Roland’s 4th birthday letter

Roland John,

My baby boy, you are now FOUR!  But – we talk about this often – you will ALWAYS be my baby boy, even when you are a grown up.  You are starting to look more like a big boy now, but I still love to squeeze your body and feel the last little bits of baby chub that remain.  I still wash your hair with Baby Magic so I can sniff your hair and get that baby smell.  I guess I’m holding on.  I don’t really want you to grow up!

You will be starting school soon!  You will be attending the montessori school that your big brother and sister attend.  You will be going for half days.  I am so excited for you to start school.  I think you will love it!  You are definitely ready.  Montessori is super fun.  They have class pets.  They go outside for nature walks at least twice a week.  They do lots of fun things; it’s a lot different than most mainstream schools.  You are going to have a blast and make lots of new friends.

You have been having a fun summer.  You play outside basically all day.  You and Juliette are best buds, and you have a few friends in the neighborhood that play with you frequently.  You make clubhouses, climb trees, have picnics – all while you are barefoot and shirtless, because you say shirts “bother you.”  I think you are having a fun summer, an old school summer, like previous generations’ kids used to do.

As I’m typing this letter to you, you are sitting at the table, coloring with paper and crayons.  You are drawing your family.  You always include the babies, which is so cute.  You love your twin baby sisters so much, and you are really good at getting them to laugh!  Your world has certainly changed a lot in the past year, since our babies became part of our family, but you have weathered all the changes incredibly well.  You really seem to understand that mommy often has to do things for the babies first, and you are very patient.

You have maturity and emotional intelligence WAY beyond your age.  You are the most empathetic, big hearted human I have ever met, and I am constantly in awe of you.  If someone gives you something, the first thing you do is ask if they have any more, because you want Juliette, Lennon, and/or your friends to have one too.  You will give your last bite of a treat to one of your siblings.  I am constantly asking myself, what 3-4 year old would do this?!  You are at what is generally a pretty egocentric age for children, yet you are constantly thinking of others before yourself.  It is truly amazing.

People sense that you are different, in such a beautiful way.  I don’t know if I should really even tell you this, but I have had several people tell me that you are their favorite kid.  Daddy and I often talk about how we’d considered our family complete with Lennon and Juliette, and then we had you, and I am so, so happy that we had you.  You had to be in our family!  You have added something to this family that we didn’t even know we were missing.  When things are hard, when I am struggling, you brighten my days so much.

I am looking forward to watching you grow, and seeing where these amazing qualities you possess will lead you in life.  I predict you will have some kind of career where you are helping people.  That big heart of yours will be put to good use, I just know it.

In the meantime, please stay little?!

Love always,

Mom

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Image is a close up photo of Juliette and Roland, in profile, kissing each other. Best friends!
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Image is a photo of Roland, shaggy-haired, sitting in a tree, holding out a stick, with a big smile.
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