To my wildest little one, in honor and celebration of all the magical things as you turn four. Four! It seems so small, so young, almost insignificant. But to know you, to really know you, is to know that none of those words fit into your being.
You came onto this earth quiet and observing. The doctor and nurses were gushing about your dimple and your wide, bright eyes. I kept waiting to hear your wailing scream because your sister, just 18 months older than you, came to us with the loudest, life-altering screech as if to say “I’m here and nothing will ever be the same!” I expected the exact same from you. I was ready for it. I had prepared myself for it. I now consider that my first lesson in being a mama of two. The first of many lessons, all culminating in the greatest lesson of all: nothing is the same.
You are your own person. You have paved your own path since the very moment you arrived, four short years ago. Short years, but long months and some even longer days. You have filled each of those days with magic and learning, tears and laughter, challenges and frustration, and relentless love.
You have pushed every limit and have taught me to be more flexible. You have challenged every boundary and taught me to choose my battles and communicate differently. You have taught me to truly stop and see you, to look and to listen to what you’re unable to say.
You have broken apart every idea I had about what a mom should be. You taught me to just be me; to parent and to love and to guide with my truest self instead of with all these ideas of what others might expect.
The deep and strong current of stubbornness running through your very core has taught me to use new eyes, to think differently, and to lead with love and patience instead of anger.
Your curiosity for all things all the time has forced me to slow down, to look up, to look down, and to stop and take a deep breath, and then another. You’ve forced me to wonder about the very things which make up the entire world around us. Your questions have taught me to listen and your persistence in getting an answer have taught me to think.
Your obvious unwillingness to bend and fold and fit yourself into my expectations of what I think you should be is incredibly refreshing, like an electrical current straight to my soul, reminding me on a daily basis to just be. To be present, to be kind, to be stubborn in what I think is right, and best, to speak up for what I want and not back down just because someone told me I should. You remind me to expect more out of the people around me. To love hard and often and without abandon, but also to hold a strong line when it comes to my boundaries and what I need in the moment.
You are my wild child. My child who fears nothing. Who jumps from the top of the monkey bars and plays with the oldest kids on the playground. My child who does and then thinks, but tries so very hard to think before doing. Who just needs to move and explore and be given the space to play in his own way, all day long. My wild child who is happiest when he is fully immersed in the moment.
My beautifully wild child; my wish for your fourth year is for you continue to be your wildly reckless, deeply loving, strong and stubborn, curious self. I wish for these things which make up the fibers of your beautiful soul continue to be celebrated and appreciated and noticed. I hope you continue to demand from the world the same that you contribute. And I hope you know, without question, you are always and forever so very loved.