In NY, last Easter
We're here again? Another year? I know you are so thrilled about finally being four, but please take it easy on me OK? I suppose you are not planning on stopping growing and having birthdays, are you?
Happy birthday my sweet boy. There's nothing remotely toddler-ish about you anymore. You keep reminding us that what's waiting ahead for you right around the corner is school, nothing less. And you are so excited, counting the Christmases and birthdays left. I guess it's something we hadn't planned about having a little more than three and a half years between our kids: you guys will always kind of be part of different universes. We don't think it's a bad thing, our bet was always that it didn't mean you wouldn't be close, and I really hope we are right.
Waiting for your sister to arrive, and then finally meeting her and getting settled in this new family dynamic has been the biggest event of your life this past year. You're a great big brother, helping out a lot, always loving and caring towards her, if ever-so-slightly too hyper and boisterous. I cannot wait until you start having a proper relationship, engaging with each other, learning how this is done.
Ever since F was born, you have no idea how much going through this again is bringing back all kinds of memories from when you were a baby. Everything she does I see you doing it, every milestone reminds me of a former one. I didn't expect this to happen. I love it beyond words. I look at her tiny hands, kiss them and love them. But I also can't believe that in only four years, yours have grown from that to being about the two thirds of mine. Your father and I have made a bet a longtime ago, about the age at which you'll become bigger than me. I chose 13. I'm not so sure anymore. Any way it's coming fast. I'll never be able to think about that without a few tears.
You've changed a lot this year. Without me realizing it you've become so autonomous, so much more in charge of your own life. You still have plenty of moments for cuddling and sweet time together, but it's also clear that I'm not the center of your life anymore. You have things to do, people to see, places to go. Whenever I rush to pick you up at daycare early, you ask me if I could come a little later so you could have more time to play. Sometimes, I have to steal kisses from you before you leave. I thought this would happen much later than it did. Sometimes, at night, I sit on the side of your bed and watch you sleep, filled with tenderness. Please don't mind if I do.
Your personality is continuing to emerge, smart, talkative, very sensitive to details (you're still sensitive in general, but are doing a much better job at managing this, and even reasoning things), imaginative, sociable, energetic, funny. You are also strong-willed and independent, already determined to have it your way. As you test your boundaries and try to make your place, you've also become quite challenging and defiant at times. I am sorry to admit that my patience towards this has grown thin in the last year, with the pregnancy and the new baby and all. I can see us emerging through a new phase with things becoming much more settled now. That is, I guess, when your sister's phase of very bad colic at night will finally subside; regarding this, your dad and I are so proud of how great you are through it, never making a fuss about your bedtime, understanding that babies can sometimes cry a lot and that we need to take care of her, falling and staying asleep on your own through it all.
I love you so much for all you've become, all you're becoming. Thank you for always making us see the world in a new, fresh way, while we share your excitement towards everything. Thank you for all of these great connections and all these funny little remarks you make, which always add a wonderful twist on my days. Thank you for still needing me most of the time, or at least pretending that you do. You are so amazingly precious to me, beautiful kiddo.