Oh, my wonderful baby.  You’re 4!  That is amazing and incredible and awesome to me.  How big you are now!  I am shocked at the speed with which time passes, but so overjoyed at seeing you grow.  You are an amazing kid.  I feel so lucky to get to watch you grow up, and to see you every day becoming more and more YOU.

You are so big and strong, clever and funny, sweet and thoughtful, and so, so loving.  You are also stubborn, and willful, and opinionated . . . and I love it all.  I love all of you.  I love every bit of my wonderful Liam.

I love your stories and your jokes.  I love the way you count on your fingers.  I love your animated expressions and your silly faces.  I am so proud of the way that you have completely taken over caring for your lip injury from earlier this year — you want to do it all yourself, so you do, and you do a careful and thorough job.  I love the way you stick up your index finger and say, “Remind me …” when you want us to particularly take note of something.  I love how you know EXACTLY what you want, and how you don’t change your opinion to suit anyone else.  I love it when you’re quiet and cuddly, and I love it when you’re wild, too.

I love to see you build things!  You have amazing vision and creativity, and you do a great job seeing your projects through.  I love to see you with your stuffed animals.  You make families and friends from them, and you love to care for them and nurture them.  You’ve recently started singing to them, as well.  You are so sweet.

This past summer, we went “summer sledding” for the first time.  You loved it, so did I.  But my favorite part was that you chose, each time, to ride with me, even though your dad was undoubtedly the more exciting option.  We rode together, each time down the mountain.  We had a blast, and I enjoyed your company so much.  You are such a great little guy.  I love you with my whole heart, my littlest one.

You often ask me to hold you like a baby, and recently, you’ve started asking me to wrap you up in a baby blanket sometimes, too.  I think that you are starting to feel that the days of truly being a baby are behind you.  I will miss that, too, but you will always be MY baby, I will always be your mommy, and I will always love you more than I could ever say.

Even when I’m feeling frustrated — when you hit your brother, when you aren’t listening, or when you’re getting Bailey to chase you (again!) —  I am still grateful for the more challenging parts of who you are.  I think those characteristics will serve you well in life.  I love that you stay true to what you want and to who you are, and I love that your desire to take care of yourself is stronger than your desire to please anyone else.  I love that you won’t let anyone push you around.  You are a tough cookie … but you are also sweet, kind and loving.  You care about everyone, and you want to help comfort and care for all of us.  Benjamin, in particular, is very important to you.  You love him so much, and always want to catch up to what he’s doing or learning.

I love you, my exuberant, enthusiastic, creative, sweet 4 year old guy.  You are a whirlwind and a force of nature.  You are so wonderful.  You are not always easy to parent, but you are so easy to love.  I love you so very much, my sweet baby.  Happy birthday.

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