Dear (Four Year Old) Tyson,
A terrible, terrible thing happened today. You laid down with Daddy for your nap and he couldn’t get you to sleep. So I lay down with you, telling you that you needed to nap, and I also failed. I used to tell you that someday when you’re 4 years old, you won’t have to take a nap anymore (but I purposely haven’t been adding that recently, with your birthday on your brain). And I have never told you that Trent actually gave up on his afternoon nap the week before he turned 4. But here we are, a day before your birthday, and it seems like BOOM! You really are older.
I read my letter to you from when you turned 3 and much of what I wrote is the same: you are ornery and feisty, and you have a way of making people laugh. But in the last year, you’ve had many experiences and grown so much. There have been a couple (alright, a few) trips to the ER, surgery for a broken arm, staples in your noggin, and somehow only one ambulance trip. You started preschool and won over the teachers’ hearts, not by being loving like your big brother, but by being so full of spunk & spark. And reading your past letter was a reminder of another hurdle we cleared in the past 362 days: you did get potty-trained!
You still like farming more than trains, even though Trent tries to convince you to love trains as much as he does. Your favorite birthday gift last year was a planter, and the favorite so far this year is a drill. Our whole house is officially planted in corn and beans.
Your middle name should be Noise. If you aren’t making noise, you’re up to something even worse. And no matter how many times we try to turn down the volume of your voice, you’re always a dozen decibels above anyone else in a conversation.
I thought your brother would be more of an enemy than an ally by now, but luckily that’s not the case. Not including Daddy, Trent is still your favorite person. If you can’t see him or hear him, you start looking for him. One of the sweetest things ever was watching you give him a big hug goodbye when we dropped him off for preschool this whole last year, as if you were going to be apart for a great length of time. Most things that you do require an acknowledgment or accolade from him: “Do you like this Trent?” “And I did it by myself, right Trent?” “Trent, you gotta come see this!”
So we go forth into the land of a four-year-old. I’m hoping naps haven’t completely abandoned your schedule. I’ll continue to live for your quiet moments on my lap when there’s nowhere for you to be running to and no one to holler at, and I’m reminded to seek out those moments a little more. You’ll probably be wrapped up in you Paw Patrol blanket, with your fingers around the tag on your froggy lovey, and you just might resemble a sweet little boy who I have spent the last four years falling in love with.
In the next year, we will have a lot of changes but we will ride the waves as a family. Between Daddy’s new job and schedule, Trent starting kindergarten, and you possibly giving up naps (Lord help me), we will have to make it a daily reminder to do everything as a team. I can’t wait to see you do swimming lessons for the first time and move onto the next year of preschool. You will get lots of ride-time in the tractor, probably get yourself hurt in some way or another, and continue being a living, breathing spark that ignites smiles in others.
I love you so much and I’m beyond proud to be your mommy. I will always be there to kiss your boo-boos (or ride next to you in the ambulance or help hold the post-surgery popsicle). And when people comment “He’s just so sweet!”, I might smirk and roll my eyes a little but I know better than anyone else all the sweetness you’re burying under that loud, tough-guy, rambunctious façade (that is known to occasionally grunt “Men eat meat!”).
But if you decide to keep naps for a little while longer, I want you to know that would be great.
Happy 4th birthday, Tyson Steven!
Love forever and ever,