Sunday, February 20, 2011

Jack is Four

A letter to Jack on his fourth birthday.

Dear Jack,

This week you are four and you’ve been proudly announcing this fact to us all week long and reminding us that you are a “very big boy.” Indeed. Four sounds so old to me, but when I look at your sweet little face I can still see the tiny baby that I held in my arms and rocked and nursed for hours and hours and hours. I can never forget those tranquil hours you and I spent together in the rocking chair. Everyone said it would go by quickly. They were right.

This year you have become quite the little athlete. You love to skateboard, especially when Dad swoops you up and you skate down the sidewalk together. You and I went roller skating with a group of middle school students and your determination to make those crazy wheeled boots work was written all over your face- we had to remind you to smile every once in awhile. I think you might be a natural at skiing and you are very proud of the videos Dad took of you on the bunny hill. Your newest endeavor is riding your bike without training wheels. Today I let go and watched you pedal down the sidewalk, precariously balanced on those two wheels. You thought I was still holding you, and I'm going to let you think that for awhile. I'm not ready for you to ride too far ahead of me yet.

You love school and talk obsessively about going to kindergarten. You can’t wait for homework, and you sometimes beg me to make worksheets for you. You love writing and letters and are constantly asking us to spell words for you. I just know you will be a reader and this pleases me immensely. You are smart and you know that you are smart- this can be a lethal combination. I hope you will use your powers for good rather than evil... In addition to cultivating your academic side, you are developing your artistic side and we are often surprised and amazed by what you produce. I think you have an eye for color that you inherited from your dad.

You are very much a boy’s boy. You claim to hate girls and all things girly and pink is now the worst color ever. With Valentine’s Day approaching, you even threatened that if you received any “princess valentines” you would crumple them up and throw them in the trash. We compromised that you would at least wait until you got home from school before throwing any offending valentines away. It turned out that you wanted to keep all of your valentines, pink princesses and all.

You have an amazing memory that I'm pretty sure you get from your uncle Nick. You often correct Dad and me and we are finding that usually you are right. You also have a very strong emotional side (Dad affectionately refers to this as your "crazy side") that, I'm sorry to say, you inherited from me. I hope you will learn to subdue your outbursts over time, or at least learn to save them up for something really big and important like I do.

I am trying to teach you the concept of "go with the flow." You sometimes get so caught up in the plan that you totally freak out if things get hairy and we have to make changes. I had taken your birthday off and planned to spend the day indulging your whims, but the stomach flu had other plans for me and instead we spent the day parked on the couch watching PBS Kids. I could not bear the thought of making dinner and so we dined with friends at Papa's Pizza. I'm pretty sure you thought this was the ultimate birthday. Dad and I gave you a small stuffed Corduroy bear that you've not let out of your sight for days now. You say it is the best toy ever.

You had to practice going with the flow again this weekend when we had to postpone your birthday party with friends because Dad and Sawyer got sick. I guess people with February birthdays need to be flexible with their party plans. (But seriously Universe, wtf?)

Edited to add: That part I said earlier about not letting you go yet? I guess you are not giving me a choice here.

Go, Jack, go!



  1. love it! I cannot believe he is four!
    -Emily Campagna :)

  2. How can he be four?! But seriously Jack (or Jacky) - even though you have a disdain for the princesses - we love you! I've loved watching the creative things you and Lily come up with lately - pretending to be pandas, turning every scrap of paper into a treasure map and exploring away for that treasure, secret conversations that we adults aren't allowed to be part of. I'm so glad you relax about the girl-hate every once in a while so we can see what good little friends you are. Happy 4th Birthday!!
    MaryAnne and Lily