To Simon, month 96

Dear Simon,

Oh Simon, you are 8. How is that possible? 8?! You were just a baby, I swear it. You just had stinky milk cheese stuck in the fat rolls of your neck. It feels like yesterday, and yet- a million years ago. You are still the sweetest boy I’ve ever met. Of course I am biased, but others often tell me how kind you are, how good you are, how sweet you are. But they don’t need to tell me, because I know.

Our weekday mornings together are lovely but short. Your dad and I are up at 5am most mornings. Part of that is due to George climbing into our bed and kicking us in our faces, but also we start the day early. I’ll go exercise to get it out of the way before you wake up, and Dad goes into work early. Dad and George leave the house by 6:45am and I hop in the shower while you still sleep. At about 7am your Batman alarm will go off and I’ll hear you grumble and groan about not wanting to get up or go to school or do ANYthing, but that’s usually the grumpiest part of your day, because you love your sleep, as you always have, forever.

But you dress yourself now, as most 8 year olds do. Then you go downstairs and watch your favorite show, Lab Rats, while I get myself ready for the day. Some mornings you’ll sit with me and pack your lunch and listen to a Story Pirates podcast. Sometimes you’ll talk to me about your day. I prefer it when you don’t watch a show, but since George isn’t around, it’s really the only time you don’t have to choose a show HE wants. So I know that’s important time for you, too.

You have a phone/watch combo, that allows me to reach you in the mornings we both need to leave at the same time. You “check in” with me and send messages from time to time, asking when I will pick you up after school or just to say “I love you.”

We celebrated your birthday with your Aunt Kim and family. We all went to Pittsburgh to Kennywood and you stayed with them a few days, and we just treated you over and over to fun. We had such a good time. You did, too. You had a chocolate chip cookie cake and pizza for dinner.

There are parenting milestones that we’ve reached this year that you never really think about when you become a parent of a new baby.

  • This year we all have been camping (in cabins) several times, but you and Dad slept all night in a tent and you loved it.
  • This year you got your first “phone/watch/activity tracker” that gives you some freedoms you didn’t have before.
  • This year you had your first sleepover party at a friend’s house without us. You stayed at Luca’s for his birthday and you got a flashlight and a pair of pajama pants as a party favor. You fell asleep by 10:30 and woke at 8, so I was told.
  • You lost your first tooth this year, and ONLY tooth so far. It’s a bottom front one, and the adult tooth is almost all the way through. You only have 1 other loose tooth now, and most kids in your grade already have adult teeth completely in. Your smile is still the prettiest, in my mind. But that other bottom tooth is so wiggly and gross! You like to wiggle it with your tongue to make me shriek and get the shivers.
  • You have started packing your own lunch.
  • You have started taking piano lessons, and you’re quite good at recognizing music, already. I’ve broken the news to you “we’re not quitting piano, buddy” about 100 times even though you complain EVERY time your alarm goes off to practice. But I am so proud of all you’ve learned so far, and I like those ten minutes when we sit together and I help you learn. So so proud.
  • You’ve decided “Baseball is my sport” and that is just fine with us.
  • You’ve started walking to school on your own, without me. You still hold my hand when we walk together, though. And on the first day of 3rd grade- while other kids’ parents were left in the dust on the front sidewalk of RLS School, you clasped my hand tight and told your friend walking in with you, “My mom always walks me to my classroom on the first day.”
  • We’ve started watching PG-13 movies together (Spiderman Homecoming and Adventures in Babysitting!) and tell each other firmly “now THAT was inappropriate” during the bad words/dirty parts and laugh.

There are so many other things I should remember that I’m sure  I’ve missed. I wish I could write down or bottle up every sweet moment with you, but there are so many that I feel so lucky to swim in your goodness every moment I can.

There are parts of childhood that are slipping away from us though. Your brother has outgrown most of your toddler clothes. They’re leaving our house by the bagful. There are only a few more pairs of your old shoes that are durable enough to pass on to George. And once they’re gone, they’re just gone. We have an umbrella stroller still hanging on a hook in the back mudroom, the one that strolled your little body everywhere from Disneyland, California to Hilton Head, South Carolina. It is one of the last baby things of yours’ that we still own.

