Happy Birthday, Bug

Dear Bug,

You are 4 now.  I am not ready for you to be 4.  Today you told me that next year you will be 24, and I am positive that is true.  Suddenly, you’ve moved away from home and are plotting a life away from me.  I miss you.  Terribly.  But you are so full of happiness, and that brings me a bit of peace.  I wanted to tell you – it’s only been 4 years (24 years?) – and there is so much I love about you . . .

I love that you are Jetman, flying through the Grand Canyon with your paper towel roll cardboard jetpack – that you are Peter Pan, warding off the pirates with your pointy nail files sheathed in your rubber band belt – that you are Miss Witch, having absconded with our mop stick so that you could rubber band grass blades to the end and fly to the coffee shop in your black dress and red sparkle slippers, for a Witch bagel of course – that you are anything and anyone you want to be & no barrier stops you.

I love that you are a mixer, like Daddy.  One cereal is not good enough, you require 4 boxes to make a bowl.  You stand at the fridge and ponder what ingredients will go into your cup – cow’s milk, almond milk, maple syrup, coffee creamer, a black berry, some honey, and a marshmallow.  You drank it.

I love that you fish.  I do not kill fish – you do.  And you are clear that you want to.  “There are more fish, Mom.”  Yet it is profoundly sad to you to hook a waxworm.  We have rescue waxworms breeding in our living room.  Gnats are breeding in the habitat too.  Ladybugs are suffocating in your tackle box.  I adore your 4-year-old logic on life.

I love that you wear skirts, heels, headbands, and make up.  They are cool, and you happen to know it.  Sparkle, glitter, vibrant colors – this is the language you speak.  Peers and US culture will likely steer you away, but I support your interests and likes, whether they stay the same or change.

I love that when you kiss me goodbye, you often ask, “Mom, will you remember that kiss?”  It is impossible for me to forget!  You are so generous with your kisses – they are often wrapped in hugs as you blow them off to catch me (or any loved one on their way out).  Your kisses travel faster than a car, you say.

I love that you love me.  You want me to put you to bed, you ask for me first thing in the morning, you plead with me not to leave, and you often ask to be held.  If I can, I will always say yes.  I relish in helping you.  Because one day, you won’t want to be picked up, you may not notice if I step out of the house, you’ll want space to be a grouch in the morning, and you’ll learn to fall asleep on your own.  When you’re 24.

There’s so much I love about you, Bug.  Every trip up the stairs carrying all 40 lbs of you, negotiating with you about knives and needles, explaining for the hundredth time why sugar comes AFTER protein and veggies, cuddling with you at the end of the day – these are the moments I live for.  I adore being by your side as you learn about life.  I wish this could last forever.  But I’m learning that, although I love you more than is possible today, I’ll actually love you more tomorrow.  There is so much I love about you that I fear loosing as you grow.  And as you grow, there are boundless new things to love.  It’s a crazy wild ride, partner.  Let’s make a lifetime last just as long as we can, deal?

All my love,

p.s. – FIVE comes after four, for the record.

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