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Happy 4th Birthday!

A Very Special Letter to Two Very Special 4 Year Olds.

Today is your birthday. You are both four. You can discuss it all you want, but you are both equally four. Technically, your birth certificates might read you were born a minute a part but I was there and I promise you, you entered the world within seconds of each other. One of you might be taller today but trust me son, when puberty hits, that might change for a few years. I wouldn’t get too comfortable being the tall one, she’s close behind you and eats way more fruits and vegetables than you.

Today you are four and that is special. It is special because you have another person to celebrate the exact same milestone with. The two of you have a bond that no one else will ever have with you. I know I tell you this all the time, but I don’t think you’ll truly realize this until much later in life. The miracle that took place to create two babies instead of one is something special that most of us don’t have. Most of us didn’t have a friend with us when we were in our Mommy’s tummy. You did. You were literally created with a friend right next to you. I know you don’t always think of each other as friends and you threaten to not be brother and sister anymore, but fortunately that is something you will never be able to change. You will always be brother and sister. You are special together.

But you are also special because of who you are when you are alone. Yes, you are a twin and that is special, but you more than just a twin sibling. And so, because your older brother gets his very own birthday post on his birthday, here are your very own birthday posts.

To my Sweet 4-year-old Son,

Wow. To say this has been quite a year is putting it mildly, isn’t it? I’m not sure when it started but I’m pretty sure you hit the ground running when you turned three and you haven’t slowed down yet. In one year you have done three years worth of activities. I often tell people the world moves too slowly for you. Some might say you are a bull in a china shop, but I prefer to say that the world was built too small for you. That’s why you love to be outside. When you are outside you are free. You can spread your arms wide and run and soar like an eagle. You would be outside everyday if you could. It is only because I refuse to stand outside in 30 degree weather that we aren’t out there in the winter. The cold doesn’t seem to bother you though, you are moving too fast to notice the chill. My favorite memory of you this summer was you riding your bike. It was a bike that was too small for you. You had outgrown this bike and yet you loved to ride it. You were so proud to show me how you could pedal up the driveway and glide all the way down again and up the neighbor’s driveway. I think you liked riding your bike because on the bike you are finally going a speed that is normal to you. While others might look at you and think you are going fast, to you it’s just normal. I will cherish the image of you riding that bike down the driveway in my mind.

To my 4-year-old Princess,

Today you are four. You have waited for this day for weeks and it is finally here. It’s very special to be you. At three you have come out of your shell. I used to worry that you would get lost next to your two extraverted brothers but this year you have shown the world there is nothing to worry about. It has been such a joy to get to know your personality. You are spunky and sweet at the same time. One moment you can be insisting on brushing your hair yourself and the next minute you are sitting in my lap asking me to read you a book. It must be tough being three. You are capable of so many things but still dependent on so many other things. The good news is when you are four, things will get a little easier. You’ll learn to do more things which means you will be dependent on me for even less. This will be exciting to you, but a little sad for me. It’s a tough balance for us mothers and daughters. As you strive for independence I will want to hold you tight and keep you small forever. It’s not that I don’t trust you can do it on your own; I’m sure that you can. It’s just in my mind you are still the little baby in the NICU born 5 weeks early. You’re the sweet little baby who used to love to be held for hours. It’s hard to change that mental picture. That’s why I cherish your hugs so much. They take me back every time. Promise me that you will still come to me 50 times a day and say “I Love You” like you do now. If you promise to keep doing that, I promise to keep telling you the story about how lucky I am that God gave me you.

Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday to my Son

To My Big Six Year Old,

Today you are six. Six is big. Last year, when you turned five, I thought five was big, but I was wrong. Five was the end of an era. Five was the end of being able to tell people your age while using just one hand. Five was graduation from preschool. Five was starting Kindergarten. Five was learning to write your address and phone number. Five was big, but six is bigger.

Six will probably be the year when you master tying your shoes. (I know you think you know how to do this already, but it doesn’t count if it comes untied two minutes after you tie it. Don’t worry, you’ll get there.) Six will be the year when you learn to ride a bike with no training wheels. You’ll probably lose your first tooth when you are six. There is a lot to look forward to when you are six. But I don’t have to tell you that, you’ve known that for months. You’ve anticipated this birthday since your friend turned six in May.

It has been a fun year to be your mom. You are at an age when every new thing excites you. May you always embrace new things with the same level of excitement as you do today. You are a friend to everyone. May you never lose your ability to find something good in everyone you meet. You want to play every sport you learn about. May you continue such a lifestyle into your adulthood; you’ll never regret staying active.

Thank you for our conversations. Thank you for sharing your hopes and dreams for your life. Thank you for telling me about walking on the balance beam in gym class. Thank you for telling me who sits at what table in your class. Thank you for telling me how you got in trouble for talking even though there was no way I’d ever find out that it happened. I am very aware that the day will come when I can no longer take you out to Panera and expect a full report of everything going on in your world. I hope the radio silence between us won’t last for long. I pray that you’ll always be able to come to me to unload your thoughts. I promise to try to just listen and only give my opinion if you ask for it.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves, aren’t we? Today you are six. You are officially closer to age ten than you are to being a newborn. Anyone who has had a conversation with you lately would not be surprised by such a statement. You are wise beyond your years. At least according to your mother.

Because in my eyes you are still the little infant I held in my arms six years ago while watching the Super Bowl in the maternity ward. You are still the little baby who could sit and stack cups for hours, laughing every time you knocked them down. You are still the toddler so eager to help his mommy care for two little babies just home from the hospital. You are still the preschooler who can barely write his name. You are the brave kindergartener walking into school on the first day with two skinned knees but no tears. You will always be those memories to me.

Thank you for making it so awesome to be your mom. I love you.

Love Always,