It is terribly sad and I do mourn baby-you….but the Big Kid You is so much better than I could have imagined.  You make me laugh so hard with some of the things you say. You are so thoughtful. Today you told me that you and Nolan (your best friend ) “are gonna make millions” on this magic trick you’ve learned. You’re going to charge people $.10 per trick and wait for all the money to roll in. I asked what you would do with the money and you said “buy a mansion” and when I reminded you that with Big Money comes Big Responsibility to help others, you said “Oh I know. I don’t want to be like Mr. Scrooge. Or Trump.” I JUST LOVE YOU SO MUCH, KID.

You  know, you’re 8 and getting you to take a shower is sort of a pain and you grumble a lot more than you did when you were 6. But I’ll take those eye-rolls and grumbles along with the hand-holding and signed “I love you’s” from the neighbor’s front porch. Because I do know that the latter will eventually go away and be replaced with the eyerolls and the OMG-MOM’s etc.

I’m trying my best to wade through the magna-tiles and Playmobil toys on my rug still at 9:30pm and NOT MESS UP THE TOWER just because the day is done. After all,  it TOOK A LONG TIME TO BUILD and you might not get it back just the same way again. I will continue to cuss to myself each time I step on or sweep up a Lego person. I will continue to book tickets to plays and take you on root beer float and ice cream dates for no reason because I have thought to myself lately (more often than ever)— what on earth will I do when he’s gone?

That last part sounds dire, but I find that sometimes it’s easier to process things if I take a “worst-case-scenario approach” to preparedness. And the truth is, someday sooner than I could ever guess, you will be grown and you won’t reach for my hand, and there will be no more Legos, and instead of hearing your feet patter to the bathroom WELL past bedtime, I will be looking at my phone wondering if you’ll remember to call me.

You are such a special boy to me. But more than that, you are meant to be a special person to the world. We’ve been struggling with some people at school who haven’t been very kind. And I told you to keep killing them with kindness because…it is hard to be mean to someone who is being nice in return. And I would never tell you this, but knowing someone hurt your feelings made me want to pop this said kid right in the nose, but instead I did the right thing and told you the same thing my mom told me.

Be kind, be kind, be kind.

I hope that’s the right things to do. Because I’ve also told you recently, “This is the first time I’ve ever been a mom. I hope I’m doing OK.”

I love you so much. It is my life’s work to make sure that you know it.

All my heart,



Simon letter, month 72 (age 6)

Dear Simon,

You have been six years old  for almost a month now, and I’m so sorry for not having written this sooner. The last part of the summer and each week that you’ve been in first grade- FIRST?! grade…have sped by lightning-fast. You are a boy now. There is absolutely not even the tiniest bit of baby left on you. There is no chunk in your cheeks. You are all knees and elbows and full of amazing ideas and observations. Though I lay my eyes on you every day and am amazed by your growth, one of the coolest things about being your mom, is how much I really just enjoy spending time with you. You are such a nice, thoughtful and funny boy.

No one could ask for a better big brother than you. And George is NOT the easiest little brother, as we know. But you have patience unlike any that I’ve seen before. And you laugh at George when he is doing the most annoying things. He loves you so much and mimics every little thing you do. I KNOW that will get annoying in months and years to come, but consider it a compliment. He wants to be like you because you are SO COOL.

This summer we went on a bunch of adventures- to parks and festivals and picnics. You learned how to ride your bike without training wheels, you had 2 birthday parties (again!) and went on two beach vacations. You started first grade with the smallest bit of nervousness, and only needed me to walk you into your classroom 3 days out of the first 5. We are so proud of you. You have become this incredibly smart and intuitive kid. You pick up on emotions and situations that I don’t think other kids would recognize.

At the same time, you still very much love to imagine and play, which is another reason I am so proud of you! Not everyone can be creative enough to entertain themselves with two metal hair clips, or a travel book light, or whatever thing you’ve found in the house. But, you do. You come up with these great scenarios in your head and I love to watch you play them out, or listen to you play. Your imaginative playful nature is one of my favorite things about you, second only to your caring and kindness towards others. You are awesome and amazing, and turning out to be such a lovely young person.

