This morning I asked you, "How old are you?" You replied, "Four. Two." And when people at church asked you, you told them "Three." For a year now you have faithfully answered the age question with three, and so of course a change is a bit confusing. I say this every year, that I can't believe you are ____, and every year it is still true. I can't believe you are four.
|(picture by Sarah Bottarel Photography)|
On the nights when Bubby is at basketball practice until past your bedtime, you fall asleep on my shoulder. The sound of your breathing into sleep and the comforting feeling of you right next to me is so similar to the days I held as a newborn. You have the same crazy hair and the same desire to snuggle. These things are distinctly you.
This year you have had many milestones. You stood on stage with your Puggles class and said your name into the microphone at church. We all cheered. You started preschool, and you returned home and we started a much better speech therapy. Thanks to Mr. D. you are now learning how to give bumps with your fist. You sing songs and memorize verses and say, "Here you go, Scout. Eat your dinner!" when it's your turn to feed her. You are climbing up the playground equipment more easily and learning to balance on a big boy swing. You can list every person in your Cubbies class and all of your teachers, too. You pray for Veggie Tales characters and Sesame Street puppets most nights. You know where we are probably going just be the streets we turn down, and you know all the basic sounds of your letters, the names of the capitals and many lowercase ones, too. You can count to twenty if you don't think we are listening, and you can sort by color and shape as long as it isn't a stranger doing a formal assessment.
You had your own first birthday party with your friends. We kept it small, and as each friend left you repeated, "Thank you for coming, ______!" You enjoyed the singing and the cake, but only really liked one of the games I planned. My favorite part of the day is when your friend, L, gave you a hug right after you opened your present from him. You are loved by our circle of friends, our church,and our family, and that is the gift that keeps on giving.
You have gifted us, Bugaboo. You have taught us to pray and to have faith. You are teaching us to accept things that may not change. You teach us that all anyone really wants is to be included, to have a group of people who will always say hi and greet us with a smile. You have shown us what hard work really looks like, as each week you go to various therapy appointments and try, try, try. You have taught us to be grateful for the small things. We rejoiced when you climbed on the kitchen chair (and then I told you to get down because it wasn't safe - ha!), when you started using your spoon, when the braces came out of your shoes.
You have taught me to fight, little boy. To push what needs to be pushed and not accept what doesn't need to be accepted. You have shown me my passion for advocacy, but more importantly my passion for being your mommy. Nothing would make me walk away from that privilege, that blessing to be part of your life. I am proud of you, Bug, and I'm so thankful to get to be a part of your life!
Happy birthday, Bugaboo!