Monday, March 2, 2015

Dearest Henry: Happy 4th Birthday

To My Most Favorite Henry in the Whole World:

You are a gem. At your birthday celebration at school, the teacher asked the children in your class to go around the circle and ask you questions. One child asked, "What is your favorite thing to do at home?" And you said, "Cuddle with my mama." Two more children asked you the same question and your response was the same. 

You melt my heart.

The thing is, you are not clingy or needy. You are fiercely independent and full of your own ideas and your own way of doing things. I try to step back to let you do things your way. 

You've grown so much this past year. Your explanations are so complex and detailed. Your ideas are so developed and thorough. 

We've had another amazing year together, and I am extremely grateful to get to live my life alongside you. Some of my fondest memories of you this year include:
  • Swimming at the YMCA. You always wanted to ask the lifeguard if it was okay to have your goggles and if it was okay to jump in. 
  • Swimming in our own pool. You struggle to come up for air (your body is so dense and you tend to sink!) but you swim nonetheless. 
  • Your propensity to be naked. Whenever you build forts in the living room, you immediately want to take your shirt off. And your other clothing is not usually far behind. 
  • Traveling to Michigan together. We went from the pool to the beach to the grass to the pool to the ice-cream store. 
  • Traveling to San Francisco together. You are so full of life and curiosity. I love watching you take in the world around you. You loved talking about going over the Golden Gate Bridge with your dada. 
  • Getting to see you at school every day. 
  • Reading books to you at night and practicing sandpaper letters. 
  • Hiding from Tate under the covers. 
  • Listening to your jokes. "What do you get when you put Tate and Alina together?...Poop!" 
  • Finding the Wildflower Center together. 
  • Double bubble baths every night. 
  • Building a garden together and harvesting all those watermelons. 
  • Adding to your overflowing nature bowl. 
  • Asking you to stop trying to hold the chickens. 
  • Listening to all your songs: "I Am a Leader" (to the tune of "This Land Is Your Land"), the tune from Golden Girls, and 
  • Listening to you talk about all the map puzzles you do at school. 
You shine so much light into our lives. We are eternally grateful for your beautiful presence. Thank you for sharing your self with us.

Here's the letter I wrote to myself before going into labor with Henry.

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