All of this is not to say that we haven’t had our share of growing pains, ups and downs, fits and dizzyspells, if you will. In the recent past, you’ve gotten incredibly angry with us over seemingly unimportant things (in the grand scheme of life) — though they are very important to you. You have become filled with rage over: bedtime, losing privileges because of the way you’ve talked to us, the fact that we don’t have a finished basement playroom (?!), us asking you to eat dinner, “chores”, among other things. Though it is hard for us to understand in the moment why you are screaming at us, what is very apparent is that you are frustrated to a point of complete and utter loss of control over your emotions. We have talked about ways to deal with being angry. We talk about pillow punching and yelling into the pillow, taking alone time, etc. I know that after you have these fits, that you feel bad about it- I can tell. I can also tell that part of the frustration is our fault. Either I’m not listening, or I’m not stopping to hug and kiss you enough, or I haven’t fully acknowledged your feelings on an issue.

Does this make your behavior ok?


But, I can admit that you are not the only person at fault in those moments. Though surprising, (because you have never been a child to throw fits), I know that I should NEVER be surprised by a child’s behavior, and I should only be surprised by my own reaction to it. And I have been, I have. I hope you know that we’re trying. I hope you know that we’re listening, and that being a parent is almost as hard as being a kid. Rules are hard. It’s hard to not have fun all the time, and to have to do things you don’t want to do like go to bed or wake up on school days. There are lots of times when I too want to scream at someone or completely lose it over what would seem silly to anyone else. We are all just learning together.

And buddy, in the mornings, after dad and George leave for work and daycare, you and I have the house to ourselves. It is quiet, and we talk. Sometimes you watch a show or sometimes we’ll pack lunches together or read a book. Sometimes we’ll eat breakfast together. But it is quiet. It is calm, and most of the time, it is our time, and it is my favorite part of the day. We walk to school and you still hold my hand. You still turn towards me and rub your face in my belly like you want to hug and stay there in the yard of the school instead of going in with your friends. But eventually the bell rings, and the doors open. You find a friend to walk in with- usually Madelyn or Owen, and you run towards them. You turn around when I yell “I love you!” and you sign “I love you” to me, and wave. Mornings with you are my favorite.

This morning after you signed “I love you”, you turned around a second time and signed the word “poop”. I spent about 3 minutes trying to decide if I was annoyed by this or thought it was funny. I’ve decided it’s funny, because becoming a big kid is hard. Wanting to be a funny cool kid is hard. And the sign for “poop” is funny and I don’t think any of the other parents know it. And at least it wasn’t a different sign.

Oh Simon. Watching you grow up makes me wonder how I will ever manage to make it without my heart exploding into a million pieces with love for you and your brother.

I love you. I love you. I love you.




Letter to Simon, 4 and a half

Since February 4th, I have been meaning to sit down and write a letter to Simon, but I have opened up my browser, made it as far as the dashboard of this web page, and fallen short on what to say. Instead of thinking and thinking and thinking, I’m just going to try to put it all out there right now, and hope it comes out okay.


Dear Simon,

On February 4th you turned officially Four-and-a-Half. You are such a sweet and good boy. I feel like I’ve been repeatedly letting you down- over and over again, whether it’s space on my lap that you want, or just a few extra minutes at bedtime to snuggle, I feel like I’ve not been the mom you once knew.

A baby came and changed everything. I had the chance to take you out to Bob Evans, just you and me, before we went to a special school program for moms and preschoolers at your school for Valentine’s day. When you pointed at the lady with spiked hot pink striped hair and I snapped at you “DON’T POINT.” I realized from the look on your face that, even when the baby isn’t around, I am different. I am tired, I am probably short tempered. And Simon, I am sorry.

I’ve mentioned my concerns and my sadness about this to several people. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned how sometimes you reach out for my hand and tell me, “I just want to BE with you,” or ask  me “will you snuggle wiff me?” RIGHT at the end of a day when I’m just aching to get the rest of the chores done and sit down by 9pm.  It breaks my heart. When we were driving in the car alone on the way to the restaurant, I had such a nice conversation with you and I thought to myself, “I miss this boy” even though you’re in front of me every day. I miss our time together that doesn’t seem like it happens often anymore. I am sorry.

