Let me start this letter by telling you that your dad and I cannot believe that you are already four. It brings tears to our eyes, from pride and a little sadness, to see our little boy growing up so fast. You have had some hard times this year, but oh so many successes in all that you have tried. This year has been, by far, your most healthy. We opted to have a couple of surgeries to help improve your health even more. In May, you had your tonsils and adenoids out which provided the ability for you to sleep, something that you rarely did from birth. Then, in December, we had tubes put in your ears to clear up a persistent fluid issue that, in turn, drastically improved your behavior and speech. While we know that these surgeries produced a certain amount of pain for you, little one, we know that in the long run they will be so very beneficial. This year, you have also managed not to succumb to every virus and bacteria you came in contact with, even though your contact with the outside world increased, never decreasing. My best guess is that little immune system you are toting around finally got the word and developed enough memory that you stopped getting every.single.thing. Your Mama and Daddy thank you.
The age of 3 was the year that you started reading, in earnest. As I type this you are sitting next to me reading some of the words on the page. While you can't read some of the big ones yet, you get the jist of it. You also still have a deep and abiding love for computers, cell phones, and really anything mechanical. I recently heard a speech from a woman who has some expertise in deciphering what children may choose for a vocation later in life. If I had to guess, based on my observations, you will follow your Daddy's educational path and be an engineer. You love helping Daddy in the garage and now that you're older he let's you help him with the many projects that he deems safe. Just last night, Daddy let you put a bolt in place on his motorcycle while he held another portion in order to get it all back together. It was very sweet to see both of my guys covered in black grease helping each other on their pet project. I can only imagine what the future holds and what things will be happening in my garage.
In June of this past year, your little only child/only grandchild world was rocked to its core by a screaming, squalling, little bundle who's main intent, in your mind, was to monopolize everyone's time and wake you up at night, named Piper. In all of that frustration, you never once wished her gone or any harm. The one time that you tried to retaliate you felt so bad that you cried for 20 minutes straight and told her you were sorry over and over for days. Your soft heart never has shown more than it has in regards to your sister. You are her favorite person, and I suspect that she is yours. This is more than I could have ever hoped for when your dad and I decided to give you a sibling. I have no doubt that you will always be there for her and she for you. You are the best big brother I have ever seen, always considering Piper's feelings and needs above your own. Always entertaining her, always loving on her, always asking about her. As I sit here now, typing this to you, you are dancing around the living room making her smile, all the while ensuring that she is always safe (you obviously don't sit still for long!). I cannot wait to watch you for the next years teaching your sister all the things you know.
This past year has held some extreme difficulties for you as well. There were a few people in your life who while very well meaning, but even less correct, tried to convice your dad and I that there was some type of significant developmental disease within you. Unfortunately, I took that to heart much more than I ever should have, but it was ultimately decided, by the experts, that you were just acting like a normal 3 year old boy does who is going through a very difficult life change. We had everything evaluated and our fears addressed. We were told that not only were you fine and most certainly normal, but that you were ahead in many areas.
We made the difficult decision to remove you from your beloved Mother's Day Out program to stay home with myself. Honestly, little love of mine, I was terrified and was dreading this change, as I had become very used to having a little time to myself. Since your rather uneventful exit from school you have proven every fear I had wrong and have been such a bright spot in my day each and every morning, even if you do insist on telling me that the sun is up, therefore so should I be.
Caleb, you are one of the sweetest little boys that I have ever encountered. You are so very patient with your very human Mama and try to help me in all ways that you can. In some ways each birthday is hard, but I and your Daddy, are so very proud of the boy you are becoming. You are and will always be my favorite boy and I love you so very much. Happy birthday baby!
Your very blessed Mama