Friday, April 5, 2013

4 Years Old....

My boy turned 4 on Wednesday. We are just coming down from the cake and gifts {and more gifts} and it feels like the right time to take a moment and say thank you to Liam.

My Liam,
It feels like yesterday that you entered the world on a snowy April morning... We knew our lives were instantly and forever changed at 6:33AM, but we were not prepared for the joy ride you had planned for us, each day.

You've grown from a sweet baby to a tenacious toddler to a beautiful boy before our eyes. And for every second of it, I want to say thank you: 
Thank you for torturous all-nighters, it was humbling to learn I couldn't fix everything and healing to realize that I couldn't do it all.
Thank you for unexpected smiles that release a chest-tighting, explosion of love that I never knew was possible.
Thank you for silly songs and zany dance moves, those little glimpses of raw creativity are more inspiring than some great works of art.
Thank you for saying "come on Mommy" and making me get in the game, those are adventures I almost missed out on, but will never forget.
Thank you for your laughter, the sweetest sound I've ever heard.
Thank you for telling me love you when I don't say it first....
The past four years have had more love and more laughter and more real, messy and gorgeous life than I ever thought possible. And for that I am deeply grateful.

Has it all been sunshine and shooting stars? Nah. There have been stitches and hospital stays, tantrums and tears, but I wouldn't trade them. Those unpleasantries and scars are simply lines in your story, they have become part of what makes you unique, of what makes our family special--afterall, inside jokes need to start somewhere, right?

When you were a baby, I would rock you to sleep. I rocked you until you were almost 2, unlike every parenting expert advised--they preached independence and sleep training techniques, but I kept-on rocking you because, well, because you were my baby. And I knew there was going to be a time when you didn't want to be rocked anymore, and worse, a time when you didn't need to be rocked anymore. {And for the record, you now put yourself to sleep, no problem! Pretty goo, huh Dr. Sears?}

But in those quiet moments in the dark I would hold you and I would sing to you... then I would whisper a The Help-inspired mantra: you are strong, you are smart, you are kind and you are gentle, but above all this, you are loved.

And now you are only four years old, but you are already all of those things and so much more. You are carefree, you are brave, you are shy, you are loud (oh so loud!,) you are sweet, you are thoughtful, you are hilarious, you are loyal and you are pure joy.

And I know this year, it will only get better and better... Happy birthday baby.
I love you.

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