(Only two months late on this one! Here's James' 4th birthday letter.)
Happy Birthday, my four-year-old boy! Wow, it’s hard to believe that it’s been so long since we met you. I remember when Daddy carried you over to me after you were born. You were so little, but alert. Today, you’re growing into such a big boy. You’re thoughtful and caring but so full of crazy energy that sometimes I don’t know what to make of the combination. (We’re working on crab walking and kicking the air to get rid of all that energy...so as to protect your sisters).
This year: you love watching the summer lawn care crew and often imitate them...leaf-blowing, trimming the edges, trimming the trees (though we try to prevent you from doing actual damage to the bushes outside), raking the new rock that Daddy put in. You’re also quite enthralled with construction (“descutchin”) equipment: road work, dirt moving, etc. This summer the city resurfaced one of the roads near us and you’ve been steamrolling things ever since. (We try to keep the water usage part of the process to a minimum.) Just now there’s major earthmoving going on near one of our favorite playgrounds and you’ve been watching carefully and then coming home and recreating what you see. I’ve caught you with a scissors, wanting to cut off the bucket scoops of your front loaders to convert them to forklifts, just like the big one you saw. Helping Daddy is another favorite activity....especially when you get to go to “Depot Home” and maybe even the toy store.
Stories are a big part of your life these days. It’s so fun now that you’re old enough to sit and listen to a whole story instead of just flipping through the pictures. For a lot of the year your favorite book was Dr. Seuss’ Go Dog Go (please beware, innocent parents, of this book). You and Emily randomly ask “Do you like my hat?” to which the only proper answer is “I do not!”. Unless it’s your party hat, in which case of course I love it. It’s not unheard of for you to wake up saying “Get up! It is day! Time to get going! Get up! It is day! Time to get going!”. More recently, we've been reading Mike Mulligan And His Steam Shovel. (relief...a book with a plot.) You now dig the cellar of the new town hall at the ball diamond, on the beach, through the rocks into the dirt off our patio.
You’re a sweet big brother to both your sisters (though recently you’re asking for another new baby and have made it clear that you’d like a brother: “two Emmys and two Jamesies!”). We have a couple of precious videos of you holding Maddie, talking to and about her: “It’s okay, Maddie! Don’t worry!....look at her liddow toes….she’s getting big like me!” You also tell me when she’s upset: “your baby’s crying!” You keep track of Emily and the two of you are getting good at playing together. You get concerned if she gets too close to the edge at the playground and the other day she was lagging behind us as we walked; you went back and took her hand to help her. You’ve also been known to attempt to reprove me if you think I’m not being nice to Emmy: “No! Let her do that!” (Oh my.)
Music is such a big part of your life. You sing all the time, sometimes songs we’ve taught you and sometimes your own creations, often having to do with leafblowers, snowblowers, etc. You and Emmy sit at the piano and sing together--often Holy Holy Holy or You Are My Sunshine. Great Is Thy Faithfulness is another recent favorite and a must-sing every night. You love watching music videos--your current idea of a movie is an orchestral or Bold Reflection concert-- and you enjoy hearing mommy play and daddy sing in the “plior” (choir) at church.
Your grasp of language is pretty awesome. You have words that you use for things that nobody else can figure out. Some we’ve deciphered the meaning to...some we haven't. You say “I’m gonna plennon you!” and talk about “jego bugs”. You were going around “shooting” people by pulling an imaginary string away from them and we finally figured out that you’re actually “starting” them like you would a lawn mower. (See below.)
You are a wonderful mix of sweet, sensitive little boy and exciting ball of energy. Sometimes in the morning you come out, all sleepy, with your blankies and climb in the big chair with me while I finish up my reading. I treasure our quiet snuggle times. You’re so precious and I can’t wait to see the way God works in you and guides you. We love you, Jamesie.
All pics from our wonderful Michigan trip; courtesy of Auntie Sarah.