July 04, 2012

Dear Miles

Dear Miles,

Today is your fourth birthday.  Happy birthday, little firecracker.  Before I say anything else- let me say, "I love you."  As is the tradition in our house, I write you a letter every year on your birthday so that you'll know exactly what mommy was thinking and feeling on each of your special days.

If I had to sum up the last year of your life in one word, it would be "progress".  I can't even tell you how far you've come because I still can't wrap my mind around it.  This time last year, I felt like we just couldn't convince you that this was forever.  I was telling you daily that you would stay and I felt like you would never believe it.  And now?  Now you are cemented into this family in every way imaginable and YOU KNOW IT.  Hallelujah, you know it.  You are self assured and confident and every time you point to me and tell someone, "That's my mommy" my heart speeds up because you get it, darling.

You are the kid in this house that can push my buttons (and your brother and sister's buttons) faster than anything imaginable.  You see a weak spot and you go right for it.  You are a fighter.  But you also use that fighting spirit to defend those you love.  You don't let anyone pick on your siblings and you don't put up with it when the other kids are rude to me.  You are loyal in every sense of the word.

I love each of you children for vastly different reasons.  But I can say beyond any shadow of a doubt that you have taught me more about life and helped me learn more about myself than any one else.  I thank you for that.  I didn't always like what I learned, but those lessons have helped me immensely and I may never have learned them if you weren't the exact child that you are.  Through you, I have learned empathy, patience, compassion, open-mindedness, and how to love even when it hurts.

You love mommy, but you tell me all the time that you are "daddy's boy".  You have so much love for your father.  You are the first to hear his car pull in the drive and you take off running to greet him every single afternoon.  You always want daddy to take you to bed, daddy to put you in the car and for daddy to carry you when you get tired.  It is so sweet to watch how having you around has changed your daddy.  I think that you smooth off all of our rough edges.

You have captivated the hearts of so many people.  There is just something about you, sweet Miles, that captivates people.  You draw them in like a magnet.  Your smile (and you are ALWAYS smiling) is contagious and you flash those teeth and brighten up so many lives.  You are also changing attitudes.  Your only job on this planet right now is to be a carefree child.  And by just being you, you are breaking down barriers and melting hearts.  I've watched the same woman in our neighborhood who told us that we had no business adopting and we certainly had no business "mixing" colors in our family be drawn in by you.  You've shown her that black is not scary just by being a sweet, little boy who runs around the neighborhood at the speed of light and waves at her every time she's out on the porch.  I'm not sure that any other little boy with any other little attitude could have done that.  There's just something about you.

You are still a tiny little peanut.  At 4 years of age, you come in at a whopping (HA!) 27 pounds and are 35 1/2 inches tall.  If you are rocking an afro- we could call you a nice even 3 feet.  You use your size to your advantage.  You are quick like no body's business and you are so nimble that you can climb up pretty much anything.  Just ask your preschool teacher.  She told me that you made a habit out of climbing up her body and trying to stand on her shoulders.  Everyone that sees you says, "Ohhhhh, look at him!  He's so cute and little!" and you just grin because you know that though you are little, you are fierce!

Over the last year, you've had surgery on your eyelids to help you see better.  I worried to death about you before surgery.  After all, your sleepy little eyes were your signature look!  But you look just as handsome as ever and now you can see so much better!  You also had to have your second set of ear tubes put in because you couldn't hear at all and had ear infections constantly.  It's been a two year battle to get you healthy, but by golly, you are doing so well now!  You are one tough cookie.

This year, you started preschool.  It was a rough start at first and you were worried that you would go to school and that Mommy wouldn't be home when you got back.  You finally learned that Mommy always comes back and you settled into a groove at school.  In fact, after a few weeks you would get mad if it wasn't a school day!  Your teachers couldn't say enough good things about you.  You tried hard and by the end of the year, they said that you had caught up YEARS in your development. You went from barely speaking to talking non-stop.  You went from not being about to hold a crayon to being able to write your name.  You went from not being able to play with other children to making a few good friends.  I loved seeing your smiling face stepping off that big school bus every day and hearing about what you ate for breakfast at school (that's the only thing you'd ever tell me about your day!).

At home, you love to play the wii and watch cartoons.  You are riveted by anything having to do with the movie Cars- which you probably watched at least a zillion times over the last year.  When it's nice outside, you love to run in the yard.  Or run anywhere.  You are always running!

Baby, we love you so much- even if you are the most stubborn (and adorable) little booger we know!  You are just so full of life and that makes my heart so happy. I have so much hope in my heart for you and what the next year will bring.  

All my love,

  ***Every year, I give my kids a little interview on their birthdays. I hope that it will be a great way for me to look back and see glimpses of who they were at every stage of life and see how they change over the years.  As you can tell, Miles didn't really understand a few of the questions!

Me: If a genie would grant you only one wish, what would it be?
Miles: I would say Happy Birthday for Miles.

Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Miles: I want to be Noah.

Me: Do you want to get married when you grow up?
Miles: Yeah.  And when I'm Noah. 

Me: Do you want to have children? 
Miles:  Yes.  Three.

Me: Do you feel different now that you are four?

Miles: Yeah.  Uhhhhh... great!

Me: What is your favorite color and why?
Miles:  green, but I like red. 

Me: Who is your best friend and why do you like them?

Miles:  Ashley because she is.

Me: Now that you are four, do you think you'll get a girlfriend?

Miles: yes!  

Me: What is your favorite TV show?
Miles:  My TV show at my school.

Me: What do you like most about school?
Miles:  watching TV in my school and you can not even pick me up without the school bus

Me: What is your favorite thing about yourself?

Miles: I like Miles on vacation.

Me: What is your favorite song?

Miles:  Mommy's song that you sing it's for me and Miles and it's for you.  (How's that for clear?!)

Me: If you could have any super power what would it be?

Miles:  Lightning McQueen.  I mean Mater.

Me: What is your very favorite thing to do?
Miles:  Play at my school.

Me: What are you most afraid of?

Miles:  Gorillas.

Me: What is your favorite thing about Mommy?

Miles:  sing songs

Me: What is your favorite thing about Daddy?

Miles:  be a tickle monster

Me? What is your favorite thing about Sadie?

Miles:  kissing me!

Me: What is your favorite thing about Noah?
Miles:  uhhhhhhh... uhhhhhh... the part about kissing.  Yeah, but we play kiss the bride.


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