Happy fourth birthday, bud.
You burst into this world after a *very* long 40 week pregnancy and a short 5 hour labour. You were born on Thanksgiving Monday, which in turn is one of the reasons I refer to you as “Pumpkin” or “Turkey”. You immediately lived up to the meaning of your name, “Handsome, good looking lad.” – almost straightaway nurses would come into our hospital room to hold you and gush at how beautiful of a baby you were. You had a head full of dark hair. I remember the first time Dad and I took you out to a store, and you started to fuss, and in my head I was praying, hoping you were just going to have this sweet little newborn baby cry – but, no, you had a full set of well functioning lungs that could rival every musical diva who’s ever lived.
The first four weeks were hard. Sleepless nights… colic… both of us unsure if we were doing anything right. Then four weeks hit, and you threw us a break. You started sleeping 8 straight hours, in your own crib. Thank the Heavens.
Then came, the rolling, the teething, crawling, pulling yourself up, crawling after the cats (your favourite/their least favourite), dancing, walking and running. You were a sweet potato monster. And a Jolly Jumper extraordinaire! One day you found diaper rash cream, and I take that as a big, giant, flashing sign from the Universe that it was Karma taking direct aim at me for having done the same thing at the same age to my own mother.
Dad and I worried about how you would fit in to the lifestyle we lead before your arrival. Always packing up and going on random weekend roadtrips to anywhere within a 5-6 hour radius. You fit in perfectly. Our destinations may not be as exotic as they once were (Oh, how we long to get back to the Caribbean and Vegas!), but you’ve learned to sleep well in unfamiliar hotel rooms, and you have the same penchant as your dad for cool hotel pools, and mine for a good hot, hotel breakfast.
You are a lover, always asking for cuddles. Saying you don’t want a kiss, and then exclaiming, “Tricked you!” after you plant a giant wet smooch on our cheeks. Your imagination is wild, and I love it. You play games, build, and sing songs and I watch you and see how creative you are. Right now, when you grow up, you want to be a semi-driver to who delivers cars to dealerships. A “car truck driver,” as you currently refer to it.
You’re so big now – it’s difficult for me to carry you, even though I want to. You’re still my baby… but you’re in preschool now. I watch you do things like get your own snacks from the cupboard, or your own drink from the water cooler, and wonder how has it come to this kind of independence. I see you needing me less and less.
I hear other parents always say, “I can’t wait until….”; Truth be told – I can wait. While I am driven up the wall on a daily basis, I can still wait. I can wait until you turn “double digits”. I can wait for high school, drivers license and graduation.
Four years… That somehow felt like an eternity and not long enough, all at the same time.
Love you to the moon and back, Cullio.