I do try to give you more hugs and kisses and cuddles than usual. I try to talk about feelings. And I think that when you say “I just miss somebody” each time you start to cry these days, what you’re really missing is the way things used to be, before mom and dad were busy and tired and often more frustrated than they used to be.  And I’m sorry that you feel like you miss people who are right in front of you, but I also understand.

But a friend reminded me that “new life changes everything” and OH how that is true.  And though I am sorry for missing the time I used to have with you, and I am very sorry that the adjustment to living with an infant is so tiring and frustrating for a lot of people living in this house, and I am very NOT sorry for giving you what I think is probably the best gift you don’t even fully understand yet, a brother.

When I told my friend I felt terrible about forcing you to grow up too quickly, and how I need to remind myself that you’re “only four and a half” she said: asking your older kids to step up their game to make room for the gift of a sibling, don’t feel sorry for that. And I have two brothers, and one sister, and they are tremendous gifts in my life that I wouldn’t trade for anything. So I keep telling myself this, that for all of the change and the frustration and the hurt that we may be temporarily feeling about this gigantic adjustment, we just added new life. And the baby stuff, it’s temporary. George will grow, and you will get so much joy out of having him in your life, I just know it.

And when I am gone, and your dad is gone, you will have each other. And there is no greater gift than a sibling, I don’t think. And it is also a gift of relief to me, to know you have each other to lean on and love if I’m not here.

So I know that things will get better, little buddy. The baby will sleep more, I’ll sleep more, we’ll all be happier when the snow melts and moods improve and we can all get outside with strollers to the park and play a little more. I just wanted to let you know that I have been thinking all of these things, and my heart breaks a little bit to see you hurting. I will continue to try and mend it as often as I can.

All my heart,


Letter to the Boy, month 43?


Dear Big Boy,
Today was an odd Monday. Usually I work late but because of a meeting I had to go in early. You were so tired this morning. Your tiny face and what chub is left of your cheeks was all matted with red marks from sleeping on your blankie. The sun was shining bright even though it was a cold cold day today. I opened the drapes in your room and talked through your Peter Pan stuffed toy in order to get you to wake up. (You weren’t responding when I was talking as myself.)

You asked to wear your Party Clothes again, which basically meant a button down flannel shirt and jeans instead of the playclothes and sweatpants I usually dress you in to go to the sitter’s. I packed a homemade cookie in your lunch, which is an extra special treat since we never have cookies or sweets usually around the house.

Lately you’ve been so interested in helping me cook or bake. It’s so fun and I love that you get your stool out and take up all the room in the kitchen, asking me what’s next and if you can stir or dump it. I think your assistance MAY have caused my meatloaf to become more meat, less “loaf” but it was still delicious due to ALL the ketchup you added in. Thank you for that.

After a busy weekend of visiting other people’s houses- your friend Sion next door and Uncle Bert and Aunt Kristen, you decided that you didn’t want to live with us anymore. At bedtime you said you didn’t want to live here anymore “because it is too stinky.” I think that was just carried over from the fact that I sneaked your blankie into the laundry because it smelled so bad of pee that if anyone found it they would assume it’d been lining a kitty litter box. When you smelled the lavender scent of Tide, you gagged and yelled, “MY BLANKIE IS SO STINKY NOW! YOU WASHED IT!” For shame! How dare I?

You have a pimple on your nose and I can only assume it’s from either a) not letting me wash your blankie that you wrap around your face or b) that your dirty little fingers rub against it when you push your glasses up the bridge of your nose.

Tonight at bedtime, you threw a fit that was clearly a flag of pure exhaustion, over three days of no naps, constant fun. You did not want to take a bath, you wanted to play. Play. PLAY!!! And you cried and cried as I washed you up and put your pajamas on you. You cried and cried as I tucked you in and turned out the light and explained that we can’t tell stories on nights that you cry like that. And you stopped crying to apologize, which ALMOST makes me cave to tell you a story- until I brush my hands over your face and place with your hair and notice your eyes are so heavy and look rimmed in pink eye liner that it REALLY needs to be time for you to go to sleep.

