you are four today! four. four seems very old to your mother. perhaps because i remember my fourth birthday. it's the first birthday i remember. i still remember the porcelain figurine of a little girl with the number 4 next to her that someone gave me. four is a little kid. there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. you are a little boy. no longer a baby. but, you see, you will always be my baby. my heart. the one who made me a mother.
people always seem to be in awe of babies, but i am here to tell you that the real awe comes in watching your children grow up and become real live, talking, opinionated individuals. watching you become a little boy has been the most awesome experience of my life. your generosity, sincerity, thankfulness, curiosity, genuine concern for others and reflections on life blow me away everyday. i am often humbled by the gift that i was given when i had you. you are a better person than i could ever imagine to be. you bring such joy into the lives of the people around you.
three was full of firsts for you. soccer, preschool, field trips, new friends, amusement park rides, the loss of a pet, potty training, school pictures, visiting a sick grandma at the hospital, building a barn with your dad, and more. three was also the most challenging for you and i. three is the time kids are becoming really aware of the world outside of their little family units. it has been a year of discovering what makes you tick.
you are a builder. you are a scientist. you are mechanically inclined. you are an animal lover. you are your dad's best bud. you are incredibly kind. you are adaptable. you are forgiving. you are a cook. you are charming. you are the love of your grandma joann's life. you are creative. you are never lacking in imagination. you, in a lot of ways, are still a momma's boy. and thank god.
every time i write these letters, i cry. i sit and cry over time flying, but mostly i cry over what a fantastic person you are and continue to become. here's the first letter i ever wrote to you, written a few days after we came home from the hospital:
The Day You Were Born. . .
Began long before Wednesday, March 11th 2009, 9:48 P.M.. On Tuesday, March 10 that 2:30 P.M. Aunt Theresa and I went to the doctor to have an ultrasound, I had been placed on bed rest the week prior for preeclampsia and they were monitoring my blood pressure and more importantly, you. The ultrasound went great, but my blood pressure continued to be high. So at 4:30 Dr. Tierney sent me across the hall to Labor & Delivery to begin the process of inducing labor. When I called your dad to tell him what was going on and to ask him to pick up my things from home on his way to the hospital he asked me, “Now?” – He was slightly in shock. The doctors began giving me medicine to start the process and continued to do so until 3 AM the next morning . . . not much was happening, but then contractions started. At 3 P.M. my water broke. You, however, were not responding to the Pitocin very well and my body was not progressing very quickly. Aunt Theresa and your dad were there the whole time. The feelings went from elation to exhaustion to anxiety to anticipation and back again. At 9:15 PM your father and I agreed with the doctors that a C-Section was the best and safest way to bring you into the world. I won’t lie. . .I was scared out of my mind . . .I had never had surgery, stitches, a broken bone, or stayed in the hospital for any length of time. The doctors and nurses were so wonderful and at 9:48 PM you were born. I saw what falling in love at first sight looks like when your father looked over the blue screen and saw you being taken out. All he kept saying was how beautiful you were. . .”Oh, sweetie, he’s so beautiful. He’s so beautiful.” Aunt Theresa and your father then spent the next hour watching the nurses work on you and clean you up while I got stitched up and recovered. I met you about an hour and half after you were born . . . my biggest disappointment in life is that I was not able to see you and hold you immediately. Hendrix, you are my greatest accomplishment ever and my greatest love. You have made me a better person and I hope to make you proud some day. I love you so very much.
(somehow i skipped your first birthday, but wrote one for your second and third birthdays. )
in a couple of months, your sister will arrive. never once have i worried about what type of brother you will be. or how you will adjust. everyday you tell me something you are going to do with your sister or are looking forward to about having a baby. even your preschool teacher, mrs. adams, remarked how well she thought you were going to do with a new baby. violet alice is very lucky to enter this world with you waiting to be her big brother. i am even luckier to have you.
hendrix, you are my heart. you always will be. it has been my greatest joy to watch you grow up and i fall in love with you more everyday.
i love you,