As I have done in previous years, I will lock this post in a week or two. But I wanted to give all of my readers a chance to see how E. has grown and changed over the past year. Once again I have gone overboard with the photos. Bonus points to everyone who makes it to the end!
Four years ago today you were born.
And then, before we knew it, you were turning one.
And then, you were two.
And then, you were three.
You still slept in your crib, in your sleepsack. When you were sleeping, you still seemed small.
But there were signs all around of just how big you were getting.
And when I looked at you more closely, I realized there was no toddler left.
You had become such a great walker that we loved exploring the ravines in our neighbourhood.
You’d recently decided you were a very large snake (a python, to be exact, although later in the year you became a “red boa with six wheels!” and even later a “red corn snake rattlesnake boa with six wheels!”) and so you spent a lot of time basking.
We had fun that summer. We went to the islands.
We made our second foray Down Under to see your Daddy’s family. The flight was a lot easier this time now that you were older.
You loved seeing all the sights (although your favourite things to spot were construction vehicles and trains, just like at home).
We made sure we went to the beach, even though it was ‘winter’.
We went to two zoos. Your favourite animal was “the anaconda, because it’s the biggest, longest snake there is!”
Back home, there were a few changes. You were out of your crib and into your new medium-sized guy bed (and a new room!). And you had a new best friend, your Puppy. Pretty soon Berenice Bunny was relegated to ex-lovey status.
There was still lots to do to enjoy the summer. We hit up the splash pad.
There was work to be done in the garden, but we made sure to take time to cool off.
We went to another beach and even though the pictures don’t show it, it was freezing!
At the very end of the summer, we rented a cottage for a week. You told me on our second day there that you wished “we could stay at the cottage for the rest of our lives”. It was a perfect holiday.
We went hiking in a national park and you walked the whole trail.
We went canoeing or kayaking almost every day.
And then it was September, and time for a new (nursery) school year to begin.
We didn’t want to admit it, but our summer was turning into autumn.
For a long time you insisted you weren’t going to dress up or going trick-or-treating. Eventually you changed your mind.
That fall you discovered dinosaurs. Your favourite was (and remains) the Elasmosaurus.
Before I knew it, you were three-and-a-half. You tolerated the requisite ‘roo photo, but only if I would then “take a picture of me with my best dog.”
You knew exactly what you wanted for Christmas and wrote a letter to Santa to make sure he knew.
The snow came, but it didn’t last.
We started to get ready for Christmas.
Then it was Christmas Eve, and you had new pajamas.
On Christmas Day, you were so happy that Santa had brought your train bridge. It wasn’t until the afternoon that we realized you weren’t well. It was into the new year before you were back to your usual cheerful self again.
Then the winter set in and we had to find more things to do indoors.
You worked very hard to plan a birthday party for your best dog (which turned out to be the first of many). You dictated to me the guest list and the presents.
The snow came back, and this time it stayed. We still managed to enjoy it (at least for a month or two).
For Valentine’s Day, you made us a special breakfast.
I gave you my old camera and you took to it immediately. I found it so interesting watching what you chose to document (even when you took fifty pictures in a row of the July page of our calendar!).
We found some fun things to do in the city.
And some outside of it.
Then it was Easter, and spring was just around the corner (or so we hoped).
We started exploring again and visiting new places.
Even though you had grown and changed so much, some things hadn’t changed. You still loved the Elasmosaurus and you still loved red.
You still (a year later) said you were a snake, and your love for snakes showed no signs of abating. You measured (with my help) and drew a nine metre reticulated python on our sidewalk.
When spring came, we got your bike out again. You weren’t ready for it in previous years, but this summer I think you’re really going to love it.
Because we were going to be away on your birthday, we had an early celebration the week before. You wanted only two things: the Bruder flatbed truck which came with a backhoe excavator (which you had wanted for over four months, so we agreed to get it for you even though you really didn’t need another enormous truck) and a raspberry-watermelon cake. We managed both.
When I look back, what strikes me about this year was just how much you made. You absolutely loved constructing wooden vehicles (with our help) and then painting them. Beading, stencils, painting- you did it all. You took your work very seriously.
I have loved watching you grow.
You are so curious about the world. We have conversations every day about why Pluto isn’t a planet anymore, or how the blood gets from your lungs to your heart, or why Seismosaurus is not the largest dinosaur. You are gentle and kind and loving. You tell truly hilarious jokes. Your imagination knows no bounds. I hope you never lose your sense of wonder, your desire to learn, your headlong embrace of life. It is a privilege and a joy to watch you grow up.
And now, my darling boy, you are four.
I love you ever so much. Happy birthday, my son.