Forty Eight Months

and counting. . . 

Sawyer, you are four years old today! I cannot believe we have made it to four! Quite an accomplishment, for you. . .and me.

I remember finding out from the doctor that Gunnar was going to have a brother. All I could think of was. . brothers. I wished for Gunnar to have the opportunity to have a brother like I had a sister, and you made it come true. 

Of all your siblings, you are my most joyful, yet most woeful. You entered the world very mellow and pensive. In fact, for the first 4 and a half months of your life we all thought you were the mildest baby in the world. How wrong we were. You quickly brought us back to reality and decided you were just observing over the first few months how to wreak the most havoc and confuse your parents, leaving them at their wits end, researching books and libraries, techniques and attitudes. And then we found what we were looking for. The explanation that made you make sense. To us. You always made sense to yourself. It was only us who didn't understand. We discovered that you are what doctors and authors label a "spirited" child, my child. And I revel in your intensity and excitement of all things new and strange. 

You have overcome in your short life many things. You wore glasses at a very young age. You underwent surgery at just 2 years old. And you continue to demonstrate how strong and dedicated you are to everything you do.

You quickly clung to security items like a pacifier and bottle. I fought you on many of these things, and now we have agreed on one final security item, your beloved Foxy. That Foxy I believe will join you and your bride on your wedding night. That is a fight I will let her fight with you, as far as I'm concerned, Foxy stays. 

You are in preschool now, about to enter your last year of preschool. Of all my kids I am most apprehensive of you starting new things. Not sure how you will react, the emotions you will feel. But again and again you amaze me.

You started reading at just 3 years old and now you devour the english language, you learned long vowels and are able to read words like "kite" and "ride", "happy" and "silly", you have started to memorize sight words like "the" "and". One of your favorite pastimes is letting me write silly sentences about daddy or mommy or you, and you get to read what I write. Funny thing is that you don't realize that you're reading and I'm slipping new and harder words into the sentences. You just learned to read a number sentence two months ago. The concept of addition made total sense to you and you can do most addition with your little fingers. Each day I need to challenge you more and more so as to keep that little brain of yours active and fresh. Your imagination reminds me of Gunnar. The stories, the tales, I could listen to you talk for hours.

I wasn't truly a mother until you were born. A mother in the sense of patience, humility, tenderness. You taught me that I didn't know the answers to everything. That is was okay to sit on the kitchen floor and cry right along with you because we were both frustrated. I learned to let go. I learned what fights are worth fighting. It's okay if you pick your clothes out. Who cares if you wear rain boots, a cape, pajamas, and a baseball cap to the mall? Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? Nope. What mattered was learning where you should show your independence, how to guide you through your frustrations and how to help you let things go.

Your brother is your idol. He's my idol too to tell you the truth. You look up to him the way I had always hoped younger brothers should. When we walk down the street you both naturally clasp hands. It fills my heart with a warm tingling feeling that nothing else in the world could imitate. You and Gunnar are best friends. When you were younger it would seem like ages for him to come home from preschool. Just to make him laugh made your whole day worthwhile. Never did you know that we all were just waiting for your laugh to make ours. 

That laugh of yours is infectious. No one can resist a laugh when you giggle. You have one dimple on your left cheek that gets me every time you smile. 

You didn't even make it to two years old before you broke your arm. You have few fears. You love to jump in with everything you have, both feet. I envy your spirit, your enthusiasm, how deeply and strongly  you can feel.

You just learned to swim on your own this month. Underwater. And I haven't seen you that proud since you wrote your name for the first time.

You confused daddy for several years. Not really interested in having a relationship with him, and then one day you realized he's a cool guy. Someone you want to let into your world and your life. He's learning to "get" you more and more. But through and through you are a mama's son. My son. Every night we ask you and your brother and sister who do you want to put you to bed. Night after night, Greta and Gunnar yell for daddy and you yell for me. The bad part is that whoever gets to put you to bed, also gets Gunnar. So one of you is going to be disappointed. We have decided to take turns, you get me one night, you get daddy the next. But whenever it's not my night to tuck you in, you always sneak upstairs while I am reading Greta a story and wait for daddy to realize that you are not in bed where you should be. You just need to be near me, feel me hold you.

You are my baby boy, my heart. I don't think we ever really became detached after you were born. Somehow there is some cord, some invisible connection that ties us together. Whatever it is you are feeling, however intensely you are crying, I feel right along with you. All the pain, all the sorrow, yet all the happiness and laughter I get to feel as well. And all the smiles and joyous moments far outweigh any tears. I wouldn't change anything for the world. 

Especially you. You are my gift, my blessing. You have taught me in four short years what most people don't learn in a lifetime. I can't wait to find out what's in store for later. . .