Dear Jackson and Ella,
Today you turn 4 years old. It’s almost like you guys are actual people now and no longer my sweet little babies. There is so much I want to tell you two.
Jackson: My little man. You tell me almost everyday that you are no longer a baby or a big kid. You tell me you are a MAN! Yup, you tell me that you pee like a man, you eat like a man, and you go to bed like a man. I hate to break it to you, my little man, but you will ALWAYS be my baby.
You can be the sweetest little boy when you want to be and then there are times that I just want to strangle you!! You can be very demanding when it comes to “asking” for things, but on the other hand, you are always the first one to get your sister something when she needs it. Even though you follow the typical toddler rules about every toy being yours, you still make sure Ella has something to play with after you rip a toy out of her hands. You want to be good.
Right now, your favorite foods are hamburgers, green beans, and cookies. You love drinking water, but only if it has ice in it. The reason you started liking water with ice was because you saw Grandma Jane with ice in her water. You like to try new foods, and for the most part you like almost everything you try, however, it is a huge struggle to get you to eat your dinner. You haven’t always been such a good eater. There were times when the only thing I could get you to eat was spaghetti noodles or rice. It has been a nice change of pace.
You LOVE super heroes!! If you see anything with one of the Marvel characters on it, you totally try and convince me that you need it because it matches all your other stuff. You like playing “superhero” with your sister, but I think it’s really just an excuse to try and beat her up.
You just started preschool and are having so much fun. You like playing with the other kids, but you are still a little shy. You wake up happy most school days and you are super excited to go. Hopefully you always love school this much!
I love you more than ice cream and cameras!!
Ella: My baby girl. You are such a little sweetie (most of the time). In the morning you wake up before Daddy goes to work, just so you can say bye to him and give him a hug. You like helping him pick out his clothes for the day and getting his shoes out of the closet. After he leaves, you crawl in bed with me and either go back to sleep or watch a show before brother wakes up. On the days you don’t get to say bye to Daddy, you are sad about it all day.
You love playing with your brother, but you can kind of be a brat to him. You tend to tease him a lot and take thing from him. You also instigate a lot of fights and you like making him mad. On the other hand, if he gets hurt, you are the first one to try and help and you worry about him. You like helping him do things.
You love anything pink! And Princesses! And Ballerinas! Even though you like to play in the dirt and fight with your brother, you are such a girly girl.
You say some of the funniest things with the funniest expressions. It cracks me and Daddy up!
Getting you to eat your food is a struggle. You hate trying new foods and really only like eating mac n cheese or grilled cheese sandwiches. Even if we make you your favorite foods, there are just days you won’t eat. Well, hopefully you get over that phase soon!
I love you more than rainbows and cotton candy!
A friend of mine posted this and I thought it was rather appropriate:
Here is the poem from the book Let Me Hold You Longer by Karen Kingsbury.
Long ago you came to me,
a miracle of firsts,
First smiles and teeth and baby steps,
a sunbeam on the burst.
But one day you will move away
and leave to me your past
And I will be left thinking of
a lifetime of your lasts…
The last time that I held a bottle
to your baby lips
The last time that I lifted you
and held you on my hip.
The last night when you woke up crying,
needing to be walked,
When last you crawled up with your blanket,
wanting to be rocked.
The last time when you ran to me,
still small enough to hold.
The last time that you said you’d marry
me when you grew old.
Precious, simple moments and
bright flashes from your past-
Would I have held on longer if
I’d known they were your last?
Our last adventure to the park,
your final midday nap,
The last time when you wore your favorite
faded baseball cap.
Your last few hours of kindergarten,
those last few days of first grade,
Your last at bat in Little League,
last colored picture made.
I never said good-bye to all
your yesterdays long passed.
So what about tomorrow-
will I recognize your lasts?
The last time that you catch a frog
in that old backyard pond.
The last time that you run barefoot
across our fresh-cut lawn.
Silly, scattered images
will represent your past.
I keep on taking pictures,
never quite sure of your lasts…
The last time that I comb your hair
or stop a pillow fight.
The last time that I pray with you
and tuck you in at night.
The last time when we cuddle
with a book, just me and you
The last time you jump in our bed
and sleep between us two.
The last piano lesson,
last vacation to the lake.
Your last few weeks of middle school,
last soccer goal you make.
I look ahead and dream of days
that haven’t come to pass.
But as I do, I sometimes miss
today’s sweet, precious lasts…
The last time that I help you with
a math or spelling test.
The last time when I shout that yes,
your room is still a mess.
The last time that you need me for
a ride from here to there.
The last time that you spend the night
with your old tattered bear.
My life keeps moving faster,
stealing precious days that pass,
I want to hold on longer-
want to recognize your lasts…
The last time that you need my help
with details of a dance.
The last time that you ask me for
advice about romance.
The last time that you talk to me
about your hopes and dreams.
The last time that you wear a jersey
for your high school team.
I’ve watched you grow and barely noticed
seasons as they pass.
If I could freeze the hands of time,
I’d hold on to your lasts.
For come some bright fall morning,
you’ll be going far away.
College life will beckon
in a brilliant sort of way.
One last hug, one last good-bye,
one quick and hurried kiss.
One last time to understand
just how much you’ll be missed.
I’ll watch you leave and think how fast
our time together passed.
Let me hold on longer, God,
to every precious last.