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 smile...it 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.
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.