My Dearest Jack,
Today you are 4. I will fully admit that there have been many days this past year when I wasn't sure it would ever get here. Wow, what a year it was.
For me, one of the best and worst parts of parenting is that time keeps on ticking. Somehow we keep marching forward, through good and bad. One of nature's best evolutionary tactics perhaps?
You have done a lot of amazing work this year. You've learned how to spell, how to read, how to write, how to count to 100, how to dress yourself, how to use the potty, how to make friends, and so much more.
You've started to dream of bigger things: driving cars (to buy your own candy), eating cake for dinner (good luck to you there!), being a fireman or a race car driver, going to kindergarten (and wondering if mommies go with their babies, sniff), and plenty of other things too.
You've struggled a lot too. Are you a baby or a big kid? How can you be independent from me? Where do you draw the line between doing what is asked of you and being your own person?
And there have been tears. Oceans and oceans of tears.
I guess it's been hard to imagine you are a person separate from mommy and daddy, eh?
In years past there have only been glimpses of the man you will be. This year I am pretty certain I can see that man *right* there...what traits are here to stay, which are passing fads. Four years in there seems to be little doubt about who you are.
And you are still my sunshine.
I love you baby boy. (Yes, I know, you aren't a baby, you are kid now.)
I hope that the coming year brings more peace of mind and less struggle. An easier journey to number five is certainly well deserved this year. (And yes, I also know you want the numbers to go faster and that you won't eat salad until you are 61, but let's just get used to number four first, ok?)
With all my love,