Arthur Baby,

Today you are 4.

You are insistent that you are not my baby anymore, but I assure you today – and every day – that you are and forever will be my baby.

_MG_5568.jpg

But you are also totally a kid; I get it. You’re a very capable person, and you’ve had an amazing year. You’ve come so far and worked so hard, and I am so, so proud of you.

_MG_3544

I mean, last year we tried to put you into pre-school, and you just cried and cried – and we gave you another year at home. This year you walk into school, kiss me good-bye, and you’re on your way. After school you grab my hand and tell me about everything that happened that day. That little walk from your school over to Julian’s school is one of my favorite moments with you – because you’re always happy and full of stories.

_MG_3804

You are a solo kind of guy. You’re very independent. Many times you yourself are company enough. You play well by yourself. You love Star Wars so much. You play with Legos, lightsabers, and most of all using your incredible imagination. And you’ve got your facts down. At 4, you officially know more about the Empire than me. The other day we were looking at one of your cousin’s books and you – who can’t read yet – correctly labeled about a dozen lightsaber holders. This included, for example, Ki-Adi-Mundi – and I’m pretty sure he was not a major character. Correct me if I’m wrong.

_MG_7685

You are something else, Arthur. You can drive me crazy while simultaneously holding my heart in your hands. You are wonderfully sweet and intuitive, a lover of animals and all creatures, and you are also the most defiant, stubborn, and complicated person. Life with you is never dull. Never.

_MG_4264

You work incredibly hard at your speech. Three times a week you sit down with your speech therapists – and you make it very known that it is not your favorite thing to do. But you power through, you work very hard, and you have made incredible strides. We are so proud of you. You’ve always been such a lovable, happy, outgoing kid, and despite your struggles you have stayed true to yourself. You don’t shy away from conversations, you share your thoughts, your feelings, and your fantastic sense of humor. You make up the most nonsensical jokes and make me laugh like no other.

_MG_4421-2

You are so cuddly. We still sneak the occasional nap together, you and I, even though I know I have to pay for it come bedtime because you won’t go to bed. But it’s worth it. Those sleepy, warm snuggles with you are everything. You still fit into my arms perfectly. Your head rests on my shoulders just so. And your hair in my face is something I can totally tolerate – other than my own hair in my face, which is just annoying. You are so loving, so sweet, and hugging you will solve almost any problem. You just need that hug. You need to know it’s all ok. And it is.

_MG_0507

I’m extremely emotional when it comes to you and ridiculously protective. But I am learning to watch you grow and stand up for yourself and maybe to let go a little. Maybe. You know what you want – but whatever it is, you’d gladly give it up for your brother. Whether it be the preferred color of a lollipop or a turn with a toy…you would probably give your right arm for your brother. You adore him so much.

_MG_9488.jpg

One time this winter you and I were in Prospect Park playing in the snow. Another little boy and his mom were also there, and the boy climbed up on a small pile of snow and proclaimed, “I’m bigger than you!” You didn’t think twice and replied, “Maybe. But no one is bigger than MY BROTHER.” So that pretty much sums up how you feel about Julian. I honestly don’t think I could dream up a better pair of brothers.

_MG_1313.jpg

Thank you for all the joy you bring into our lives. We all adore you so much. Arthur, even though I sometimes want to bang my head against a wall, I want you to know that I love you just the way you are, that you make me happy and proud and that you are exactly what our family needed. You keep doing you, my clever boy, and I will support you always. I love you so completely.

IMG_0146

Happy Birthday, my sweet baby.

_MG_1234

Arthur’s off!

Tomorrow is the first day ever when both of my children will be in school at the same time.

Julian suggests I read the paper, and Arthur recommends I busy myself by playing with his toys all day.

But let’s backtrack a little. Julian has been in school for a month now. Actually, it’s been exactly one month tomorrow. Arthur’s school was supposed to start a week after Julian’s (why?), but they have been delayed by a few weeks because the school moved into a bigger and better building and have been battling with all kinds of permits and such, and nothing moves fast. It’s been kind of frustrating.

This week Arthur’s school has moved outdoors, German “Waldschule” style, which is better than no school at all, but also not as great as actual school, with, you know, a roof over the kids’ heads.

On Tuesday Arthur had his first day, and even though there were many tears from many kids, Arthur kept it together.

img_2724

I almost cried, because MY BABY! But I, too, kept it together.

Of course it was a holiday everywhere else, so Julian and I got to spend the day together. Over hot chocolate and a muffin.

img_2719

Then we came home and baked Arthur our traditional “first day of school donuts” – because that’s a thing.

Arthur was happy at pick-up and flew straight into my arms. It was the best reunion ever.

At home donuts awaited him, and that too was a success.

img_2808

This kid is growing up. What a difference to last year!

I’m so proud of our Arthur.