My Dear Stephen,
Oh, my dear Stephen Matthew. Tomorrow you turn 4. 4 years. How is it possible that you are already 4 years old? As soon as the weather starts to really warm up late in the spring, I am reminded of being so pregnant with you and just itching to meet you. Here you are, and oh, how I love you. You are so fun, thoughtful, giving, helpful, silly, curious, intent, focused, and I could go on. I was noticing today how much you looked like a 4 year old. You no longer look like you're 3. You're just growing so fast. You're tall like your Daddy. And, your little newly buzzed head I could rub all day long! You don't sit much on my lap these days, so I soak up the time you sit in close with me.
I am SO thrilled for you ...for your birthday tomorrow. You have been asking for your birthday for months!! So many of your cousins have had birthdays in the winter, and you have just been waiting for your turn. There were many days you would ask about your birthday every day. Here it is! I hope you enjoy all of the balloons, the streamers, the gifts, the ice cream, the fun memories....but most of all, I hope you realize how special you are. You are a gift, Stephen Matthew. God created you uniquely. There's no one else like you anywhere. You are not only important to me and Dad (and Lydia too), you have such a special purpose here on this earth, and I am so thankful the Lord chose us to walk with you as you grow in your strengths and look to Him in your weaknesses for His glory. You have become such a giver, and I hope you always give to others. You have become such a helper....and that servant's heart (like your Dad has) will go so far to help others. You can be Jesus' hands for others when they need a lift or help. Wherever we are, when you see others doing well...whether they are running fast, or making a basket, or completing a puzzle, you tell them, "Great job!" and often clap. Keep that up, Buddy. Encourage others just as you already do! You tell me you're strong, and yes, you are! Use that strength for the good of others. There are some things that can only be done by you, Stevie, so don't be afraid to do those things, however the Lord leads you.
I love you so much. I longed to be a mom, and then you came. What a boy God gave me. You are such a blessing. I am so thankful to be able to be with you every day. You are learning so much, and I'm able to hear from you how much you enjoy things (or don't enjoy them). There's nowhere else I'd rather be.
Here are some of your favorite things:
-hot dogs, pancakes, pizza, and anything chocolate or ice cream.
-trains, trucks (cranes, cherry pickers, garbage trucks...all of the big ones that "do" cool things), planes, and helicopters
-you still love your cow...and tell him to snuggle, or you carry him on your shoulders, or you cover him with your blankie so he can sleep
-your big boy bike and tricycle, riding car
-playing basketball and baseball
-you love to run and run or walk on the trail by the house
-your favorite Bible story is Jesus calming the storm
-sometimes when you wash your hands, you say you're like Jesus...hmm
-you love fish (and Grandma and Grandpa are getting you a real fishing pole for your birthday! Woohoo! What fun you'll have!)
-you wake up early in the morning and come in bed with me. You don't lay down very long because you bring toys in and end up bouncing all around and asking to go downstairs for breakfast
-you love to open the door when your teachers come...but especially when Daddy gets home!
-you love when Daddy or I "stickle" you (tickle you)
-Lydia. I love how close you two are. You just love her, and she loves you too. You play together and get into mischief together...you are always up to something. I love to hear you chat before you go to sleep. You both have gotten to the arguing stage though....especially in the car. We are working on that. :)
-you love the car carts at Wegmans. You drive JUST like Daddy and put your arm across the back and turn your head around when Daddy backs the cart up.
-you also tell me where to go when I drive because it's like you can smell a railroad track in the distance...and we must see every railroad track in the county.
-when you go pee, you say "faster, faster, faster"...yes, I wrote that. Yes, you'll laugh when you're grown. Such a boy!
-probably one of MY favorite things is when you tell me, "It's a great day, Mom." And, I know you mean it...because usually, you are having a great day. Those days aren't as difficult...and we all know we have difficult days, so when those "great days" come...and then you verbalize it, what a joy! It makes me so proud, and so happy, and I just love your great days...because those are the best days for me too.
I can't wait to celebrate with you tomorrow! I hope it's a super "great day." Happy 4th Birthday, Stevie!
With love and kiss, always and forever,