Dear Sweet Michael,
A couple of weeks ago we celebrated your fourth birthday. I'm writing your birthday letter late - there's not much I can say about that except welcome to being the second child. Let's not talk about your baby book...
It is unlikely a birthday will ever go by without my remembering what a very uncertain beginning you had in this world, or without recalling how tiny you were and how long it seemed to take you to do all the regular baby things like regulate your body temperature, or, you know, eat.
And here you are, a fairly robust four-year-old, weighing in at a mere ten times your birth weight. Without careful attention to your speech or your (considerable lack of) fine motor skills, I doubt anyone meeting you today would guess that you arrived in this world nine weeks early.
Some days you are a mystery to me, Michael. You can be so sweet and gentle, so loving and then all of a sudden your temper flares and you stamp your foot at me when I don't think Cheez-Its are a good lunch. You fight like crazy with your sister as you appear to have decided that you aren't willing to be bossed around any longer. And yet, as much as you can be tough with Harper, you crumble the instant someone reprimands you even a little bit.
You've made amazing strides in the last year, even in the last six months. So many things seems to be clicking along in your little brain. Just yesterday your preschool teacher told me you did great on an assessment that you couldn't complete at all in September. On Monday you jumped from a vault into the pit of foam squares at gymnastics. When you started, in the fall, it was all I could do to lower you in there and pry your fingers from my arms! These small things indicate huge changes in you and what you can do and are willing to do.
One of my favorite ways you've changed in the past year is your blossoming imagination. You love to play pretend and are constantly narrating little stories with your toys. Today you were hosting some kind of imaginary party and I heard you say to one of the guests, a pirate, I think, that you were going to check the ingredients to see if the party food was peanut-free. Then you told him you'd have to call his mother and see if he could eat it.
You are a joy to us Michael and I am trying to soak up all I can of you being little because every day I can see more clearly that you won't be little for long.
I love you.