How in the world can my baby be four already? I remember the day you were born vividly – those big blue eyes and you were sooooo, soooo tiny. And we have watched you grow every day since then. We have watched you struggle, watched you succeed, watched your personality develop in ways that were gratifying and in ways that were trying. You have fascinated your dad and I and we continually are in awe of everything that is you.

      Someday you will hopefully have kids and you are going to want to know what you were like as a toddler/kid so that you have a frame of reference for your kids. So I am going to tell the good, the bad, and the ugly of what age 3 was like for you.

      • One of my favorite things about you is your imagination – you weave the most incredible stories about good guys and bad guys and what is going on as you play throughout the house. And I like how you take turns being the good guy or the bad guy and you have Gavin take turns as well.
      • You can build a “shooter gun” out of pretty much anything to help with being either a good guy or a bad guy. Most times you do a great job building two guns so that Gavin can have one too.
      • You love playing with your brother … as long as he is doing what you want him to! You have helped Gavin learn and grow so quickly in effort to keep up with you, teaching him how to play with toys, use his imagination, and it is so much fun to hear you both giggling in the other room together.
      • We are continually impressed with how quickly you learn. You can write all your letters, you understand mathematical concepts (even a little multiplication), you are sounding words out and want to read. While you may not have tremendous patience to sit and do these things for long periods, your mind works swiftly through everything as you take in the concepts.
      • You have incredible patience when you play with your Legos and I am amazed, and I mean AMAZED, at what you build. You follow the instructions and build the sets after someone takes you through it once and these sets are meant for kids twice your age and you are building them with all the focus and concentration of an adult! When you are tired of building that specific set, you take the pieces and build your own custom ships and guns and your imagination takes off again.
      • Someone once told me that all the phases pass quickly and looking back, it won’t seem like they took that long. Well, this particular phase seems never-ending with you … you hate to go to sleep. Not the, "Aw mom, can I please stay up a little longer?" kind of not wanting to go to sleep. You run, you scream, you fight, you kick, you hit, and you cry. And we have tried everything with you … staying with you in your room, lying next to you, holding the door closed, EV-ER-Y-THING. You don’t take a nap and still need to and when you get tired it is like a different person takes over and all your good decision making goes out the window. We are ready for this phase to be over (and we love you regardless!).
      • You have certain qualities that I am going to really value when you are an adult, but right now, not so much. You are extremely strong willed and want to do what you want to do. Along with that, you tend to continually push boundaries to see if they hold firm or if you can get your way. While that persistence will be great in certain careers and I can’t wait to see you in action, it is only because as your parent I know people will give in just to get you to stop!
      • You have such a good sense of humor and do well with teasing, which is good considering what family you are in. I love that you will tease back and say, "I was just joking." I especially love how you try to use the "I was just joking" to get out of trouble when you do something you know is wrong…
      • I love that you still need to sleep with Lion after all these years. The tag is worn to shreds from you rubbing it as you fall asleep and poor Lion has seen his fair share of sickness and being hauled around the house.
      • There are not many four year olds that can navigate xbox games as well as you – you love playing them and become pretty much obsessed, so your dad and I limit them to 30 minutes on Saturday only … and only if you behave during the week. You also earn 30 minutes of screen time a day on the ipad or iphone where you choose to play EvanTubeHD You Tube videos (a 7 year old who builds legos and is your hero) or playing angry birds or some other games.

      We could go on and on about you, my wonderful big boy. Happy Fourth Birthday!

      (And here are a few photos daddy took with you and your new X Wing Fighter that you built with minimal help this morning … you scare me with how you can build these ships and I have a feeling we will be asking family to chip in for the Death Star for Christmas for you…)