I can't believe you are four--count 'em, FOUR--years old. You have grown up so much in these four short years. This year, we've hit some pretty big milestones. You are officially potty-trained. You stopped taking naps. You can write your name. You can ride a bike. You can do some simple addition problems.
You are still ever exuberant and spirited.This is both a blessing and a challenge. Your energy and enthusiasm are boundless and sometimes contagious. You love to laugh and have a good time. It is wonderful to explore the world through your eyes and your incredible imagination. You love to play hunting games (your quarry is typically some African plains game since your dad recently went on safari). Most days, you announce, "Let's pretend we're the (fill in the blank: kudu, springbok, robot, farmer, helicopter, jaguar) family" and we are off and running. You love books (especially the Berenstain Bears), superheroes (especially Spiderman), and all of your extended family (especially The Uncles and My Cousins).
You have managed to focus your enthusiasm into projects that interest you. You take the time to learn jokes and riddles with Grandma. You love creating a "stable" block tower, making paper airplanes with Dad, and painstakingly assembling little lego cars with a million little pieces. You have started to draw detailed pictures although coloring inside the lines continues to elude you.
You are, in fact, so enthusiastic about all of your endeavors that little else will distract you from your task at hand. Getting dressed, putting on shoes, all the hundred endless tasks it seems to take to get out the door--none of these can take priority over your current project. This is where almost every discipline battle begins and ends with us. I guess if that's our biggest challenge, we don't have much to complain about.
You continue to be a loving big brother to ND, sharing your toys well and comforting her when she is throwing a tantrum. You remind her about good behavior and to "use your words". Dad and I are amazed by how compassionate you can be to your sister and often say you are much better to her than she deserves.
Sam, four years ago, you came into our family and shook up your dad's and my dull and quiet life. As you grew from a happy, sweet baby to an extra-active toddler to the spirited preschooler you are today, Dad and I feel so blessed to have you as our son. You give us the best bear hugs and show us how to find EXCITEMENT in every moment of every day.
Happy birthday, kiddo.
Love, Mom and Dad