Super Four

PicMonkey Collage

Dear Eddie,

You turned FOUR on Sunday.

I am still trying to wrap my mind around how you can already be four.  Four years old.  Every time I thought about it this weekend, my mind went racing back to the operating room where we first met.  Me all splayed out on a table, strapped down as if in my exhaustion I cared enough to flail about, and you all chubby and slimy and mad and cold.  Good times, Ed.  Good times.

Your birthday this year has been especially exciting.  It’s the first year you understand upcoming events and could count down and look forward to your big day.  Ever since daddy had his birthday in December, you have been asking if you were next.  You had to wait through Charlie’s party, my birthday, Kingston & Kyrie’s party, Joe’s party, Trisha’s day, Addie & Lexi’s party, Aunt Sarah’s day, and finally…FINALLY…you were next.

We talked a lot about what you wanted for your birthday: a new bike, superhero stuff, Legos, the baby doll at Target that actually drinks her bottle, that pancake making pan that you saw on an infomercial.  Every time you saw something you loved you announced, “mom! put that on my birthday list!”f

We asked you what kind of party you wanted for your birthday and you said, “um, maybe a pool party with my little pool and my cousin Jack and my friends.”  So we planned it.  We sent out invitations.  We bought a new inflatable pool that could accommodate more kids. We bought a slip n slide. We bought a “baby” pool.  You wanted “hot dog on a bun” for the party, so we went to Gordon’s and bought a case of dogs and a ton of buns and fixin’s.  You helped me pick two HUGE watermelons.

Your birthday party was on Saturday.  The day before your birthday.

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On Friday, we had some unexpected guest cancellations.

I often wonder what your first memory will be, Eddie.  Most people have their first memories around your age.  I really hope you don’t remember the Friday before your party. I was disappointed to the point of heaving tears.  I spent almost 30 minutes on the phone with Grandma while you and Charlie played.

But I know you heard me.  I saw you climb to the top of your clubhouse and stare at the field behind the house.  You don’t miss much, Eddie.  After I got off the phone, you came and sat next to me and said, “I don’t have any friends, Mom?  Is that what you told Grandma?”  The tears got hot in my eyes all over again.

“No, buddy. That is not it at all!  You have SO many friends who love you LOTS!  It’s just that some can’t come to your party anymore.  Big stuff came up and they have to take care of their big stuff.  But they are so sad they can’t come.”

“But Jack is coming?”

“No, buddy. Uncle Chris just let me know that they are going camping.  No Jack.”

He looked down at the ground.  “It’s Ok, mom. We will have fun. It’s my party!”

The next day it was indeed your party.  Our neighborhood friends, Kelsey, Bentley, and Harry came at the last minute and you and Bentley had an absolute ball splashing and chasing each other.  Uncle Mike and Uncle Cody both brought their swimsuits in case you needed some fun…but they didn’t even have to bust them out.  You have have an awesome family who loves you so much.  Aunt Kenzie even showed up though she had originally thought she would miss it.

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Unprompted you thanked everyone for coming to your party, and you thanked daddy and me about a hundred times for your party and for hot dogs.  You made us so proud, Eddie.  So proud.

On your birthday you woke daddy up with your new Batman Mask on.  It was hilarious.  Then we had cinnamon rolls followed by a treasure hunt to your gift from us.

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When you saw it, instead of jumping on, you rushed over to me and threw your arms around my waist. “OH THANK YOU MOM AND DAD!  FOR MY BIG BIKE!”

Then you did that excited little dance you do where your arms get flappy, and you jumped on in your jammies. Daddy took video, but since we are all in our jammies, we will keep that gem off the blog.

That afternoon, Daddy “swam” with you in the pool and showed you how to use the slip n slide.  After your brother’s nap we went to Red Robin (yummmmm!) because that is your favorite and immediate choice when we ask where you want to go.

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You got the corndog (because three hot dogs on a bun over the course of two days was not enough hot dog for you, I guess) and polished it off claiming LOTS of room for ice cream.  Last year you shared your ice cream.  Not this year.

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When we got home, you announced you were STARVING for some birthday cake…and what do you know, I happened to make you the lemon cake you requested!

We lit the candles, sang happy birthday to our four-year old, and you blew them out.

