It suddenly dawned on me – like actually sunk in – that this year, you’ll be turning four. You’re two years away from starting Big School. You’re two years away from a school uniform and packed lunches and I’m two years away from dropping you at the school gate, and watching your backpack mingle into the crowds of schoolchildren as you walk to your lesson.
I’m amazed by you every day. At your perception of the world, at your love for me and your want to protect me from all the monsters and the bad things out there. I love it when you run ahead of me into a room, to make sure it’s clear of monsters and to shoot any that might be lurking there, in the corners. I love your blonde hair and your blueblue eyes and your dimple in your left cheek. I love the sound of the slight British accent that you’ve picked up from watching too much C-Beebies and I love the sound of your laugh. I love that you think toilet humour and farting is the funniest thing in the world (because I kind of do too) and I love the fact that you’ve finally embraced wearing underpants (Superhero ones, of course) and I love that you won’t need me to wipe your bum for too much longer. (I think this might actually be gratitude, but I’m not complaining either way).
If I’ve thought this before – I’m thinking it even more lately – you’re the perfect blend of me and your father. You have his persistence and you have my sheer bloody-minded determination to do what you want to do, no matter what other people tell you. I love that you’re such a boy, yet you’re still only my boy – and you insist that I’m only your mommy, and no one else’s – and you love bashing and HULKSMASHing everything and guns and swords and playing in the dirt and riding bikes.
I love that you’re interested in what I’m interested in – reading and gardening – and you can spend ages with me, doing both and learning all the names of the flowers and herbs and patiently (but excitedly) watching their slow growth. I love that you’re also interested in what your father loves – movies. Specifically – superhero and/or animated films. Iron Man, Iron Giant, Astro Boy and The Incredible Hulk, are right up there as your firm, oft-watched favourites.
I love that you love popcorn, avos, strawberries and toast with cheese (things I love) and peanut butter sandwiches, chocolate milk and white chocolate (things that your father loves). I love that you hug me and kiss me all the time, tell me you missed me, that you were thinking about me, and that you love me. I love it when you ask me to hold you like a little baby, and carry you to bed in the evenings after you’ve watched the original Batman cartoon with your daddy on the couch.
I love how you run with abandon, fall without worrying about getting hurt, and climb without worrying about how you’re going to get down. I love the glee in your face as you woosh down the slide and the wonder on your face as you swing up into the sky, with me pushing you, on the swings.
But most of all, I love you. Today, more than yesterday.
And tomorrow, even more than the day before.
**These pictures were taken this time, last year.