Wednesday, December 22, 2010

well something happened. they turned four. love letter time!

from a negligent blogger (yet attentive mother!).
dear R,
today you are four. ok. you were actually four 32 days ago. we. have. been. busy. a new busy like we did not know before. and by busy i mean a never ending loop of fun. and now you're four. FOUR!
this year you reached an all new high with your love for being a mommy to your babies. and i know just how you feel. you are a marvel. a precious bundle of happiness and energy and glow. you love to learn and you love to teach. not necessarily in that order. it thrilled me this year to see true love reveal itself when you met your first nutcracker ballet. i had never seen you sit still with this intensity of concentration. you sat for an hour and a half, in your princess belle dress, hands clasped in your lap, eyes glued to the stage, motionless but face full of joy. at intermission i took you to the bathroom and you ran, pulling me back into the theater because you didn't want to miss anything. and you didn't. when we got home, a curtain was born, over your closet. your new "stage." that stage has been busy. you and C often (often) perform in that space. dancing. singing. playing the guitar. playing the drums. playing dress up. immediately the scene from the nutcracker where fritz grabs clara's new nutcracker became a regular reenactment. you bring your hands to your eyes, lower your head and pretend to sob. it's a prize-winning performance.
speaking of performances, you have a gift for dance. before you pull of a big twirl, sometimes you jet your arms out to one side to wind up and better propel the whirling spin. it works. you also came with the internal skill of spotting, a dancer's technique when spinning to focus on a spot while completing multiple turns so you don't fall down. ok sometimes you fall down, but rarely. someone once asked me at a play date shortly after you turned 3 where you took dance. i said you were self-taught. and you are! we did get you to your first dance lessons during the summer. now we have added ballet shoes, leotards, and tap shoes to the dress-up repertoire.
this year you had a big move to a big bed in a new room. you were excited but you also asked about C a lot. and you always ask about C a lot. you melt my heart with how much you love your brother. wherever we go where there is a sample of some sort to be had, you always ask for one for your brother. a balloon at the grocery store. a sticker at the doctor's office. a piece of bread at whole food's. you're always thinking of him. and recently you said you love him because he does sweet things for you. and he can say the same of you. i also watch your empathy and care for others who are upset. you pay special attention and want to know why someone is hurting and that they will be okay. at your first trip to the dentist's office this year, there was a little girl next to you who was very upset and scared. you hopped right out of your seat and brought her your new dora toothbrush the dentist gave you. sweetest.
this year we lost our beloved friend the nap. i knew it would go. people have long warned me it will come to an end and long cursed me that it lasted so long. when you're that special combination of super-tired and super-amped and trying to do anything but sleep, you go into a kind of delirious babble with a thousand different thoughts and words and motions and most people would not understand. but i do. and i love it. for a second. and then i realize you have been babbling/moving for more time than you would have actually slept and i call it. not happening. but then there's the occasional slip. our little lovey the nap comes back. maybe a time or two each month. but it's different now. there's no more "sleep tight," close door, two sleeping kiddos for two hours. there's no more sing R to sleep, now sing C to sleep, close door ever so carefully, two sleeping kiddos for one and a half hours. now there's hang out with, read, maybe sleep now?, sing, maybe now?, ok you can lay on my shoulder. zzzzzzzzz.
one day i found myself saying "my neck really hurts. she slept on my shoulder for her whole hour-long nap." and as the words are coming out of my mouth i think, i wonder if you're still sleepy. maybe you can go back to sleep on my shoulder for just another 30 minutes. even another 15. this neck cramp will be better by the end of the day or tomorrow. but i will forever miss these days of neck cramps when you no longer want me to hold you while you sleep. you look like an angel. a little cherub with sweet rosy cheeks, so peaceful and sweet. and when you wake up groggy and tighten your arms around my neck and say "i want to keep you" i just want to say "OK!" yes, please, please, please, pretty please. please do keep me. this is a freezable moment. and i will treasure it forever. and i will treasure you forever. because when you say you want to "do our prays" (bedtime prayers) and you say "thank you God for my soul" i am thanking God for the same. you are beautiful inside and out. happy birthday. i love you.

dear C,
for your fourth birthday, i thought about consulting someone on how i could appropriately express the love that i feel for you, my precious sweet boy. but then i realized the person i should consult is you. you have more love in your little body and more ways of perfectly articulating your feelings than anyone i have ever met. it's astounding. how you can already be a renaissance man at the age of four, i am unsure. but you've got it all. smart, athletic, funny, cultured, handsome, caring, creative. you're a sports fan and a bookworm. you're a smarty and a smart-alec. you like bob the builder and classical music. you liked dance camp with your sister and the fire station with your cousins. valentine's day this year was a testament to your sweetness when i asked you what it meant to love. you said "when you love someone, you hug them in your heart." you also told me that you love me because i'm incredible to you and i make your heart feel happy. well it's hard for me to capture just how much happiness you bring to my heart. i think right now you might understand it as to infinity and beyond. recently one of our friends described you as a build-a-bear. if she went to build-a-bear to build a kid, that kid would be you. and i think it's a perfect way to describe you. you're snugly with a big heart and big smile and bright eyes and big hugs. precious. one day as i was dropping you off at school, i started to walk away and you called to me, "wait, mommy." i stopped and turned around and you said, from a distance, "i'll keep you in my heart." i couldn't leave. you were three and a half and you liked school and you were fine at school and you had your sister at school. but i couldn't leave. i came back to hug you tight, tight enough to try to keep myself from crying. i always keep you in my heart.
shortly after your third birthday, we were in a store where music was playing and you asked me "is this tchaikovsky?" i love your questions and i love the way you think. another day at dinner you asked me "when is the end of the world, anyway?" when i asked where you heard about that, your response was "from myself." so i will call you my epistemological philosopher and i am so grateful for how you help me see and experience the world. pure amazement and appreciation for things often taken for granted.
this year i have really seen you flourish at school. you are so good at concentrating and so proud of your accomplishments. one of my favorite things that you do is make anything into a song. sometimes you'll just start singing about something out of the blue... "we're going to the park. yeah yeah. to the park. do do do do." it. is. awesome. and you have a permanent fan right next door. r is always ready for a duet or a performance. you have established your signature role as announcer "ladieeees aaand gentlemen. preeeesenting..." you love your r. this year, since you were three, was the first year for all of us that i did not participate with you in your activities. when you and r were headed to sports class, where i watched from outside, you made a point to tell r "it's ok. we'll be together. we have each other." i could not have said it better myself.
you are really growing up fast. it's amazing to me how in one single day i can see flashes of the future where you are sixteen years old and also the past where you are one year old. i pick you up from school and ask how your day was and you tell me today you got your driver's license. i laugh at the thought (you are three!) but also think about how fast time has gone by and i bet i will blink and you will really be getting your driver's license. and later that day i give you a drink of water and you say "thank you, mommy" while touching your face to also sign "thank you" and i flash back to you at one and a half years old. half your current age. half your current size. and yes i just blinked and two whole years went by.
c, you are a wonder. recently you said "i think God made me to love blocks." i bet He did. and i know God made me to love you. and i am so grateful for this chance to know you and learn about you and learn from you. happy birthday. i love you.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Beautiful. I am going to go cry for the rest of the day. :')