Hello sweet bear and Happy 51 months! Plus a few days. This letter is a bit late, but for a good cause. I’ve been helping with the book fair at your school these past couple of weeks, and while it has been fun, it hasn’t left much extra time for anything else. I’ve enjoyed getting to know your teachers and some of the other parents, but by far my favorite book fair experience was visiting your room dressed as Clifford the Big Red Dog.
The costume was sent to the school to help with book fair promotions. You had no idea I was inside that costume, and I enjoyed the quick glimpse into your pre-k world. All your classmates took turns giving Clifford hugs, and when it was your turn I gave you an extra big squeeze. I was rewarded with the sound of a kiss on my shoulder, and tales that afternoon about how Clifford came to your classroom and how exciting it was.
We’ve also been kept busy over the last month with travel, as usual. We took not one, but two trips to the Athens area. During one of the trips we had a chance to walk around downtown a bit, and we had to get a picture of you on top of the bulldog statue near the arch. We photographed you at the same spot on your first Athens trip when you were 4 months old.
Now look how big you are!
You are so grown up that I’m beginning to wonder if we’re on the fringe of a boy crazy phase. You’ve always had good friends who are boys, but lately you seem even more interested in boys than before, and certainly more interested in boys than in your girl friends. Your best friend at school is still Billy, and outside of school you love to spend time with Will, Sam and Fletcher. I got a few bits of photographic evidence over the last month.
I have wondered many times if this boy-craziness is all in my head. Maybe you act this way with your girl friends too, it just doesn’t register as significant because they’re girls. I certainly don’t want to push you into this phase of your childhood prematurely. But I did have to laugh during a recent picnic when you ran over to your Daddy and me, and breathlessly announced, “Sam just kissed me!”
“Ewwwww!” your Daddy said. “Was it gross?”
“No.” you said. “It was PERFECT.”
But there is no doubt in my mind that your favorite boy on this Earth is your Daddy. Not only is he loving, patient and kind, he also finds so many fun ways to bond with you. You’ve always enjoyed looking at and playing with his old Super Friends toys, and last month he decided you were old enough to watch the 1970s Super Friends cartoons. These were a favorite of his when he was a child, and they’ve quickly become a favorite of yours too. When he brought an old Hall of Justice playset down from the attic, it was like Christmas morning (for you both!).
You two also bond over music. You both like to race upstairs just before bath time and spend a few minutes “rocking out” in his guitar room. You like for him to play the guitar fast and loud. Sometimes you sing in the microphone, sometimes you dance, but most often you jump on the bed and play a fierce air guitar.
Because you really seemed to enjoy that type of music, your Daddy wanted to be sure you knew that girls could play guitar too, and not just kumbayah. He introduced you to the indie rock duo Tegan & Sara, and you are hooked. We had no idea how much you’d love “the girls playing guitars” as you sometimes call them. You didn’t want to just hear one song, you wanted to hear the whole album and have now memorized most of it. Thankfully there aren’t too many objectionable phrases, although some are full of an angst that seems comical coming from a four year old. I can’t help but grin every time you sing, “I deserve this anguish on my house,” and such. Thankfully you seem much more interested in playing air guitar along with the songs than asking what anguish means.
While we don’t hear you talk about anguish in daily conversation, your vocabulary has continued to grow and grow. It also includes some words that aren’t exactly right, but they’re so cute when you say them I just can’t bring myself to correct you. I wanted to remember a few:
Macaronian – your abbreviation for macaroni and cheese. Instead of shortening it to “macaroni,” you keep the “and,” which makes it sound like “macaronian.” As in, “Tonight I would like to have macaronian.”
Air conditioner – what you put in your hair after shampooing to help get out the tangles.
Creditor – your word for a predator, as in, “the stegosaurus is running away from that mean creditor!”
Falcony – instead of balcony, all the parents at gymnastics sit in the falcony. Like birds of prey.
We had our annual family photos done last month, and as always we tried to pick a place that seems unique to Sav
annah. This year we chose Riverstreet, with a backdrop of cobblestone streets and weathered brick buildings.
You were a trooper, but even a trooper gets tired of all that standing around and smiling. Thankfully, we’d made the wise decision to begin and end our session at a candy store. We let you pick out a treat (cotton candy) and said if you were cooperative, you could have it at the end of the shoot. There were a few times when you were sure you couldn’t smile one more time, but then I’d say, “Show me that cotton candy smile!” and sure enough, you were grinning again.
I cherish these photos as a way to document how we change and grow as a family each year – always a little older and a little different, but always full of love. Thank you for every smile, my love (even the cotton candy ones).