Today, I cannot believe it, but you are 4 years old. That just sounds so old. I remember being 4. I have distinct memories of learning to ride a bike (with no training wheels, thank you very much) when I was 4. I also remember taking my first plane ride to San Francisco and squeezing a cherry tomato until it exploded (that was back in the day when you got actual food on an airplane). I love that you are probably making memories right now that you will remember when you’re older.
I hope all your memories are happy ones.
Judging from the way you live life, I think they are. But in case they’re not, I love that you have these letters from me to remind you of how good your life is, how happy you make others, and how much you are loved.
Never underestimate how happy you make people, Riley. From your parents to your grandparents to the strangers taking a walk in our neighborhood. Last summer you and I and teeny baby Charlotte were playing in the driveway when an elderly couple on their nightly walk strolled by. I waved to them and you took that as your cue.
You ran up to them, waving. “I have something to tell you!” you yelled, so they stopped. They asked what you’d like to tell them and you happily replied, “Have a good day!” And ran away, giggling. They both cracked up and said you made their day.
You truly have a special gift of making people happy and making people laugh. It will get you far in life, I know it will.
I’ve spent the past four years appreciating every single day with you. Even the hard ones, because they are the ones that I will bring up when you are older to keep your head from getting a little too big. Humility is an important life lesson too, ya know.
Since I know these young years are short, I give in to you probably more than I should. Last night you kept calling to me from your bedroom when you should’ve been sleeping. You asked me to tuck you in again and I happily did. Sometimes I read you two bedtime stories when really, you should only get one. When we walked around Target too long and you said your legs got tired, I offered to carry you. You happily let me and buried your face in my neck. These things won’t last forever. Soon you’ll be “too cool” for Mommy and Daddy. You’ll start calling us Mom and Dad. I’m just not ready for these things.
You’re my first baby. The one who made me a mommy and you’ll always, always hold a special place in my heart because of that.
So happy birthday, my sweet, sweet boy. May life make you as happy as you make me.