You will have significant experiences.
I hope that you will write them down and keep a record of
them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh
your memory of these meaningful and significant things.
Some may be funny. Some may be significant only to you.
Some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some
may build upon another until they represent a lifetime of
special experiences.
- Gordon B Hinckley

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Everett Turns Four...

A letter to my son on his fourth birthday...

My Dearest Everett,

When I look back at this year of your life, I will remember it as the beginning of your independence.  This year you began to spread your wings and even took those first few flights out of our loving nest.  And you have soared...really soared.  

Your first major step toward independence was potty training.  A process that took SEVEN months in total, you dug your heels in the harder Daddy and I tried to push you.  You made your sentiments known by peeing everywhere but the toilet (walls, towels, floors, rugs, the bathtub, in the air, on us) as we struggled to figure things out.  But we did eventually figure them out...bribing you with Hot Wheels cars for making your deposits in the proper place.  By the end of June, you had earned 100+ cars and our household was diaper-free.  

Of course, we were pushing potty training because of another major step in your independence...preschool.  Daddy and I found the perfect environment for you and your first day was in mid August.  You walked into that school and never looked back.  Daddy and I walked out fighting back tears.  By all accounts, you are a sweet student.  You play with anyone and everyone.  You share freely, say “please” and “thank you” without prompting, and are affectionate with your teachers.  You have a hard time sitting still sometimes but you love to learn.  You know the entire alphabet (upper and lower case) with sounds and corresponding animals.  You know all your colors, shapes, and numbers to 20.  You can recite countless songs, books, and movie lines.  You hate art and stickers.  

Your body has brought you more independence as you’ve seemed to develop some finer coordination.  You run now, really run.  You no longer require much help to access play equipment.  And a huge change this year is that you like to try new things by yourself to see if you can succeed.  You have amazing upper body strength; you do full chin ups at gymnastics with your body in an almost vertical position.  Your core is still weak so you have a hard time sitting criss-cross for a prolonged period of time.  But that never holds you back.  You are a natural swimmer...or more like you naturally think you can swim.  You have NO FEAR of the water.  Just last week you took your first unassisted strokes across the pool.  I hope this is the beginning of a life long love of the water.  

Your language has also brought you independence as you can really tell us what you want now (and we can even understand you too).  You talk constantly...CONSTANTLY.  Your sentence length has more than doubled this year, starting at three words and now averaging eight to nine words.  You tell us what you want, what you think, what you do and do not want to do.  You make up stories and songs.  You refer to everyone as a “he.”  You are always concerned with how those around you are feeling, with a common questions being, “Mama, are you happy?”  I write down the things you say that I want to remember forever and put them into a jar.  My favorite was when we asked you if you’d prefer a brother or a sister and you replied, “No, I want a puppy.”  Oh, you’re going to be so disappointed.  
Independence suits you.  You have found your voice, your opinion, and are no longer afraid to ask/demand what you want.  You make your own decisions.  And what I love the most about watching that process is that the undertones of your sweet personality shine through in everything you do.  This has really been a year of seeing who you are going to become...our first glimpse of the person you are growing into.  We have loved every moment watching you discover who you are.  As you spread your wings even wider next year, Daddy and I will be beside you for every flight.  We can’t wait to see what your future holds.  Happy 4th birthday little man!!!  


Mama and Daddy

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