I left your room feeling victorious, because you did not notice that you didn’t have your pacifier, and I thought maybe you would kick the habit in one night, just like that. As soon as I texted your grandpa that I thought I was winning the pacifier fight, you yelled for me to come upstairs. Upon entering your room you said, “I need my nuk no I WANT my nuk, just until I go to pweee-school” I said, “Oh, I thought you were being a big boy and didn’t need it anymore so I didn’t give it to you.” But I reluctantly handed it over and you said “thank you” three times. And you were passed out quickly thereafter.

You are such a big boy. You are so tall, wearing big kid clothes and adding words like “actually” into your sentences. It is bizarre to watch you draw letters and explain to me how to pronounce things. You rhyme words and ask questions that make me think about my answers. Being your mom is only hard because you make me think. Everything else about it is so tremendously easy.

In the car on the way to our friend Jack’s house we mentioned that Jack is going to have a baby brother soon, and that a baby is in Jack’s mommy’s tummy. For the umpteenth time, you said, “Someday I am going to have a baby sister.” I said, “Are you sure? Wouldn’t a baby brother be cool?” You said, “No, I want a sister like daddy.”

Gabe confessed that he preferred having a sister to having a brother. And I like having both equally, though I suppose it doesn’t count since I AM a sister. The whole thing about you wanting a sister so badly makes me ache and smile at the same time, with the same amount of force. It also makes me nervous in case you would end up with a brother someday. (I would be thrilled by it, but I’m not sure we could convince you to feel the same way.) At any rate, kiddo. We’re trying, I promise. I know how bad you want one.

Thank you for being the bright spot of everyday. I love you the best.

It finally happened

I skipped a month. I forgot to post a letter to Simon last month. Wait, that’s not entirely true. I kept remembering and then forgetting. Or, I couldn’t think of anything to say. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that “observing” him and noting it in a monthly letter is harder now, because I can have actual conversations with him. I know that I still need to jot things down from time to time, especially since he says and does a lot of funny things and I don’t want to forget them. But lately, the come so fast and furious that I do forget them. It makes me sad. It also makes me happy that we can notice things he does now together, comment on them together and acknowledge how much of a “big boy’ he’s become – even if he’s not taking first steps or finally sleeping through the night. Let’s see what I can drum up here.


Dear Simon,

Well, this morning you and I both woke up with a cold. Sore throat and just generally crummy-feeling, I contemplated calling in sick for about two hours. Meanwhile, I got ready for work and you were not interested in the slightest, in accompanying me out the door. Instead, you asked to “cuddle wiff you” on the couch. And we did. We cuddled under my blanket and watched Signing Time together. I let you wear pajama pants to the sitter (a new clean pair) after you’d already changed YOURSELF! BY YOURSELF! out of your overnight pull-up, and into underpants and brown pants. You’d gotten oatmeal all over the brown pants anyhow, so I wasn’t too disappointed when you didn’t want to wear them. It was also ridiculously cold out and I too, would’ve liked to wear plaid fleece pj pants to work, had I the chance. So what the heck?

Because you’re such a big boy now, we spend a lot of time talking about using a Big Boy Voice (not whining) and about how sharing doesn’t mean taking a toy from someone. “I’m sharing!” We still go on our dates at least one morning per week. We usually hit up Panera or sometimes DK Diner or this week the Grind. We sit at a table across from each other and you act like such a good/big boy. I love those mornings with you, and I mentally acknowledged as much this week when we sat down and you ate a gigantic muffin.

The people at the Post Office know you by name now, because we’ve also been going there quite a bit to mail things off to family recently. I would say your post office behavior is about a C+, but really- the post office IS boring, and I’m never really prepared for it when I get there. So I kind of understand. I started allowing you to pick out birthday cards for people in the family. Aunt Kimmy got a cool Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) card. Grandma got a cool cat-dressed-as-a-rock-star card, and Uncle Eric got an old-man-golf-course birthday card. You aren’t very enthusiastic about trying to write your name, but you are a professional circle-drawer. So a circle tends to be your signature right now. We’ll keep at it.



You really like going to the gym with me, which makes it so easy for me to get to the gym and exercise. You like the people there and the toys. You also like to ask me when we walk out, “which machine were you on?” and you point up at the exhausted people on the elliptical machines on the second floor. You also talk about how you and grandpa exercise at his house. (This means grandpa lets you stand on the elliptical machine with him and play.) You miss grandma and grandpa a lot, and ask about them often. The winter seems to mean less frequent visits. The most recent visit from Uncle Eric and Aunt Miranda also have you asking for them this week too. I’ll be glad when the weather gets better and we can plan a trip up home without worrying about Winter Weather Advisories and me-having-a-heart-attack.

