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Monday, April 11, 2011
It's hard to believe that four years have passed since my baby boy was born. In some ways, he still feels like a baby to me... and I think he always will. :) Saturday was his birthday... and this post was mostly done then... but things got hectic... and I was swamped in capes and more capes... so I'm just now posting. Shh... don't tell him. hehe. 

Dear Jake,

How did it happen? How did the past four years fly by? I feel like you are still two years old and have only been for a few minutes... like your second birthday party was just yesterday. And, yet, here we are... another year under your belt. Maybe I feel like you are still so young because you haven't grown much in the past two years. Oh, you are taller and more muscular and more like a big boy in so many ways, but you've gained all of 8 pounds since you were 9 months old. Yes, I am in a panic about what the doctor is going to say at your check-up next week. :)

Jake when he was just an infant... This photo taken by www.priscillabphotography.com
Watching you grow over the past year has been amazing. You are talking so much more clearer than you were last year at this time. As a matter of fact, I found this post from last April, talking about my concerns with your development. Remind me when you are older that I have to remember one thing about you... in everything you do... you do it at your own pace, in your own way. You still mumble sometimes and you still stutter when your mind is working faster than your mouth. It's adorable. And, there are still things that you say that I get confused about. For instance, you were so mad at me a few weeks ago when you pointed to a car dealership and kept telling me it was "Chick-Fil-A." I mean, by the end of the conversation, you were screaming, red-faced, mad and crying. I just thought you were tired and ignored you. Well, as it turns out, you came in a few days later and pointed to a commercial on TV and said, "That's a Chevrolet." Hmmm. You weren't telling me the car dealership was a Chick-Fil-A at all. It just sounded like that. I apologized. I really did. :)

You are still obsessed with superheroes. As a matter of fact, you are so obsessed with them that we had a full blown superhero party for you on Sunday. You loved it so. You kept telling me as we were getting ready for bed that you were so happy because your birthday was great... and that you couldn't wait for the next one. I, on the other hand, was exhausted and not so interested in that other year passing by too quickly. :) We have learned that we shouldn't worry so much about your obsession with the superheroes. You can and do regularly have conversations about other things. Instead, we now embrace all of your superhero love and we look for ways to use it to our advantage. You love to eat salad because Superman eats it to be strong (you don't really like it, I don't think). You still don't love milk, but will drink it when reminded about being tough like a superhero. :) We love superheroes, too. As a matter of fact, I feel like I'm becoming quite the expert on superheroes... it's like a whole new genre of popular culture has been opened up to me. At just the young age of four, you have already taught me so much... like how to stand up to bad guys. :)

Photo by www.priscillabphotography.com

Photo by www.priscillabphotography.com

Since you turned three, you have definitely become a little boy. You are no longer the little toddler that is happy to sit in a stroller at the mall. No, you are a full-fledged little boy now. You love to dig in the dirt, making mud pies in our yard. You can spend hours entertaining yourself with your good guy/bad guy toys, playing out scenes from your favorite movies or just letting them beat each other up. You love the "jumpoline" as you call it and will spend hours upon hours begging your dad to come jump with you so that he can super-bounce you or show off doing flips. :)

You have started playing sports. It has been interesting. We started you with three-year old kick start soccer. Daddy and Paul coached your (and Joseph's) team. You guys were so cute. But, as we are again reminded, you do things at your own pace, in your own way. I worry that you will one day be labeled as uncoachable, because you are so stubborn. But, you are coming along. You played basketball this winter and you are playing t-ball this spring. You always say you want to sign up... and you always have fun once you get there... but when we say we have practice for anything, you automatically start telling me that you are sick or that you don't want to go. Most times, you just flat out don't listen to your dad (and I get really mad about that and have to look like the mean mommy at all of the practices). You are always the young kid on the team... I think that plays a big part in why you act the way you do.

A lot of people, I'm sure, wonder why we push you to do sports. If you wonder when you get older, then understand now. :) You can be insecure. It takes you a long time to warm up to things. We started you in preschool in September. You cried every single morning until around November. Then, it was like a switch went off and you were fine. You started loving school... loving your friends... loving your teachers. You had to take the time to get adjusted. Being involved in activities where people support you and love you and tell you how great you are doing is only going to make you more confident. I don't care if you run to third base after you hit the ball every single time (thankfully, you don't do that)... I just want you to feel secure... to feel comfortable with who you are. I worry myself sick when I see you wring your hands. I hate to see you nervous. I hate to see you stand back and wait to make a new friend. But, it is who you are. And, while it bothers me because I don't want you to ever feel insecure, I know that you come around to everything, in your own time, in your own way. And, so patiently, we try to push you gently into being comfortable and confident, reminding you of how awesome you are at every chance.

