with some kind of pork tenderloin, piece of grilled chicken or repugnant serving of green beans.  We are working on it.

Lucas James, you make us laugh.  You make us marvel at your memory and your smarts.  You make us smile with your sweet statements and kind gestures.  You make us proud when you are loving to your brother and good to your friends.  You are a good, sweet boy.  You are more than we could have ever wanted or even imagined.  And we are so lucky to have you.

I love you to the moon and back,
Your Mama

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