Thomas, today you are four years old. I can hardly believe we’re here already! You inspire me every day with your generosity. When you experience something amazing – a taste, a view, an object – your first reaction is to want to share it with someone.
“THIS IS SO GOOD, MOM, YOU HAVE TO TASTE IT!”
“WOOK AT THIS DWESS, MOM, WET’S GET IT FO’ WOOFIE!”
You are slow to warm up to new situations – it took you three three months to say hello to Daniel at the bus stop, and four months to stop clinging to me at preschool drop off. You sit back and assess a situation or person, determining who will be one of your trusted peeps. But when you make a determination, it seems to be a set relationship.
This year you also claimed a “best friend.” You ask to see him on a daily basis, and tell me you wish he was part of our “famiwy.” Your sleepovers and park dates are filled with Light Sabor wars, kung foo fighting, and SuperHero rescues. Knowing your intimate, faithful, and dedicated personality, I imagine this friendship lasting many years despite attending different schools in the future.
Like most sibling relationships, you and Ruthie are love/hate, but mostly love. You adore her, and you protect her. That time we went to Santa Cruz beach and Ruthie ran in and out of the surf? You were so worried for her safety that you screamed at me and pushed me toward the water to stop her.
You follow her everywhere and do what she does. This sometimes gets you into trouble because you don’t evaluate whether your choices are foolish or wise, only whether Woofie did it. My prayer is that your conscience will override the strong draw of your sister’s leadership, and you will one day speak into her life regarding some of the choices she makes.
I think your challenge will be to believe in yourself and to trust your instinct. You are thoughtful in your determination, and quiet in your execution, but your ego bruises easily and you worry what people will think. I’m confident Jesus will lead you through all this, and I think you’re already working out what that looks like. When I make a decision that puts you in tears, your question to me often is, “Does Jesus agree with you?” And when I say, Yes, Jesus gives me wisdom to be a good parent, you are satisfied.
I love you, and I love being your mom. I’m continually aware that I walk a fine line between leading you and raising you to be a leader. I want to support you and nurture you in a way that bolsters you up as a man, but still cuddles and snuggles you like a boy.
And your dad? You are WAY INTO your dad. Every morning when you wake up you ask, “Where’s dad?” Every night when he comes home you skooch your chair around the dinner table to be right next to him. And on the weekends you LOVE to run errands and do GUY STUFF with your dad. Sometimes you even climb into his lap with your blankie and your thumb and chuckle just a little bit – you are so content in that space it brings an uncontrollable giggle up through you. I LOVE that – the happiness and contentment that expresses itself in a bubbling over of laughter.
In closing, know that I want to encourage your natural curiosity. You are filled with striking questions and keen observations. Here are a few of the things you’ve said to me over the last year:
Why does the sky change colors?
How did Scout get up to heaven when there’s nothing for him to stand on?
How do things melt?
Why does Jesus live in the sky?
Hey I know! We can send the [broken] spoon up to heaven for Jesus to fix, and then he can shoot it back down to us!
I wish I was Jesus or a Super Hero so I could save people.
Daddy I need to change my pants so I have somewhere to put my gun. (he needed a pocket).
Daddy, can we break our car so we have to buy a new one over there and I can play in the Spiderman house? (re the Spiderman jump house in the used car lot)
I wish there was a machine that could make it so the WHOLE WORLD could watch Clone Wars!