A Letter To My Son On His Fourth Birthday
You amaze me almost every day. It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. You are so mature now; no longer a baby but a boy. I find it hard to remember you’re actually only 4 years old.
Your music skills are out of this world. I don’t know many kids who can accurately sing not only nursery rhymes like the wheels on the bus, but also complicated grown up songs, and full Disney musicals. You like arts and being creative, as long as you don’t have to work with little things like crayons. I think that’s why you like singing - it doesn’t involve any fine-motor skills, and you can do it anywhere. And you literally sing everywhere.
You share so well with your sister. You are in general such a great big brother. You always have an eye out for her, and you make sure that she gets an equal part of whatever you guys are playing with together. It doesn’t always go smoothly, but most of the times the way you two play together makes me melt. No wonder your sister no longer cries on daycare drop-off but happily runs into the room screaming, “Adam starts in the Juniors!”
You have such good friends. I really love how you have actual relationships with kids at your daycare – a trend I started watching happily last year. When they were here yesterday for your birthday party it really showed. They all showed up happily, and they all were almost as excited as you were for the party. They wanted to play with you. And you have different relationships with each of them. You gently hug the little girls and you show them the musical instruments, and you play rough-and-tumble with the boys who seem to be made out of rubber. Not that the girls didn’t jump right into the kids-pile after two seconds of being proper, but you gave it a shot.
And this is the first year you were actually excited about your birthday. You have been talking about it for a month. And it was a big one, too. Not long ago you started being completely diaper-free, and on your birthday-eve you gave up your nighttime soother because you’re “already a big boy”. You got a new bike last week - big kids bike - and you drive them around proudly, if cautiously. And you knocked me out of the water when we were in the car the other day, and you asked why the sign said no. Our foray into reading land has truly begun.
For your birthday this year, I wish for you to learn to cope when things don’t go your way. If you find something difficult to master, you tend to give up on it. That doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen. And you don’t like it at all. Not very many kids do, and I hope you’ll figure it out. You will learn that in life it is often the case that things don’t go our way. I wish for you to learn not only to deal with your negative emotions, but also to turn your failure into a learning opportunity, and turn the negative event into an opening for growth.