Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happy birthday, Jack.

They say time speeds up as you age.  They are right.  It has been four years since I was packing my bag for the hospital, preparing to be induced at 6am only to have you arrive totally on your own just two short hours later.  Four years. Flashed by in a blink.

You smiled early.  You were less than a month old when I fell in love with those dimples.  Your first word was Dada.  You loved to feed Dean from your high chair. You walked early, at about 10 months. You took your first steps in our den on a post-call morning.  You walked four steps from your daddy to me and then spent the rest of the day proud as a peacock with your new skill. You weaned yourself off breast and bottle early too, less than a year old.  You just didn't like being a baby.  You were uncomfortable in your body until you learned how to make it move the way you wanted and then you were delighted.  With everything.  Sirens, airplanes, tickles, Dean dog, making me all amused you uncontrollably and it showed on your face.

We had your first birthday party a few times.  Donuts to school, a cake here with us and Gigi, a party with Bud and Nana in Spartanburg.

You didn't like the party hats.

Your second party was here in Greensboro.  We made monkey cupcakes and had the grandparents and Aunt Rachel over to enjoy them. That was the day we bought our first new car....a minivan.  You thought it was yours.

For your third birthday, we had a Thomas the Train party at school with mini cupcakes and hats. You were so proud to hand out the cupcakes and sit at the head of the table while we all sang.

And now, for your fourth, we had an official organized party at ArtQuest.  It sleeted pretty badly the night before but four of your school friends, including your best friend Cayden, made it.  Nana and Bud were there and we had pizza and Batman cupcakes that you helped me make.  You were amazingly outgoing and not shy at all for the entire party. You were such a perfect little host.  You have insisted on sleeping in your Batman pjs underneath your Batman balloons each night since. You also ask that Caroline refers to you as Batman and refers to herself as Catwoman.  You have decided that four fingers held up all touching is a much more grown up way of showing people "how many fingers you are" instead of the splayed way you were showing them 3.

Tomorrow is Monday, the 28th.  It will seem mostly like an ordinary day to you.  I've taken the day off and will spend it totally with you doing whatever you want but the beauty of my first born is that you relish all moments as if they are all birthday-tastic.  Your crystal blue eyes still get big and sparkle when there's talk of some form of sugar.  You will talk and talk and talk to me about everything and nothing and sit close and hold my hand and offer to share your breakfast scone with me.  You will ask if Caroline and Sam can come along and share in the fun. And you will mean it. You will ask me repeatedly, much like a demented old man, if you can watch old 1966 Batman episodes on the iPad and, since it's your birthday and I can rarely resist your smile when it's just us, I will give in.  You will ask to pull a chair up to the stove and help me cook dinner and, despite how many times I tell you not to touch the batter, you will eat finger fulls until I finally strip you of your apron-hood and shoo you out of the kitchen. You will ask me to tell you the story of when I got trapped with the skunk in the camper no less than 10 times because it's your favorite and you love to hear stories. And at the end of the day, you will ask me to lay next to you and you will tell me that you had a great day and that you love me and you hope I have sweet dreams because you tell me that almost every night.

You are gangly now. You are starting to get obliviously awkward.  You clearly have an affinity for screens and sugar, which is a little un-nerving but also quite useful with bribery at this stage.  Your favorite color is Carolina blue.  Your favorite food is PB&J sandwiches with "orange" chips. You are fully potty trained and love to change your superhero underwear multiple times a day.  You adore Batman.  You still love your little and big monkey and cannot sleep without them. You still suck your thumb.  You love to have your haircut. You have incredibly good manners and use them often. You are still the most genuine, thoughtful, tenderhearted boy I have ever known.

Four years.  In a flash.

Happy birthday, my dear son.  May your birthdays forever be this full of love, friendship, and magic.

I love you with all my heart.

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