Last night I came into your room to check on you before I headed to bed. I don't do this regularly with your brother and sister, but have always needed one more peek at you every night. I like to make sure you're under your covers, tucked in snugly and tight, and kiss you one more time. Once in a while you mumble a little, making me ever so curious as to what you're dreaming about. Sometimes I whisper how much I love you in your ear, hoping that it sinks into your subconscious and you grow up with that knowledge tucked deeply inside you.
Last night as I approached your bed, your growing legs sprawled out, I saw you with new eyes; ones that revealed how big you were, how much of your bed you needed to sleep when once all you needed was a tiny little stroller bassinet. I had a thought, that perhaps every mother has now and then, that I'd like to bottle you up and keep you this way forever because as cliche as it is, you are growing up much too quickly.
You have a special energy in our home and as I watch the different parts of you emerge I see very clearly that you are my son. You carry many qualities that I posses and perhaps that is why the occasional stand-off between us occurs.
You are a social being. You enjoy people and a party. It is often these days that we will be coming home from somewhere and you'll ask if you can go to someone's house and play or ask to invite a friend to our home. Too long with just our household and you need others to fill a social longing in you. I understand as I am the same way. I have been curious and proud as you transitioned to a new preschool experience, entering your class at a time when all of the other children have had all year to get to know each other, putting you a bit out of your comfort zone as the "new kid." I've watched as you have been brave and introduced yourself, working your way into the group and found your place ever so easily. Your teacher commented it's like you've been there all along, everyone is so comfortable with you and you with them. I'm grateful you are learning to navigate social situations with ease.
You have schedule and structure in your being. This is no surprise considering how much I thought our lives needed it when you first entered our home. You definitely possess an element of flexibility, but if you've got it in your head that things need to be a certain way there is not much one can do to change your mind. Your grandmother once told me that you contained a new level of stubbornness that she hadn't dealt with before. She is able to talk her other grandchildren down when they are upset or disappointed, but it is different with you. You are headstrong and know what you want. I know this quality will serve you well as your persistence grows in the right direction. This is most trying when your brother or sister interferes with one of your plans and it is as if the world is coming to an end, but it's gratifying to see you learn to deal with disruptions in an ever-increasingly patient manner.
Right next to the stubborn in you is a very sensitive heart; one that gets hurt easily if words are spoken in the wrong way. You often misunderstand correction for criticism and are very aware of the tone of voice delivering the phrase. There are times when speaking with your sister and brother that your voices changes to a soft, higher pitched one that is calm and sweet as you reassure or comfort. You're quick to defend one from the other and are learning what it means to be the big brother.
As I look at the boy you're becoming, it breaks my heart at the same time it swells. I long for the little boy with the round face and big eyes who takes in the world around him with a deep curiosity and a big smile. I also am so proud of the person taking his place. You're crafty and smart and creative and your body is strong and fast. You still posses both the curiosity and the smile that makes you eternally you. You tell me that you love me as much as 27 houses stacked on top of each other, because that is an incredibly enormous amount to you. You love to tell me that you love me more but let me reassure you, my little coop, that your mama will always love you one more house stacked on top.