You are 4 years old today.
You woke up this morning, with hair pointing every which way, eyes still bleary from sleep, but a big smile on your face and said, “It’s my birthday!”
I said, “Will you stop growing, please?
You stretched your arms out and said, “No, I’m going to keep getting bigger and bigger.”
I said, “But will you be my baby forever?”
You smiled and said, “Yes, I’ll be your baby forever.” And gave me a hug.
From the moment you were born, you’ve taken me into unchartered waters of parenthood. I had no idea that one’s capacity to love can be expanded in such a manner. You have taught me to be patient, to savour each moment with you, to give you space and time to grow at your own pace, and to enjoy learning the names of 60 different Cars characters.
You inspire me. You make me want to be better and to be more. You are trusting, compassionate, forgiving, loving, courageous, intelligent, talkative and confident. I want to be like you.
I love it when you sit with me while I edit photos. I love bringing you to the office with me on weekends so I have you next to me when I work. I love taking you to run errands because your curiosity about life refreshes me. I love going on our weekly dates with you. I love finding a new playground to test out with you.
Your favorite food include rice, noodles, tofu, salmon sashimi, and milk. You love to work on puzzles, paint, bake, measure rice for us to cook, play at the playground behind our house, and run up and down the hallway and visiting with neighbors. You love collecting rocks to represent everyone important in your life, and line them up according to their size.
You’ve now had two years of practice of being a big brother, and you are so good at it. You lift Savanna off beds and chairs, you bring her water when she’s thirsty, you share your toys with her, and you hold her when she’s sad. The way you adore each other is probably the biggest source of joy in my heart.
During this past year, we lost Sammy. It was the first time you had to deal with death. You kept asking me when Sam is coming home from the hospital. Eventually you understood Sam is not coming back, and it made you sad. You asked Daddy to put Sam’s ashes where we used to keep his bed because that spot will always be Sam’s spot.
When we visited Taiwan, you were the only person your great grandmother reacted to. She would actually smile at you when the rest of us cannot convince her to even look at us. In her advanced state of Alzheimer’s, you brought her rare joy.
I am proud of who you are, just the way you are. I do wish you would eat some vegetables, or stop farting purposely under my cover, but those things are so minor. Thank you for filling my heart with joy and my arms with your hugs. I wish you all the happiness in the world.