We got your preschool paperwork in the mail and you are pretty interested in starting preschool. I’m excited too, though I’m nervous about the noise level of a room full of 20 kids. You hate noise, and that’s probably our fault. Our house is relatively quiet. You don’t even like being in the bathroom with the bathtub or shower is running because it’s “too loud!” Anyhow, the preschool is supposed to start this summer, and we’re looking forward to getting you in there. It’s going to be tough trying to figure out what to do with you after preschool, since it’s over earlier than your dad and I get off work. But I’m working on it. Something will work out! I’ll be so glad to see you learning and being involved in some outside activity during the day with other kids your age. I think you’ll do great. I never went to preschool, so this is a cool opportunity for me to see what it’s like, for the first time too!

You are really the sweetest kid, and though you are stubborn and prone to arguments more than you used to be, I’m so proud of the boy you’re becoming. I love you so much and I love the time I get to spend with you. You’re just the best, dude.

All my heart,


art in our new kitchen area.
art in our new kitchen area.

Letter to the boy, month 40? I think?

Dear Simon,
Well, I’m late again- late on the letter. I even thought about not writing one, but then I was disappointed in myself for even thinking such things. You’ve said some hilarious things lately- the most recent fun comment was when you were on your “potty” in the kitchen wearing a Peter Pan hat, and daddy wearing his Captain Hook hat- and you said, “I gotta go potty so I don’t pee on Neverland!” You are still very much into the Peter Pan stuff- and the Mary Poppins stuff.

You’ve also started “shooting” at me, when I’m a “mean monster” or a “bear”. I’m not entirely sure where you picked up this business. We don’t really have any guns, but you will turn your golf club/chimney sweep brush into a weapon and pretend to shoot me. The first few times you did this it was a little alarming to me. You haven’t really watched any shows at our house with guns in them, and we don’t really have gun toys around. I guess I thought we could avoid it somehow. It also happened right as a horrible shooting happened in a school in Connecticut, and everyone I know is taking some sort of stance on gun rights/control/advocacy-I-don’t-even-know-what-to-call-it. Anyhow, for the record, I don’t like guns. I REALLY don’t like real ones, but I’m not a fan of fake ones either. So if you could kindly move past this phase, I’d appreciate it. I’m trying not to make a big deal out of it, because it probably is just a phase you’re going through. But I don’t like how guns just seem to be a part of our culture that (to me) is unnecessary.

A lot of really sad things have been happening around us lately. It feels like every other day I’m getting some tidbit of bad news that makes me think- okay 2012, enough. Let’s move onto something better. People getting sick, losing loved ones, the shooting, it’s all just bad news anymore. I’ve made a concentrated effort to not get pulled into any of it too far, but sometimes it’s hard. I’ve got my own sad feelings that creep up, and then I feel selfish for feeling them at all when compared to the hurt others must feel right now. I know this is too heavy for you to understand right now. I guess what I”m trying to say is- I believe you have no idea that any of this is happening. I think that you are unaware of all the sadness around us, and for that I am grateful. Your innocence is still in tact for another year I hope. And your presence in my life is a source of goodness and light I can focus on when I do start to feel that dark sadness creeping in. Thank you for that!

We’ve done so many fun things already in December- I feel like we’ve managed to cram as much Christmas Cheer as possible into this month. I’ve crafted and shopped and baked. I’ve included you in as much of those things as possible. We’ve seen the Zoo lights, the Museum, the Commons, Santa, and went to Gingerbread Day at the library. It’s all be such fun with you this year, as you ask a million questions and seem to be very excited about the season in general.

This coming Friday we leave to go do Christmas with your Nonni and Papa, and then with Grandma and Grandpa after that. I’m anxious to see our family and squeeze all of them as hard as I can. I’m excited to have a seat in the chair beside the fireplace at Grandma’s and snuggle my nephew and niece and drink coffee with my mom and my sister in our bathrobes and socks.

I love you so much little boy. Thank you.

