A Letter to My Son on His 4th Birthday

I know this sounds crazy, but I watch you get older each day. Whether it’s a word or a phrase that you use, a look you give me, the attitude you let off- I can see childhood passing through you. And I know that I don’t have much time left. There’s not much longer that I’ll be able to make your boo-boos better with a kiss and a bandaid, not much longer ill be able to tickle away your bad moods, not much longer you’ll tell me that I’m your best friend.

I’m desperately grasping into these last years and moments of your childhood, pleading with them not to go too fast, but it’s no use. It’s slipping, speeding by. I’m taking pictures and remembering dates anytime you still fall asleep on me. I try not to say “no” when you ask for uppie. They say this just stops, any time could be the last, and I don’t want to miss that. I’m not ready for these last’s, even though I know they’ll make room for your new firsts.

The first time you’ll ride a bike. The first book you’ll read, the first vacation you’ll actually remember. Your first day of school, your first crush, the first time you drive, your first date….and I can’t make myself think too much past that.

I hope the conversations we have today- the conversations that I wonder if you can understand- I hope that they sink in. That you take them seriously, and one day you’ll remember why it’s important. I hope your big heart just grows. And that you remember that you don’t have to best friends with someone, but you have to be kind. Please, always be kind. Include the kid who is left out, and invite the kid who nobody else sees. I want you to always remember that the world is so much bigger than you but that you have the capacity to change it, for better or worse, and I hope you always choose better.

You made me a mama for the first time and changed my life 4 years ago. I don’t know if I truly understood unconditional love until they placed you on my chest. But then I understood in an instant. I make mistakes and I fail you often, but I pray you can always know that, above all, you are adored and wanted and loved beyond measure.

Happiest 4th birthday, my sweet Oliver Scott. It is truly my life’s greatest and most emotional privilege to watch you become a little boy. I could cry daily because I miss the baby you were, but it’s replaced with an indescribable excitement to see the little man you will grow into. I love you more than you will ever comprehend. You mean the world to me, and I want the world for you. You will forever and always be my best little man.

xo

mommy

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