So this is four.
I’ve been a mother for four years now. Julian has grown from a big, content blob into a curious, gentle, sometimes shy toddler and now into a confident, kind, and all around wonderful person.
He makes me so proud every day. He makes me laugh every day. He tests my patience every day. He blows my mind every day with the things he knows and says and does.
Julian is always kind. Still, to this day, he has not once hit or bitten or pushed another child (other than a very rare shove for his brother). He has started to stand up for himself though, and he will ask other kids for turns or to get his toy back.
He is very silly. Some mornings he wakes up and says he is a horse. Some days he is a train or a bus or a shark or a narwhal. Sometimes he has a “spit train” in his mouth (no joke). And then, towards the end of the play, he announces, “Jetzt bin ich wieder dein Julian.” (“Now I will be your Julian again.”) I love all the other characters, and they make my life very colorful, but Julian is my favorite.
A few months ago he basically taught himself how to read. I swear he learned it by reading the subway stations. So thanks, MTA. You win again. He’s not always in the mood to read, but sometimes when we’re riding our bikes he’ll read random words out loud. And he can definitely follow a finger and read slowly from a book.
Julian is not a social butterfly, but he seems to be a solid friend. He loves his friends and was very excited to invite his favorite people to his birthday party. It makes me happy to see him and his friends run around outside and overhear their little conversations.
At night he will sometimes come out of his room for some nonsensical reason. I think he just wants to see what we’re doing. Sometimes his leg is itchy or he needs more water, but my favorite of all time is this one: “Mama, my hands are hot.”
Julian still loves everything about the subway and the transportation system in general. Long Island Railroad, Metro North, and city buses. He builds elaborate train stations and bus stops with Magnatiles and will play for hours. The edge of our rug is the yellow line. So don’t your dare step on it.
Julian adores his brother. They play together all day long. They chase each other, race each other, or hit their heads in bike helmets agains poles and fences. Why? Because boys. Half of the things they do make no sense to me. But I have learned to just sit back and enjoy.
As of late, Julian has gotten into “performances.” He will gather his audience (lucky us!) and place us on his bed or the couch. He collects tickets and hands out pretend popcorn (no popcorn with nuts for Arthur!), and then he has to find his imaginary microphone. It’s just never where he last put it. Then the show begins! Julian is usually Katy Perry, with an occasional appearance of Kelly Clarkson. We applaud like we mean it, because we totally do.
I am so excited for our summer together and to have Julian home all day to go on bike rides and have picnics and go to the beach. And then, towards the end of the summer, I know I will be ready to send him back to school for a few days a week. Speaking of school, I signed my kid (read: MY BABY!) up for school. As in real, actual school. For 2016. Because this is New York and you can never sign your kid up too early for anything. He talks about it already, and I know he will love it. And finally he will actually learn all the languages he is convinced he already speaks…
I couldn’t have dreamed up a cooler son. He is the most complex little person, never easy, always stubborn, and sometimes so very irrational it makes my head hurt. But I know where he gets it from. With all that is sweet and good about him I’ll gladly take his feisty side. Because they make the whole package, the whole Jules. My wonderful, good-hearted, smart, sweet son. My boy.
Happy 4th Birthday, kid. You couldn’t be loved any more.
All photos taken by the amazingly talented Jeff Weston.