Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Your 5th Year

As parents, we all know it isn't a job filled with funshine and roses.  (for the record, yes, I did mean funshine-as in the Care Bear, funshine bear) Parenting is hard, trying, exhausting, scary, panic-inducing, and overwhelming.  That's the ugly truth that no one tells you.  I mean, when I gave birth to Jack, everyone told me how much labor would hurt, how tired I would be afterwords, how starving I would be...but no one told me how I wouldn't be able to sit in an upright position for two full weeks.  Yeesh.  That needs to be in the manuals.  If there are any non-parents reading this, now you know.  Your bits will be a bit beyond the line of sore for a good long while.  I'm just sayin...

But parenting is also fun.  It is fun, wonderful, loving, emotional, exciting, thrilling, (gosh, this sounds like a Cedar Point commercial here...) and breathtaking.  Today I'm posting on our son, Jack's, fourth birthday.  He has now existed on this earth for four years.  We are entering the fifth year of his life.  I look back and cannot believe it has been that long, but has felt so utterly short. 

In the past year, we have made huge strides, dearest son.  One year ago, it was still diapers and sippy cups.  Now it is big boy underwear and cups without lids.  As you turned three, you began to make the transition from toddler to boy, and it showed.  It showed in your lumbering up and down the stairs, but your insistence to "do it by myself," in your desire to help get dressed each day, but inability to put your arms and legs in the right place each time, in your wiggly ways when we were out, how you insisted on walking next to the cart but were never able to quite do it.  Now I look at you and see a boy who is growing into a helpful little man.  Just tonight, you helped me search for items at Target and the craft store without (much prompting) and never had to get put into the cart.  You gave your own order at McDonald's (your birthday meal of choice).  When we got home, you helped me put together your treat bags for your classmates tomorrow.  You helped me unload and reload the dishwasher, upset that I wouldn't let you put in the detergent pack because it wasn't full enough to run.  When I finally let you sit down to watch some of your beloved Nick Jr. you wanted me to snuggle you.  Be still my momma heart.  

We laid there on the bed together, much like we did four years ago this very day, snuggled up together.  You wrapped in a blanket then, your own blankie now.  That early morning you were born, you stole my heart.  Each day you do something that amazes me, makes me melt, and yes, even frustrates me beyond words.  But mostly little man, you make us laugh our heads off.  What we didn't know before you arrived, but all can honestly say now, is that you are the missing piece we were looking for.  You are the best boy, the perfectly imperfect one to complete us.  We love you so very much, our four-year-old little man.  Happiest of happy birthdays.  

Our little chunker four years ago

And the handsome man you've become

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