My darling, darling boy.
You are so awesomely fantastic. I really want you to know that. In this business of raising tiny humans, sometimes I feel like you are surrounded by adults who are telling you to do this, don't do that, remember to say thank you, follow my directions, clean up your mess... whew. I'm sure it can be overwhelming and frustrating sometimes. And we try, your daddy and I, we try SO hard to point out all those good and wonderful things you do too, so you don't feel overwhelmed with criticism, but just in case you don't remember those moments, I want to write them down here for you.
Here's five little stories about you, right now, at almost four years old. Five stories that truly capture your strength of character, your beautiful kind soul, your amazing sense of empathy. Right now you might not realize how fantastic you are, how unusually kind, but maybe when you are grown and you read this, you will know.
1. You were playing outside, riding your bike with some other kids in our little neighborhood (Daddy was out with you) and I was inside nursing Chase. You came running in, all out of breath, and went straight to our coat closet. Since you were already wearing a coat, I asked you what you were doing. You said, "MOM, DER'S A YITTLE GIRL OUT THERE WHO'S COLD. SO I'M BRINGING HER A SWEATSHIRT SO SHE CAN BE WARM." Oh, I said. Did Daddy ask you to do that? "NOPE HE DIDN'T." And then, you turned off the closet light, shut the door, and went out to offer a cold little girl your sweater. You were so matter-of-fact. You weren't looking for attention or external gratification. You weren't showing off or bragging. You were simply doing something nice for someone.
My absolute favorite thing about you, my son, is your thoughtfulness and empathy. You are so, so kind and generous. You offer to let other kids ride your bike (you even take off your helmet to let them wear it while they ride...even if it means you can't ride something else until their turn is finished). You are thoughtful without being told to be thoughtful - and that warms my heart more than anything. The older I get, the more I realize that the MOST important thing you can do as a person is to be kind. I'm eternally grateful that you already have that intrinsic motivation to help others.
2. Another day, you were again playing with a (different) neighbor girl. You were both riding your bikes around when the girl asked you if you wanted to go play at our little park (it's right in our cul-de-sac). You said to her, "I HAVE TO ASK MY MOM." Even though you really, really wanted to go play with her, you knew (although I've never specifically asked you) that you needed to talk to me before you just went off somewhere.
Thanks for that, dearest. Thanks for knowing that I care about you and love you and it's important for me to know where you are.
3. Last week, we were walking up the stairs together to get ready for nap. You slipped your little hand trustingly in mine and said, "MAMA, YOU'RE MY BEST FRIEND!". My heart just melted. Time and time again, my boy, your daddy and I sit together after you are in bed and talk about how much we love being around you, how much fun you are. You are just such a delightful little person to spend time with! I know you will not always think of me as your best friend, but I love that we can delight in our loving relationship together.
4. This morning you were eating breakfast and announced to me, "I'M GOING TO FINISH MY LIQUID!" (your orange juice). "DRINKS ARE LIQUID BECAUSE THEY TAKE THE SHAPE OF THEIR CONTAINER!" You are just such sponge for any kind of information, Daddy and I love to answer your questions because you learn so quickly anything we teach you.
5. My son, I'm not exaggerating when I say you have seriously the BIGGEST sweet tooth of anyone I've ever met. Your life sorta revolves around your one daily "special treat" you get to choose. Well, even though you love your special treats more than anything, you are still willing to share them with me. Today at Fred Meyer, the bakery employee gave you a cookie. You were SO excited and you couldn't wait to gobble that cookie up...yet, you took a moment to offer me a bite. It was so generous and kind of you. There's not much excitement when you offer me a bite of broccoli, but a bit of cookie - that's real love and generosity :).