Saturday, July 30, 2011

Happy Birthday, S

Last Saturday we told you your bday was a week away. Every day since you've asked if it's your birthday. Not like last year when you were excited but moved on because a week was just a concept that was still beyond you.

We went to Chick-Fil-A on Tuesday night when the AC was out. I watched you quickly, confidently scale the play area, rushing around, head back, laughing, carefree. The hesitation you used to show, gone. You encouraged Baby R to follow you. Helped other kids down the slide. In these moments, my heart swells with pride.

You love to watch your Little Learners Preschool Spring Show DVD. You squeal with delight when you see yourself and your friends. You sing along with the songs. You already look so much bigger, older, than two months ago. At least once a week you ask me if you get to go back to school yet. I'm thrilled that you love learning!

You are fully potty trained now - you wore Pull-Ups at night longer than you probably needed to. I was scared for you since bedwetting runs in the family, and didn't want to push you too fast. You would get so upset when you did have an accident when you tried to stay dry on your own. Sometimes you would insist you had just had a sweaty sleep. You didn't want to make a mistake. A perfectionist. I try to let you know it's ok for mistakes to happen, but you don't want to hear it. Hone that trait. Use it to be the best you can, but let go a little so it doesn't destroy your world when you have failures. 

Though the tantrums are fewer, your defiance has increased. We had a horrible night a couple of weeks ago. I lost my temper with you. Multiple times. Screamed at you. Need to remember I'm the adult. Pray for patience. I don't know how my mom did it. I don't remember her yelling at us. My dad and I got in screaming fights, but I don't really remember any of them, just that they happened. But that's not the first thing I think of. My impressions of my parents from childhood are loving and happy and blessed. Will your memories of me be so muted? Will the love outshine the yelling?

One of my favorite things you like to do right now is try to knock me over. You are playing, but also testing the waters. When I squat down to your level or sit on the floor, you go as far away as you can, then run at me full speed ahead, and dive into my arms, knocking me back on the floor and smothering me with your hugs.  Full of trust and reckless abandon. And, sometimes, a little passive-aggression when you've been upset with me.

You amaze me with your imagination and creativity. Problem-solving is a skill you already excel at. I am in awe of you. I try so hard not to lament your messy/inconvenient experiments and innovations; I don't want to squelch your curiosity. I want you to have the freedom to learn from experience and mistakes in a safe environment. To encourage you, empower you, instill self-worth and confidence. Those are the gifts I most want to give you.

Happy birthday, beautiful baby. I'll love you forever.
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