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Later that night, I put you to bed.  It was my night, but if it hadn’t been, I would have asked daddy if I could do it.  I need the snuggle and talk time with you.

We used daddy’s tablet to read Oh The Places You’ll Go and Happy Birthday To You both by Dr. Seuss.  You were almost asleep by the end of the second book, so when we turned it off and you rolled over, I quietly whispered, “Happy Birthday, Eddie.”

Barely audible, you whispered back, “thanks, mommy.”

“I love you,” I added.

“I love you better than the wide world,” you managed.

“Oh. I love YOU better than the wide world too.”

And then you fell into the steady breathing of a boy who had loads of excitement and sugar.  Of a little boy who just turned four and feels so big.

I lay there even though I knew I could get up. I replayed your birth day in my head.  I let the tears wet the pillow under my face.  I apologized to you again for being so sick your first year of life.

And I thanked you for being the little buddy I never knew I needed.  For being so smart and funny and silly and witty.  For being strong-willed and bossy and whiney and emotional.  For being so much like me.

I don’t know if you will remember any of these events, but my heart will remember them always.  And my prayer is that even though the actual events may fade from your mind, they feeling of being so loved by so many will always be there with you.

Because so many people love you, but I?  I love you most of all.

More than the wide world.

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Love,

Mommy

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About Katie Sluiter

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a high school English teacher, college adjunct instructor, freelance writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

  2. You just made me cry.
    Happy happy birthday again to you, Eddie.
    Love all of yous.

  3. This is so.very.beautiful.

    Happy birthday Eddie. You are going to have an amazing year of 4.

  4. What a beautiful post, Kate. Eddie is so blessed to have such a wonderful mother and more importantly, FRIEND, in you. I am so glad we could come celebrate him. Thank you for thinking of us. Everyday I am more thankful for the neighborly bond we are creating! You are a blessing to us! xoxo

  5. My little boy just turned 4 a few weeks ago, too. It is so exciting when they start to “get” it. Our party included superheroes and Batman masks too. And the “I love you wider than the whole world”…. just precious. Thanks for sharing this beautiful posts and great pictures. Happy Birthday to Eddie!

  6. You just made me cry in my coffee. I LOVE this and your love for your family. Welcome to 4, Eddie! It’s my absolute favorite age.

  7. What a sweet post! Happy Birthday to Eddie! My son turned 4 at the beginning of the month and it was great seeing him understand and anticipate his birthday & party. Four is really fun so far :-)

  8. I am so glad he was so happy and it sounds like an amazing day! What a beautiful memory for you to record in such a gorgeous way. Happy Birthday Eddie!

  9. with hot tears just streaming down my face….
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Eddie, I love that your mommy shares all these moments with us, it was like being at your “VERY SPECIAL, VERY FUN, VERY SLIPPERLY SLIDE” birthday party.

    can I have some cake buddy?

    Love you and your amazing mama!

  10. So, so sweet. I’m so happy that he had a great birthday.

  11. I loved your post, almost made me tear up. Eddie is so very blessed to have a Mom like yourself. I love reading about your family, so precious makes me look forward to when mine grow up

  12. Oh man, this is so sweet! I am SO glad he had a good party and had his fill of hot dogs! Happy four, it’s a pretty awesome age!

  13. Happy Birthday, Eddie. Lovely boy and a lovely post! :)

  14. That was absolutely my biggest fear when we had our first friends party – that no one would come. You can’t imagine my relief when the first kid showed up!

  15. Happy bday to Eddie! It sounds like it was a fantastic parties. I love the birthday letters you write.

  16. So, so sweet. Happy Birthday, Eddie!!

  17. It sounds like a wonderful birthday and this brought tears to my eyes… not so good at work. But that’s okay.

  18. This made me tear up. My oldest will be two on Friday and I can hardly stand it.

    Happy birthday, Eddie.

  19. Oh, I’m so glad he had a wonderful party and birthday, despite the circumstances. I absolutely feel the love oozing from you when you talk about (to) your boys. Four is lots and lots of fun.

  20. I’m so glad that he had a great birthday. I knew his party would be awesome because you are such an awesome mom to him.

  21. TheNextMartha says:

    Shut up he requested lemon cake. That’s MY favorite! Yeah for him and you getting through it all. :)

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