dear Max: four years old

Dear Max,

My very first little love. My biggest boy. You are four. 

Oh gosh, buddy, how is that possible?

I keep telling you that you shouldn't grow up so fast. And you keep telling me that you have to so you can be a train driver one day. You tell me that you were really hungry and ate a lot that day, and that that must mean you are growing. You know what? You are right. 

I may not be ready for you to be four yet, but it is happening anyway. One day you might be a train driver, a musician, a baseball player, a teacher, a mechanic, or a doctor. I am sure you will be a wonderful husband and father when you grow up. You could be anything. I just hope I can always remember exactly how you were at this age: a big brother, a little bit rowdy, a lot silly, sort of skinny, long legged and blonde headed. Sweet and loving, but also, so very funny. The things you say. They sure do keep us giggling. 

We have learned a lot this year. Both of us. You have learned a lot about how to talk and act nicely, even when it might come easier to just forget that part. I learned a lot about what works and what doesn't with you, and how to help you learn to be a good kid. In turn you have learned to forgive me when I mess up, and we have both learned a whole lot of patience. 

Several people have asked me how I felt about you turning four. I don't really have a good response. I feel a little sad to see year three go, buddy. Three wasn't the easiest, and that's okay. Like I said, we had a lot of learning and growing to do. I am still sad to see that year go and start a new one. I feel a little like you turning four is like turning a new page. You are so different than you were when you turned three, in many ways. Still my train loving, goofy little bud. But you know a lot more about life now. You are so smart and curious. Four is going to be a good year.

Today, right now, you love your brother probably more than anyone else. You teach him things every day, and you play so well with him, almost all the time. You ask me to play "a Jesus song" in the car every time, and I happily oblige. You love cheeseburgers and broccoli and ice cream a whole lot. You ask me to play in the sand box every day, and still want to even if it is freezing outside. Every night before bed and before you tell anyone goodbye, you ask for "two kisses and two hugs," and you always tell people to be careful. You are full of joy. You told me a few days ago, "Drew is my boy, and Jake is my boy, and you are my girl, Mommy!" I will never forget it. You already consider Jake a part of our family, and even introduce him to strangers in the grocery store. It is the best. 

I love you buddy. Always and forever, to the moon and back. 

Let's take this year a little slower, okay? And I think I might have said it last year, but I hope you always want to hold my hand and be my buddy.

Love,

Mommy

Food- "Chickfila! chicken nuggets."

Color- "Green. Both colors."

Book- "Train book"

Animal- "a ghost"

Person- "you mommy!"

Thing to do- "ride on trains"