A couple weeks ago, we had the opportunity to watch you in your first preschool program. You had been anticipating this night for some time, practicing This Little Light of Mine in the car and informing me all about who likes to sing in your class and who doesn't. I so look forward to milestone nights like these, little notches in the belt of growing bigger and opportunities to just sit and watch your unique little light shine bright.
The night was hilarious and special for so many reasons. Your great grandma and grandpa and Grandma Kelly came to watch, along with me, your dad, and your number one fan, Mila. If I could only remember that moment you walked down the aisle with your class and spotted your sister for the first time. You pointed and waved so cute, with absolute joy exploding from your face. Mila was even more excited to see you, and I don't think she took her eyes off of you for a second as you found your place in the smack dab center of your big class. As everyone prepared to take their place, I enjoyed a few minutes of complete heart melt watching the two of you just look at each other from afar, waving and smiling from ear to ear. It was truly one of the sweetest moments I think I've ever witnessed and the show hadn't even begun.
For about thirty minutes, we watched you have the time of your life up there. You knew the words to every song, repeated the actions to a tee, and even added a few of your own animated moves, which at first made me a little nervous. :) My initial response was that I wanted you contained, compliant, and conformed, looking to do just what you were supposed to, following the lead of your teachers and blending in with the rest of your peers. But the more I watched you, the more I questioned my reaction. There you were, being nothing but yourself, completely unconcerned with any restrictions, just marching to the beat of your own drum. And I tell ya, that beat was wild, but I'm not sure anyone else had more fun. You remind me a quote by Steve Jobs, "If you want change agents, hire pirates. It's more fun to be a pirate than join the navy." :) Your whole life, conformity and the pressure to be somebody you may or may not want to be will creep behind you. But as your mom, I want nothing more for you than to stay just as you were on that stage, happy and content and free to be just the little boy you want to be. I can already begin to feel the pressures - pressure of what activities to get you into, what sports to start working on right now, what preschool is going to most prepare you for kindergarten. And sometimes, for a second, I buy into it. But then I watch you, and I am reminded very quickly that none of that matters. It's about teaching you to explore and be curious, to be kind always, to question, think, and try new things, and most importantly, do all of that as a big, bright light for Jesus. You shined bright on that stage, little man, and we were very proud of you.
You are officially four and a half years old, and I tell you, I am loving this stage of your life. You are sweet, smart, and so much fun to talk to and be around. You come up with the funniest things and you have the best sense of humor! I love you for so many reasons, but here are a few things I want to remember about you right now...
I love you because you have turned into the best little sleeper, staying in your bed all night long and earning two Cruz bucks in return. You even go the bathroom in the middle of the night all by yourself. Secretly, I miss snuggling with you in the middle of the night sometimes, but we make up for it with our early morning cuddles!
I love you because you are so sweet with your sister. And even when you get a little tired of her always wanting the toy you are playing with, you quietly sneak off to your bedroom and shut the door instead of yelling at her. :)
I love that you are so excited to play t-ball with Charly this summer, but that you keep mistaking it for basketball. I love that when you were watching basketball with us the other night, you kept shouting, "throw it to your friends!"
I love your giggle, especially when you think I am super funny.
I love that you are an expert puzzle doer, and that you don't give up until it's all done.
I love when you want to read James and the Giant Peach at night before bed instead of your superhero books.
I love that you get concerned about growing big and that you hug me really hard and tell me you want to live with me forever.
I love the big words you use - the other day, you said, "Oh, that is so embarrassing." I also like how you say the word "frustrating," "definitely," and "cooperate."
I love that you have a heart for Jesus. You've started asking more questions lately and I've loved the conversations they lead to.
You are one pretty special boy and we totally adore this stage you are in. I pray the next half of your year goes slow, because five sounds much too old.