Dear Bean,

Today, you are four.

At four, you are eager to learn. You love school and you work very hard. You work as hard as anyone I know. You have pushed yourself since you were a baby, struggling to hold your head up or roll over. To nurse, which was so tough for you, or balance on your therapy ball. Now, at four, you push yourself to walk up the stairs without assistance, to climb the hill at Nonnie and Papa’s. You concentrate on stacking your blocks and you work hard on feeding yourself with a spoon. I'm so proud of you!

At four, you know what you like. Your personality is strong and you let us know how you are feeling. Sometimes through signs. Sometimes through words. At other times it is through your intense laughter, or your intense tears.

You have added some words this year. One of your favorites is “horse.” When asked, you say your name, your age, and sign that you are a boy. You call out “Mama” and Da-dy” when you need something. But the word that we most often hear from you is “Papa.”
At four, your Papa seems to always be on your mind. When we get in the car you ask if we are going to Papa’s. When Nonnie comes by the house, you ask if Papa is with her. If, while out in public, you spot a man with gray hair and a mustache, you call for Papa.

You are playful. You take great joy in your brothers and initiate a wrestling match with them more often than they do you. One of your favorite positions is standing behind Spinner, when he is sitting on the floor, with arms wrapped around his neck, leaning against his back. And always with a big grin on your face. You and Tank struggle sometimes. You guys are either rolling around like puppies, laughing and playing, or pushing, hitting, and screaming at each other.

You love to be outside. You are content to sit in the grass or watch your brothers play in the creek. You love to swing, screaming, “weee” with every push. You love to take rides with Nonnie in the golf cart, snuggling up against her side as she drives you through the pasture to see the horses or up the drive to get the mail. You love to take walks with Daddy around the neighborhood and you know exactly where all the dogs live. Splashing in the pool or playing in the sprinkler is a favorite summertime activity. You stay in until your fingers are soft and wrinkled.

At four, music is your comfort. You love to dance and bob your head to the rhythm of whatever is on. When you are unhappy music will normally cheer you up.

You love “Horton Hears a Who” and laugh out loud over that elephant’s silliness.

You are almost always eager to give out hugs and kisses and you love to cuddle. When you settle in beside dad or me you throw your arms back behind your head. You have done this since you were a baby.

In four short years you have radically changed our lives. You have introduced us to an entirely new world. You have taught us to delight in the small things. You have tenderized us and toughened us at the same time. You have deepened our capacity to love. You have taught us about the really important things in life.

I love being your mom, Bean, and I wish you a very Happy Birthday!!

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Anonymous said...

A very Happy Birthday! What a beautiful post!

Ruby's Mom said...

What a lovely letter.
Happy Birthday Bean!

Beth said...

Happy Birthday to your Bean. What a sweet tribute to how far your boy has come in four short years!

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEAN!!! May this year be one of your best yet!

Little Miss E said...

What an amazing post! The joys of blogging and being able to record these sentiments! Happiest of Birthdays!

Terry Family said...

Happy Birthday!!

Spitmonkey said...

What a wonderful post, Stacy! I know that Wil is going to love reading back when he is older and seeing you recap how he has changed in these early years. :D

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