June 10, 2012

4 Years and Counting

My dearest CJ,

Today you went from being a curious, willful 3-year-old toddler to an incredibly bright, independent, and mature 4-year-old boy.  It's amazing how much you've grown in the past year alone!  Two was a tough age (the infamous "terrible twos" hit pretty much after you turned 18 months), but three was even more challenging!  At three, you clearly knew right from wrong but tested the boundaries anyway.  Your vocabulary grew and excelled, yet you still chose to wail and scream when you wanted to be heard.  You adored your baby brother and yet could not stand to share anything with him.

But three was also a magical age where I began to see you develop and mature in so many ways.

You started preschool at age 3, and you had to learn to be courageous and be on your own for a few hours without mommy, daddy, or grandparents around.  When I went to drop you off, you cried and kicked at our parting every day for almost 4.5 months while the other kids quickly adapted and marched into school without a whimper.  The teacher always reassured me that once the doors closed and I was out of sight, your tears vanished and you were fine.   But it was still difficult to see you cry every morning.  Then magically one day in February, you decided you liked preschool and to my astonishment, was the first one to run inside the school as soon as the teacher opened the door.   The teacher and I both did a double-take, not certain how or why this happened but were extremely happy and proud of you.  Since then, you've always been the first to rush through the door.  What a change!

You've even made friends of your own, and it's quite endearing (at least when you're playing well and sharing with them)!

You have a beautiful, nurturing nature to you.  When your brother was first born, you were extremely kind, gentle, and loving towards him - even though you were only 15 months yourself!  But at 3, I see the way you care and look out for your brother (most times) and those smaller and younger than you (as long as they're not touching your cars), and it amazes me how nurturing you can be.

Your creativity and imagination are operating at full throttle, and I love it!  I love to see the artwork and crafts you create at school, and your ability to tell stories and make-believe never cease to amaze me.  Every day is an adventure for you and a new story to be told.  It's one of the things I want to learn most from you - to look forward to each day and to make the most of every opportunity.

Despite what some people told us, you still love your vegetables.  Some said you would outgrow your love of vegetables by age 3, but let me tell you -  I don't know any other 4-year-old who loves a good salad like you do!  But you also have quite the sweet tooth (much like your mom).  You'll never say "no" to ice cream.

What is most astonishing to witness at age 3 is your ability to ask deep and profound questions about faith and God.  Just recently at bedtime during a Bible story, you asked Daddy if you could go to heaven with him.  He answered, "Yes, of course."  And then you declared that everyone should go to heaven with you.  When introducing you to the Trinity, you asked if Jesus is God, then who is Jesus' father?  "God," Daddy answered.  And you simply accepted it as fact.  Such big concepts for a little boy!

And honestly, your dad and I don't have all the answers.  We won't be able to answer all your deep, profound questions.  But the one thing we want to make sure you know full well is how magnificently and beautifully created you are by the God of the Universe.  The very One who holds the stars and planets that make up our galaxies in the palm of His hands, the One who breathed life into this world simply with a word, the One who sacrificed His greatest treasure to call you His own - He is your maker, Father, and friend.  I can't explain why He would love us so much or go to such depths for us, but never doubt it.  Never question it.  Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

And the world will never stop being a wonder to you as He reveals His love for you in ways that will blow your mind - now and for years to come.

Happiest 4th birthday, my darling sweet boy.


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