Last year, exactly one year ago today, when you woke up the first thing you said was, “Now I’m three. I wanna be four!”
And today, just like that, you did turn four.
You said, “I’m four, but I don’t really feel like I’m four. It feels good to be four, but I don’t really feel like it. Four is good.”
Yes, it is.
We picked you up from school, where you celebrated the day with your friends by giving them small iced cup-cakes. You came screaming out of the classroom as usual and gave us hugs, but not before heading straight for the balloon in the corner. You knew it was yours, no one had to tell you, and you jumped at it, showing it to your classmates as they followed you from the room.
“Daddy, I knew you would bring me a balloon.”
“How? How did you know?”
“I just knew.”
We went home to show you something else. That favored color purple Schwinn 16″ bike with white ghetto fat-boy tires and white training wheels. Your first bike, post trike. You squealed and looked it over, and seemed to like it, more for the khotchki add-ons than anything else I think. The bells and whistles that only a child’s bike could have. The reflectors, purple padded seat, front-end mini pack for your gear or Dora doll, cool bell, handle-bar streamers, and front handle-bar pad in case you do a header.
You slowly walked around it, eyeing it, giving the tires a kick while stoking your chin. Looks pretty good. You hopped on, with some help, tore off, and crashed into a wall, not realizing that steering and peddling need to happen simultaneously. Gotta keep looking up, and keep that helmet on. Purple helmet, don’t ‘cha know.
Your birthday dinner was exactly what you wanted: pancakes, sausage, and a strawberry shake at the American City Diner where they show classic black and white films at night. Your favorite shake (and pretty much everything) is chocolate, but we try to steer you away from anything remotely chocolate once it hits four o’clock, unless we want a late night. You couldn’t fork stab the pancakes very well because I cut the pieces too big or soaked them too much with syrup. Not phased by this, you ate most of my french fries and insisted on trying my vanilla shake.
We took you home around 6:45, a bit later than usual and getting close to getting ready for bed time, but you where still pretty excited and wound up, wanting to play with your new Lego set. We think you liked the bike, but you still enjoy more tearing wrapping paper off and opening up whatever’s inside. Something you can more get your hands around.
I think you’ve grown about four inches in the past year, but we have to stand you up next to the wall chart to be sure. You are four today, and that is a good thing. Happy birthday, sweetheart!