Today Jack turns four. I never manage to write a birthday blog on time – I’m kind of the worst mom blogger in town on that score. The draft for his three-year old post is still sitting in WordPress never to be published…oops. But this year is different! We’ve already had cupcakes at school and Jack’s present is bought and wrapped. I have a few hours to sit by myself with no deadlines looming so let me ramble on about the joy of four.
The miracle of four. I love watching my kid grow up. You have to excuse me and Roger sometimes for the single-minded focus we can have. Separately we wished for this kid, prayed for this kid in our very individual ways. Then somehow those wishes and prayers were granted and all the years of waiting washed away. I’ll never say, “please don’t grow up”. I waited too long to have the chance to watch you grow, child of mine.
What an adventure this year has been! Jack started school which is AMAZING. You think you’ll never to get to school age and then you do. Huge step forward this year, kiddo. Sometimes we get to visit the classroom like when I brought cupcakes in this morning. He could barely sit still for me to take a quick birthday cupcakes picture:
I love these looks into his independent life. So funny to go from 24/7 togetherness to a 8:30-2:30 school day. I think we’ve all adjusted brilliantly, if I do say so myself.
There are days when I walk down the sidewalk and every wobbly, little toddler I pass makes me sigh. I remember those long days. Days of taking little walks around the neighborhood just for something, ANYTHING to do. Walking down to Second Avenue to stare at the subway construction was as good as any monster truck show you could pay money for. But man, those days were long and unrelenting. I pass these tiny, little kids now and I look at their mom or dad and I know how long their day is. It is so long. SO. VERY. LONG.
But there was so much sweetness in it I must remember. We’d curl up together for naps. I miss naps. Last night I was tempted to go sleep in Jack’s room. Not because I’m some weird-o who can’t let go, but just because I miss him being small and sweet and cuddly. He’s so tall and full of opinions now, and sometimes far too much sass for his own good.
I miss him being little. It happened so fast and yet so slow. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the endless days of toddler tantrums and questions and woe. Those days were so very long. I don’t miss that part. No sir. It’s safe to say, preschool is pretty much rocking our world. Jack loves seeing his friends every day and learning new things. He’s fascinated with math concepts right now and that’s cool by me! The endless days of toddler woe and sunshine, flip-flopping faster than you can bribe with a fruit snack seem so long ago!
I must have been brooding on our endless days together because Mother Nature gave NYC the threat of a “historic blizzard” two weeks ago. It turned out to be a complete dud, but we were given a day off from school and instead of panicking I was ready to hang with my boy all day. I had stocked up on baking supplies and a fresh box of crayons ready. We were supposed to be stuck inside while a blizzard raged outside. Instead we woke to relative calm and 8 inches of snow. Snow that demanded sledding.
So we did. We met friends from preschool on our nearby pedestrian street and when that got old, we hiked to the riverside for sledding in the park. For hours we played outside.
I hope he remembers the winter he turned four and the day we hung out sledding for hours. I hope he remembers that his dear old mom rode the sled down the fast hill with him, both of us shouting for joy. I hope he remembers finding the only deli open for blocks and how we had chocolate milk and cookies while sitting in the snow.
You’ll only have one winter you turn four, and we’re so lucky that we get to have days like these. Days to just be together and play. The winter you turned four, Jack, has been pretty amazing. Happy Birthday, kid. We love you more than we’ll ever be able to describe.