Today you turned four years old.  We have been talking about it for awhile, you were ready.  Year four- here we come!  There are some many things that you have decided you can do when you are four- swim lessons by yourself, pants that are a bit too big now are going to fit when you are four, you are going to grow taller than Dada, when you are four.

Back when you were three, a lot of things happened.  You created the most imaginative stories, you went to work, you flew planes, you were a Dada to your baby (usually Bennett or your friend Kate), you traveled,-a lot, by boat, car, train and plane.  A current favorite is the bench in the living room, it makes a great train.  This morning you even brought the stool over as stairs for your passengers to get on an off the train with ease (gosh, you are so thoughtful).

You love music- you are always turning it on.  We still go the music class, mainly because you and your brother really really love it.  You have even responded to some of the questions our teacher asks of you- this is a big big step for Sir Shy.  You have a lot of instruments and you have told me (back when you were three) that when you turned four you wanted to learn how to play the guitar.  We will definitely have to make that happen.

Other favorites include legos, cars, your parking garage, puzzles and books.  My, you have quite the library.  You could sit and read all day.  One of my favorite new developments this year is reading you chapter books.  This is a Mama and Henry thing, and I love it so.  You ask questions, you ask what certain words are, and you pay attention more than I think that you can.  You brag about the chapters we have read and get exicted to pick out our next chapter book.  So far we have read The Wizard of Oz, The BFG, Stuart Little, andPippi Longstocking.  We have started a few others, but sometimes we are not ready for certain ones.  I get so excited to think of what we can read together.  Classics that I have never read that we can share together- kiddo, I love reading with you.

This year you got a bike.  You love that thing.  You started out a timid, extremely cautious rider (painfully so, in fact) and now just go for it.  I have to admit, I preferred the cautious rider, he didn’t just fly down hills.  Oye.

You are the sweetest big brother.  We started off this year with not being able to express our frustrations about our little brother.  There was a lot of hitting.  Now, you are usually not the one doing the hitting (ahem) and help Bennett out.  You play together so nicely and you include him in what you are doing (usually…).  You explain things to him and make sure he is okay.  You share your things and you let him have toys that he wants (even when he doesn’t really deserve to have them).

You have become a very very picky eater.  Grrrr…  You still have favorites, but now, there are quite a few things you won’t even try.  It is getting better, you now will occasionally try things, but it has been a bit of a battle.

You hate getting dressed.  You are very particular about what you want to wear, a lot of your clothes don’t fit right (even if they fit the day before).  You like your pants rolled up above your ankles and you really dislike socks.   You choose your clothes and some outfits crack me up.  This summer you had some favorites, your orange outfit and your green outfit (head to toe, one color) and this fall you found a sweater you never wore before and wore it for a week straight.  Last week you found a vest and had to wear it for 3 days in a row.  You even put it on over your pajamas one morning.

You are a worker.  You love helping Dada in the garage or outside.  This past spring and summer you were a huge help in the yard and garden.  You have gloves and boots and are ready to go.  You had your own garden and I am sure you will have requests for this years growing season.

We go to the farm every week and you aways have to see the goats.  They eat grass, you know, and you know which varieties are their favorites.  You help me each week gathering up our produce and counting our eggs.  This past summer you got to pick tomatoes straight off the vine, strawberries from the ground and raspberries from their bushes.  You were in heaven.  You were so happy running around the farm, in your purple crocs, juice running down your face.  You and your brother get so excited to go there- hopefully this year our garden will be a bit more productive and we can have run arounds to pick things for dinner in our own yard.

You love ice cream, you find reasons to visit the ice cream store any time you can.

You have an amazing sense of direction, it really is amazing how you know how to get everywhere.

This last month we found out that you had more cavities in your mouth than you have teeth.  Wow.  Mama and Dada did not see that one coming, we brush your teeth, you even floss, you barely know what candy is…  But, you are just one of those kids.  One of those awesome kids who sits and has cavities filled for an hour and is okay with coming back for a second round in a few weeks.  One of those awesome kids who gets complimented by the dentist and gets extra treasures for being so awesome.  Yeah, that is you kid.  You made your Dada and I so proud.  We were so worried, and you did great.  Way to go kid.

You started swim lessons this year.  At the beginning it was with Dada, then Mama and now you are on your own.  And, again, you are awesome.  Things that you would never do before, you are doing every week.  You dunk your head, you kick, you float, you dive for rings, you hold your breathe.  I can’t believe how much you have conquered in just a two week period.  I enjoy watching you learn and grow comfortable in the water.

You have started writing letters and can do pretty much all of them.  You were even trying to teach Bennett how to draw a B this morning.  You recognize certain words like HELP, HAPPY, HENRY, BIRTHDAY, BENNETT, MAMA, DADA, and a few others that I can’t remember right now.  I know that this next year, these skills are going to sky rocket.  You want to learn so much, it is really fun to watch.  It is fun to teach you.  We do need to work on our numbers.  You can count to 20, but then stop and have a hard time telling the difference between certain numbers and letters when they are written down.

For your birthday you asked for a watch.  Maybe this year we will understand a little more about time and that waking up before six o’clock in the morning is TOO EARLY for a fella like you (and your parents too).

This past year you have really developed into your own person.  You are shy, but can be a crack up when you are comfortable.  You are witty and smart.  You are stubborn but can also be so flexible with certain things.  You are creative and a perfectionist.  You are awesome.  You, my boy, are amazing.  Happy Birthday Henry.


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