Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy Birthday to my 4-year-old

I actually wrote this on Friday - Jack's birthday. But then we went to Pennsylvania to celebrate and between all the traveling and packing and unpacking I'm just now getting around to posting it.

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Today marks the end of my stint as mama to three 3-and-under. I hang this hat at willingly. It was a good run but I’m anxious to begin the cool down. Today my oldest turns 4. That’s totally cool down age, right? Actually, I heard 5 is the most marked change, the time when your baby can finally start doing things him- or herself. That will be a nice place too. But for now I’m going to enjoy the year of the four year old and all the fun this active, quizzical age brings. Jack has been talking about “Og-tober 12” for quite a while now, and he has big plans for what he’s going to do now that he’s four years old. I’m just happy he’s finally putting his underwear on all by himself!

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One of Jack’s favorite things to do when he has me all to himself is to get on the computer and look at pictures and videos of “baby Jack.” Four years seems like such a short amount of time, and yet look at what was accomplished. My baby has turned into a little boy.

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Nope, check that. A big boy. Don’t ever make the mistake of calling Jack a little boy. If you do, he’ll make sure to correct you. He’s a big guy. He can pour his own milk, pick out his own clothes and be a good example for his siblings. He’s also working on plans to start wearing his daddy’s clothes soon. Physically, he is big. Although he has really thinned out this past year, he’s still solid. And heavy. I can barely pick him up. When he wants to be put into the grocery cart he has to count to three and jump just so I can use the momentum to lift him that high. And the saddest part is I have no idea when it happened. When I stopped picking up my baby. When he stopped resting in my arms... I couldn’t even tell you.

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But that’s not to say we don’t enjoy a good snuggle. Jack loves his quality time. If we’re not looking at old pictures together he likes to curl up next to me on the couch with a book. I had this genius idea to record myself reading a few of his favorite books. I did all the voices, even used a chime tone on my phone so he’d know when to turn the page. And guess what? He hates it. He wouldn’t sit through two pages. He just kept saying, “But I want YOU to read it to me Mommy!” A few days later his Uncle Jared was pushing him on the swing and Jack finally figured out how to pump his legs and swing on his own. When Uncle Jared excitedly pointed out that he could now swing all by himself Jack stopped and has refused to go anymore. Why? Because “I like when Mommy pushes me.” I’m learning that my firstborn’s happiness has very little to do with what we’re doing but rather just that we’re doing it together.

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And I do so enjoy spending time with my big guy. He’s quite entertaining and it’s usually not intentional. You just can’t help but be interested in the viewpoints of one fairly new to the world and still trying to sort it all out. My goal for this next year is to have more conversations with my son, because he’s not the only one that has a lot to learn.
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Yes, today is my son’s birthday. But it’s also a sort of birthday for me as well. One October 12, 2008 I became a new person – a mama. And I’m ever so thankful to this sweet boy for giving me the opportunity to take on this role and for sticking it out with me as I learn and grow along with him. I love you Jack!

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