Fourth Trip Around The Sun

My sweet little love, you are four years old… Happiest Birthday to you!

Four years together and you still amaze me every single day. Your boundless energy and positive spirit bring sunshine into everyday. I have so much fun with you!

You have so many truly special qualities. Where do I even begin?

For one, you’re hilariously funny. You learned how to tell jokes recently and have been testing them out on the family. The punchline may not always be there, but your laughter at yourself is contagious, and we all laugh hysterically along with you. (And that’s really the whole point, isn’t it!)

You are courageous and resilient, understanding and patient, and so incredibly kind. At your four year checkup the other day, you had to get two painful vaccines, and you handled it like a champ. You didn’t take your eyes off the needles as they pricked your arms, and you didn’t so much as whimper. I could see it on your face that it hurt, and I definitely put on a brave face too. You only cried a little when I took off the band-aids that night and they pulled your skin. Your arm was swollen and red for days afterwards, but you didn’t make a fuss. And when my shoulder hurts, you tell me to “sit down, close ya eyes, and don’t move at all,” while you give me kisses and a shoulder rub to make me feel better.

You are generous and thoughtful, and you still love music. I think, like your daddy and me, you must always have a song in your head, because even your walk is a little dance-strut. Anytime you see a street musician, you stop to listen and take it all in; and you always want to give them a dollar (and when I don’t have a dollar, you say that we should get some money and come right back and give it to them).

You are very observant, and your memory is sharp. Before you, I was under the impression that memories don’t begin until three, and vague at that, but the things you recall from long ago completely on your own, prove otherwise. That you cherish the memories we’ve created, means everything to me.

You still give me a million hugs a day, and hang all over me like a little monkey. You tell me you’ll never stop holding my hand and hugging me, even when you’re “a grown up.” (Oh please let it be true!) When asked what your favorite part of your birthday was, you said, “Mamani’s visit!,” and it makes me happy that you love my mommy so much too.

You are wise beyond your years, and super charming. When you sense that something you’ve done is displeasing, you tell me, “Mommy, don’t be sad, I’ll give you hug and make you feel better.” And it always does (even if you are still in trouble). When you found out yesterday that your great uncle broke his leg, you felt genuinely sad for him and excitedly made him a get well card to cheer him up. You always try wholeheartedly to make the people you love feel happy and special.

You’re inquisitive and adventurous. You’ve been asking to go to Japan a lot lately, which I have the sneaking suspicion is at least partly based on my telling you that some people there eat fish eyes (for some reason, you really want to try fish eyes — and you want me to, too!).

You’re a thinker and you ask the tough questions, like earlier today, “Mommy, will you die before me?,” to which my heart broke as I said yes I will, and that’s how it’s supposed to be… but that will be a very, very long time from now and you will be a grown up yourself. (Of course I’m secretly wishing eternal life will be invented before then.)

You’ve also been talking lately about “getting our own baby,” which prompts me to ask you if you’d like a baby brother or sister, and after about three questions in, you always land on no, we don’t need our own baby (more like, “if the baby is not nice, we can throw it away in the trash!”). Daddy and I are completely happy with you and our little family, but we could consider cloning you, I guess (that wouldn’t be weird for you, would it?). 

You’ve recently become interested in space and you are like a sponge soaking up knowledge of the universe. You will relay to your friends, your teachers, your grandparents, facts about the universe that they don’t know. You can recite the planets in order, you know what a solar system means, you know how the Earth was created, you know which planets are made of rock or gas, and you love the TV show Ready, Jet, Go! For your birthday cake, you asked for “a space cake!,” and together we made it. You loved adding your secret ingredient, cinnamon, to the vanilla cake, helping to mix all the frosting colors to match the planets, and your favorite to eat was Enceladus (“AUMMM, I LOVE ENCELADUS!”). And in the night sky as we were walking home from the Q train last night, you looked up and shouted excitedly, “There’s a planet!” and explained to me that you knew “it must be a planet because it doesn’t twinkle.” We took a photo if it and looked it up when Daddy got home. It was Venus!

You are adored by everyone who knows you. Your mop–headed cuteness is irresistible, and adults young to old will stop us to compliment you (old men especially love to comment, “I used to have hair like that!”).

You epitomize joy and love for life. You are an inspiration.

You will always be my baby, even as you’re getting bigger by the day and smarter than everyone we know soon. It’s not just the mom thing to say, but I truly mean it — you are my pride and you are my joy. You are my son, and you are my SUN.

And when I say that I love you infinity, you tell me that you love me “infinity and one!,” and always remind me that I’m the luckiest to be your mom. Four years ago, today, everyday, and “fa-evah” as you would say, I love you more than everything.

2 thoughts on “Fourth Trip Around The Sun

  1. This is a beautiful blog and truly reflects Atlas’s personality. He is the kindest, wisest, the most intelligent, the most affectionate and the smartest kid I know at this age. He is taking after his mom and dad of course. He reminds me of you a lot at this age. It brought tears to my eyes learning that he said my visit was the best part of his birthday. Little he knows that seeing all of you is always the best part of my visit. I love you all very very much, and I wish you all happiness and health always. Happiest 4th Birthday to you dear Atlas! You are the shining star in my heart!!!
    Love you all—Mom!

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