Your sweet disposition is something that everyone notices. Everyone. I can't send you anywhere without someone saying, "He is so sweet." I love it, too. You will cuddle up to me on the couch and give me a big kiss and tell me you love me for no reason at all. You notice all of the beautiful things in the world. I will never look at a beautiful sky without thinking about how much you would love it... I kind of wonder if you will grow up to be a pilot because you talk about the sky so much (it could just be the superhero flying fascination, though). :) You notice people's light fixtures, which is hilarious to me because I notice them, too. You compliment people... you will find a way to make someone else feel good, even if you aren't sure how. I've seen you compliment your friends' socks before. Seriously? What 4-year old notices socks? You do. I love that you are so giving with your friends and that you miss them as soon as they leave. I worry that you will never learn to stand up for yourself... I saw a kid in your class shove a stuffed animal in your face so hard that it shoved your head backwards and you didn't say a word. It made me so mad that I almost came over to you to make you tell him to stop, but I didn't. When I told you after the class that you should stop him (yes, I will admit that I told you to punch him if he won't listen), you told me that it was not nice to hit. Ugh. I know that, Jake. But, seriously, you can't let kids pick on you. Then, one day, you decided that Jackson and Joseph had gone too far and you went ballistic on them, screaming your head off that you were "pissed off." So, maybe I shouldn't worry so much... maybe your wick is just a little longer than mommy's.  :)

I love that you enjoy going on dates with me and that you still prefer me over anyone else in the world. I know it won't last. I know my time as the "queen" of your life will come to an end sooner than I want. I dread it. I'm enjoying every second of it now, which is probably a contributing factor to why you are so babied. :) You are 4 and you rarely will dress yourself. You know how... but you won't. You expect me to do it. Yes, I am embarassed to admit that on here. :) You love Mondays and Fridays, because I don't work on those days and Bailey goes to school. It's just me and you. You almost always wake up happy on those mornings, ready for a pop tart, orange juice, and a new hand-picked show from Netflix on the X-Box. Typically, it's one of your favorite 10 superhero movies that you've seen 100 times. You want me to cuddle with you while you eat your breakfast. Then, while I race around the house trying to do as much as possible in one day, you play with your toys. You love your home. If Bailey asks who you are going to marry when you get older, you respond with "mommy." She has argued with you (to the point of fist-fighting) that I am already married to daddy, but you don't care. You are going to marry me. hehe. It's nice to know that you love me so. And, you are still my baby. You still want me to hug you and hold you and baby you, just like I did when you were a baby. You will even crawl in my lap and let me rock you sometimes. See... it's easy to see why I view you as this little baby. :)

You love your daddy, too. You guys have done so much together over the past year... just guys. I love to see that. It melts my heart. I love to see you go to football games or golfing or fishing together. You talk about those times all the time. I love that you value that already... and that you know how much your daddy loves you. You idolize how big and strong he is and how he can fix anything. If you only knew how much you are already like your dad. You already have his habits... and I'm pretty sure it really is genetic. As soon as I say it's time to clean, you sneak away unnoticed, just like daddy. :) You are stubborn and won't apologize unless forced... and then you hate it. You can tell you don't mean it most of the time... your dad is the same way. But, there are good things too... :) You are very easy-going, laid-back, and along for the ride. You are content... always content, just like your dad. You can always find the good in people and always have a good sense of humor. Well, unless it's early in the morning... then beware. That, I'm afraid, you got from me. :)

Bailey is by far your best friend... and always will be. You wake up and ask about her... we drop her off at school and you miss her. I love that. You also have some pretty awesome friends named Jackson, Joseph, and Carson that you talk about all the time. I hope you guys will be best buddies forever... and that you'll add in little Steffan (Cilla's baby boy) when he gets here. I love that you love babies... and you are so sweet and gentle with them. Carson is 15 months old (I think) and you treat him like a newborn, always being so easy to hug on him or squeeze his cheeks. I am sure the day is coming when he is going to get sick of it and knock you out. :) And, when he does, I hope you are just as sweet and gentle as you are right now.

The past four years have been amazing... and I wouldn't trade you for any other little boy in the world. Yes, I would love it if you were more helpful or more independent sometimes or even just less hateful at 7 a.m., but there isn't a boy in the world that has the same sweetness, the same stubbornness, and the same silly sense of humor. You, my boy, are my favorite superhero... and I know that that is the biggest compliment that I could ever give you. :) 

I love you my little man... stay mommy's little boy, please. :)