For My Birthday Boy

Dear Reed,

We’re fresh off your birthday weekend. I have to admit I cried a few tears on the morning of your fourth birthday, so amazed at what a Big Boy you’ve so quickly become and a bit saddened to realize there’s only 14 more of these big birthdays before you embark into the world. (I later cried even harder when our friend Betsy noted actually there’s only 12 more because once you’re 16, it’s over.) It seems just yesterday, you were turning three!

You were so excited for your birthday to arrive, likely in anticipation of the insanely large pile of gifts you amassed. I have concluded the addiction to capitalist consumer culture starts early. They really hook ya when you’re young.

For the past few weeks, you have asked each morning: Is my birthday THIS day?  To which we replied: No, but soon!

Just like we promised, you’re birthday did indeed arrive. Eventually. You spent the afternoon bouncing and running and giggling with your favorite buddies, balloons tossed here and there. Pizza foregone. Cake and ice cream consumed in its stead. A plain ol’ good time.

Even though you seem suddenly so old, officially graduated from those toddler years, I am still struck, with a bursting heart, that you are still such a young child. You’ve been gentling placing your favorite stuffies in your new scooter basket, one by one, and giving them rides around the house. So precious. And you have not been to remiss to notice that I have yet to knit more sweaters for your beloved Lion.

Most importantly, you still love to snuggle and are just as sweet (and naughty) as you were when you were three. Thank goodness.

I had hoped to finish this sweater of yours (from the Knittin’ Little collection) by your actual birthday.

Sorry.

Plan B is now to finish by Christmas. So I’ve got a couple weeks to wrap up a shoulder, two sleeves, and a sewn-in shawl collar (why do these patterns always save the tricky bits for last?!?!).

Plan C will be to finish by the final night of Hanukkah, so I’ve got an extra week should I really need it. I’m prepared.

And, worst case, we can start a new tradition. Screw an annual Christmas sweater. How about a New Year’s Sweater instead.

Reed, I am wishing the very, very best of you for this upcoming year. May you play, learn, and grow like any child should–freely and surrounded by love, as I know you are. I wish for you many adventures in nature, fishing in your favorite spots and new ones, hunting for secret pirate treasure in the yard, and camping in the most beautiful of places. I promise to take you to the beach so you can fling sand (try not to fling it AT me, please) and the river so we can swim and delight in the sun once these dratted winter months finally pass.

I promise to read you stories at your beckon call and will try my hardest to be more patient and less snappy. (Mom could use a little vacation…)

May you also become more fond of washing your face and hands and generally breaking that habitat of wiping messes on your clothes (when you choose to wear them) instead of a napkin or towel.

Dirty or clean, I will love you always.

And I will try to knit more sweaters (and scarves) for Lion. Soon.

I love you, Reed.

Happy birthday.

Love,

Your Mama

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