To my 4 year old, on your birthday.

Happy birthday my sweet love.

While I love every reason to celebrate you, today is hitting a bit different. As we lay snuggled—since once again it’s too early to race into the living room where your presents await—I have had the time to stare at you and really take in that you are four.

Four years ago from today, I held you for the first time, and now you seem so different. So much of you has already changed. The layer of baby chub that I loved to nibble on seems to have thinned out, it’s harder to bite. Your skin that I spent hours rubbing seems to have lost that newborn feel, it’s not as smoothe. I realize, as you ask for what to watch on TV, I have no longer needed to decipher the sounds of your cry, but I can’t remember the day it stopped.

Laying here taking this all in, it hit me: we’ve transitioned. In the past years, how did I not notice I was slowly missing my baby grow up? Maybe I did? Maybe I was just enjoying every new change? But it still hurts. It doesn’t mean I don’t love watching you change and grow, I just wish I didn’t have to close one chapter to open another.

Now taking this all in, I’m just not ready. I’m not ready for your mispronunciation of words to end, how you always think I’m the smartest person in the room, and check with me with whatever anyone tells you. How you can’t go to sleep without me singing to you. How your feet pound on the floor when you run from room to room, looking for me to open a snack or because you noticed I left the room. How bath time is our moment to reflect on the day and play pretend. I’m not ready to lose everything this stage has brought me. But sadly, I will. I know there are great times ahead, but just know in my eyes nothing will compare to right now.

These will be the moments I look back on and wish to have just one more day.

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