Letter to the Boy, month 39? right?

Hi Simon,

You have been a total chatterbox all the time lately, and over the past few weeks you’ve started having a British accent every once in a while, due to your fascination with Peter Pan, Mary Poppins and Fireman Sam. Part of the reason I love England so much (and visiting England) is hearing small children speak with their British accents, so I’m just fine with your new little habit. You believe that the character Michael in Peter Pan, is the same character Michael in Mary Poppins, and it took us awhile to convince you that Jane wasn’t Wendy and John wasn’t in the Mary Poppins movie either.  You also march around wearing your “chimney sweep hat” and carrying a golf club on your shoulder like Burt from Mary Poppins, yelling “Step In Time!” I just wish we would’ve introduced you to the film prior to Halloween, because I think I could’ve convinced you to be a chimney sweep for trick or treat, had I thought of it sooner. But instead, you went as a…..

Football Player, 2012
Your BFF Lisa 10/2012

It was rainy and cold this trick-or-treat (again) and we lasted for about 45 minutes before coming inside and relaxing. I wasn’t feeling so great, so this worked out anyhow. You really enjoyed trick or treat, but even more importantly, you totally loved that the “Sugar Fairy” was coming that night while you slept to take all your candy and replace it with a toy. The next morning you woke up so excited to have two new Playmobil Knights that you forgot entirely about the candy that had disappeared.

You say and do lots of funny things, too many to remember really. For example, when you announce that you have to poop, you estimate aloud how many “poops” you think there are. The highest number is 5, which equals a giant dump. I must have expressed some disgust with a poop that you thought was “five poops” because ever since then, you ask me, “Do you like Five poops?” when I’m going with you to the bathroom. Then you always tell me, “Daddy likes five poops. Do you like 2? 3? 4?” And we pretty much have this conversation every time you’re on the toilet.

Each night when I put you to bed, I have to say “Good Night Michael.” And you say, “Motha, treasure,” and pretend to dump cuff links into my hands like Michael does in Peter Pan. Today you told me that you had married Grandpa and that you love parties. You also asked if an old family photo of my grandmother was Mary Poppins. You still like to pretend things are violins (bio-wins) and put them under your chin and play it with your bow.

You’re great with letters and sounds, which is really exciting because I’m pretty sure you’ll be reading by this time next year. You like to play some phonics games with your dad on the iPad, and you recognize small words that begin with similar sounds. It makes me so proud to watch you learn.

And as much as you’re learning with your head- you’re also becoming fiercely independent. You want to dress yourself and pick out your clothes, which I let you do. Some days you go to the sitter wearing two difference socks, or your pants will be on backwards. One day this week I let you wear your slippers over there just because it’s not worth arguing with you over that stuff. You want what you want. And hey, I get that. I would hate having someone in my face helping me do stuff all the time, too. So I’m trying to back off, and let you do these things on your own. It makes me proud and I remind you to be proud of yourself as well.

At your doctor’s appointment the doctor couldn’t believe how well you speak and told us to “keep doing whatever you’re doing because developmentally he talks like a 5 year old.” This is true and I want to believe it’s because we are constantly playing with you and interacting, but part of me thinks you’re just an old soul to begin with.

When we go out on our “dates” to Panera you always repeatedly get out of your chair, walk over to me and give me a hug and a kiss and say, “I wuv you mommy.” It’s really sweet and makes me wish you would never learn how to pronounce your L’s.

Since I haven’t been feeling great lately, you ask me often, “Do you feel well?” or “Do you still have three boo boo’s?” And sometimes you’ll tell me your tummy hurts and I know it’s just because that’s what I was saying for a while when I needed to rest.

You’ve really helped me with the healing process I’ve been needing to go through lately with all of your sweet sayings and hugs. I’m so grateful to have you in my life- and I didn’t think that I could ever be MORE grateful, but especially after this- I am. I’m trying to remember this and let the house get messy. I’m trying to roll with the punches that screw up the routine every now and again and just focus on being there and being fun with you. I want you to remember me as fun too, not just Dad. 🙂 (Although your dad is a lot of fun, it’s hard to compete.)

I hope we have an awesome Thanksgiving and holiday season- I have a million things I’m looking forward to doing with you. I love you so so much.