Today you are four years old. FOUR!
(Yes, he is wearing a Larry Dallas from Three's Company shirt. That's a story for another time.)
Let's start this year's birthday letter with sharks. Your love of them, most specifically. In case you're reading this far into the future and you have forgotten what I'm talking about, let this picture remind you:
See that blue shark? He's your everything. People have asked me many times why you love that plastic shark so much, and I have no answer. All I can say is that over a year ago you found that as part of a water toy set that has long since been discontinued, and you haven't let it go since. No, I don't have a backup. That's it. The one and only Sharky.
Sharky has, of course, lead to an intense love of aquatic life. I bought at year pass to the aquarium at Mega, and if we ever want to make you happy we simply take you there.
Because you are my second child, you are doomed to suffer the eternal fate of being compared to your sister. I'm sorry about that, but the sooner you just accept that as a fact of life, the better. You are the Yin to your sister's Yang, and that makes me so happy. Where she struggles to take risks, you encourage her. Where you struggle to sit still and pay attention, she is there. But while many people have been quick to characterize you as 'all boy' (ugh, how I hate that term...), I see the sides of you that aren't so easily defined. You are a risk taker in many ways, but cautious in others. You are often not interested in pleasing other people until you are, and your sensitive and caring nature shines through.
What I'm saying is, as your mother, I see how multi-faceted you are. And I love every piece of what makes you the smart, kind, and adventuresome little person you are.
I'm going to skip the sentimentality in this post, though I have to tell you, it's hard. Anna's birthday is different-- we joke about my long labor, my struggles breastfeeding, my lack of sleep. But with you, your birthday is a time of serious reflection. You are a reminder every day of how fortunate we are to be together; the precariousness of life.
Some people hit the lottery, some people get lucky by ways of talent or riches or opportunity. But you, Mister, have been the luckiest, most wonderful thing to have happened to me, and to our family. Our lives are better because of all you are, and all you represent.