I never used to believe in reincarnation until I had you. You are most certainly a little old man, trapped inside a 4 year old’s body. Since birth you have been cautious, careful, and sensitive to both your own feelings, but more impressively, others. I am so very proud of how you are starting to read, how you can write your name, and add and subtract simple numbers, but I am vastly more proud of how empathetic you are. You can feel other’s feelings so honestly, that I sometimes worry that you are TOO sensitive to other’s emotions. Oh sure, you are a typical 4 year old who gets angry, frustrated, and deliberately disobeys us.. You just wouldn’t be normal if you didn’t do any of that, but you are such a special little boy.
I still have to remember at times that you are our child. Because you have taught me so much about what being a mother is, and a whole lot more about what being a grown up was. When I had you, I was a overwhelmed 22 year old, not sure what to think about this huge life change. I had hardly lived on my own, just convocated university, and was just on the cusp of growing up. Everything changed in the weeks after I had you, suddenly I had to transform from a previously self-centered young woman, into a mother… with a colicky infant no less. You cried all day, but I still think I shed more tears in those early months. Nothing I could do seemed to make you happy, except to hold you, or drive you around in the car. I think I spent more time driving the highway around Naicam than I care to admit. Very quickly I learned that my life was no longer just about me.. I realized that your happiness lead to my own.
We slowly figured it out, and when the fog lifted, I found this little baby boy who was like a talisman for complete strangers. You’re outgoing personality had me taken back one day at the hospital when you walked right up to a little old man in a wheelchair who was waiting to see his sick wife, and put your little hand on his leg and smiled and played with him until we left. This became a normal occurrence… one night we met Daddy for coffee in Melfort, and when the group of World War II vets, who regularly met for coffee at the same diner, smiled at you, you toddled over to them and sat on their laps soaking up the Papa-attention while they grinned ear to ear. This only reinforced my belief that underneath those chubby little dimpled hands, and gap toothed little grin, you were something so much more advanced. You still are most happy when you are with your Papas (and Great Papa.. Lucky you!!).
You are an amazing big brother, and on the mornings when you make to Belle before us, the sound of your little voice saying, “Good Morning Bellie… how was your sleep” in such a gentle little way, makes me smile from the inside out. You have your moments with that little sister of yours (she is not one to be messed with.. Watch out for the smiling exterior with the pitbull interior.. She will put you through your paces as you grow up!!) but you are always cognisant of the moments when you may have hurt her feelings, and you almost don’t even need to be punished you feel so guilty.
So happy fourth birthday my little, old man. You make us laugh more often that not, and your sophisticated questioning makes us even wonder about the most simple of things.
And yes, today you can have cake for breakfast.