To my son Jacob on his 4th birthday…
I love your beautiful big brown eyes and long eyelashes (thanks to daddy’s genes on those).
I love your smile, even though it does not show up in pictures as much as I would like. Your smile lights up a room.
I love our snuggle time. You love to lay your entire body on top of me before bed and cuddle your head right under my chin. I wait for the moment when your breathing slows and your body goes limp in peaceful slumber, to roll you over and kiss your forehead goodnight. This is always one of my favorite parts of the day.
I love your questions. Really, I just love anything you say, especially since it took so long to really hear your voice. Your questions are like a window into your mind, and I love what I see and hear.
I love taking you to the store with me. You are such a good shopper – patient, curious, and great at helping me remember the items on my list.
I love your natural way with animals. You have such a gentle way about you. I think animals can sense that and are comfortable around you. I never thought I would want to live on a farm until I saw you around horses and cows. That is almost enough to make me leave the suburbs, but not quite – I love Target too much (and so do you!).
I love your appetite and hunger for healthy foods. Thank goodness you are a good eater, especially with all of your allergies/food sensitivities. You are happy with a plate of grilled chicken, broccoli, and sweet potato. If not for your brother and sister, I would pat myself on the back and think I did something special to raise such a great eater.
I love your need for routine and structure. You like to know the plan and you check-in to make sure we are on schedule and everyone is accounted for. You have an amazing sense of direction and question me if I change course or make any unexpected moves.
I love taking you on trips. Even though you like your typical schedule, you also love an adventure. The other kids are happy to watch a movie in the car or on the plane, but you would rather look out the window and take it all in. You say, “weeee” when we exit on an off-ramp, you applaud when the airplane takes off and lands, and you point out all the wondrous things in the world around us.
I love your love of water – baths, pools, oceans – you are a natural in the water. Swim team in your future?
I love the way you light up when you are around your family. You love having Grandma and Grandpa, Grammy and Pop, your Aunts, Uncle Scott, and your cousins over. You love to show off when there is an audience – yelling from the top of the second floor, dancing, forward rolls, or singing. You are happiest when you are around your loving family.
I love the special relationship you have with your brother. You and Isabella will grow closer as you get older, but you and Noah are practically twins. You complete each other and make each other better. I hope and pray that you remain this close as you grow up.
I love your determination and strength. You have had to overcome more obstacles than many other four-year-old boys, and you have met those challenges with grace, maturity, and fortitude. I have seen how milestones like sitting, standing, crawling, walking, jumping, playing, talking, and pedaling a bike come without much difficulty for some children. You have had to work harder and longer more often than not, but you eventually get there. I am so proud of you for not giving up, for pushing yourself when it is hard, and for having a good attitude even in the struggle. This will take you far in life.
I love your laugh. Your playful giggles bring a smile to my face (except when they mean you are up to mischief). Your laughter is contagious, frequently sending your brother and sister into a contest of silliness.
I love you as my middle child, my oldest son, and my sweet 4-year-old boy. I love you Jacob! Happy 4th birthday!