You turned 4 a few weeks ago! In keeping with my apparent tradition, I am writing this letter late – much too late – but I am writing it nonetheless. As I’ve told you before, the letters on your birthday are hard for me to write. As much as I love seeing you get older, I hate it. I love you, I love being your mom, and I love caring for you on a daily basis. As you get older, you need me differently and you need me less. I’m learning to adjust and appreciate the way your growth affects our relationship.
This year has been particularly hard. I spent a lot of it depressed – very depressed. And anxious. If there’s one thing to know about me, it’s that I get anxious. A lot. I don’t like it, but so far I haven’t found a way to change it. Above anything, I know it has distracted me from you. I’m sorry for that. I want to say with absolute conviction that my anxiety isn’t your fault, and it doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you. I worry that you’ll get that message.
This has been a hard year for you, too. You’ve had a lot – a LOT – of tantrums. A lot. And you’ve been hitting and kicking and spitting at us a lot. I wish we could figure out how to help you deal with your anger and anxiety. I know sleep has a big impact on your moods, but actually getting you to sleep is quite a feat! lol You are just like your mother in that you LOVE to stay awake and you hate to miss the action!
I’m excited to see your reactions this Christmas. I love giving you gifts, and I love seeing how you light up when you receive them. I can tell the whole gift experience is a love language of yours. It’s one of mine, too. It’s fun to have that in common with you.
One thing we want to try to teach you this year is about caring for others who are less fortunate. We want you to be a generous person, and although your dad and I are generous in many ways, I don’t think you notice them because you’re too young to have those things interest you. So we want to be more purposeful about helping you learn about generosity.
We also want to help you learn about picking up your own messes. You *love* to have your toys spread out all over the house. You can quickly turn it into a disaster! We know we need to be more purposeful in that regard.
I’m so excited to see what it’s like to have a four-year-old boy! You amaze me regularly and I love you so much. That will never, ever change!