Fourth Birthday Reflections

Dear Colin,

I've been looking at your baby pictures this morning, and cross-referencing them with the bright and handsome little man you have become. It just doesn't seem possible that you're four years old today! You have a huge vocabulary, and a mouthful of teeth, and a wide range of interests and your own preferences and dislikes and quirks - and it's weird to think that, not so very long ago, you were that tiny and helpless baby in the photos. My sweet baby. Now you're my sweet little boy, edging ever closer to independence.

When you were born, I had big plans for your upbringing. I would breastfeed exclusively until you were old enough to eat solid foods, and then I would make sure you had adequate servings from each food group every day. I would never let you watch anything but educational television, and even then I would restrict it to one show a day. I would never let a cuss word slip out in front of you. I would never raise my voice or my hand to you, relying instead on positive reinforcement to discipline.

It's funny how those good intentions crumbled slowly away, sacrificed to the demands of realistic parenting. Don't get me wrong - I tried - but sometimes life dictates something different, ruffling your best-laid plans. And you know what? You've turned out great so far, despite my perceived shortcomings.

I don't know what nourishes that brain of yours since you eat, like, three bites of food a day - but it sure is impressive. You're obsessed with watching documentaries on YouTube: Venus fly traps, pitcher plants, scorpions, centipedes, volcanoes, praying mantises, and vocal cords (it's pretty crazy that you taught me what a "stroboscopy" is). When you play, you pretend you're a four-wheeler or some weird insect ... or British naturalist David Attenborough. I love watching your little quest to gather knowledge, though I admit - it's still weird to me that you won't sit through a Disney movie, but were enthralled by "The Missing Years of Jesus" on the National Geographic Channel yesterday. Guess I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, but son, it's kind of strange when you ask me questions like, "Did Jesus have a butt to sit on?" or you want to know what they do with foreskins after circumcisions. There are so many times when I just don't know what to say.

As my first child, your every phase of growth is new to me. I'm not sure how to handle your stubborn preference for nudity, except to pray that it goes away before kindergarten rolls around. I'm at a loss sometimes when you have a meltdown and slam your door like a teenage girl, screaming, "I don't like you any more!" I can only hope that your one-time love of vegetables returns eventually, and replaces your love of colored marshmallows and mac & cheese. And please, son, your little brother is watching your toilet habits like a hawk in preparation for his own potty training - so please learn to wipe adequately.

Despite the increasing frequency with which you confuse and/or irritate me, I'm still as in love with you as I was the first time I laid eyes on you. You are a sweet boy with a heart of gold and a mind like a steel trap, and I wouldn't want you any other way ... except maybe clothed. :)

I love you Colin! Happy fourth birthday!


  1. Ahhhhh Happy Birthday Colin......I can't believe he's already four. Time flies!

  2. He's a wonderful and amazing child, raised by wonderful and amazing parents! We love him SO much!

  3. I love every birthday when you write these. I hope you save them so the boys will have them when they grow up! They're so special!!

    You're an awesome mom and he's a great boy - HAPPY BIRTHDAY COLIN!!!! :)

  4. Aww...I hope Colin had a great day!! Belated Happy Birthday Colin!!

    Love the letter Rita....I hope you are keeping them to scrapbook with the birthday pics!!


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