My sweet budders,
Happy Birthday to you! I can't believe you are four years old today! (Where did those four years go?)
What a *delight* it is to be your mama! I love you so very much, Isaac.
When I think of you I think of your singing. You love to sing and lead all of us in song. Your favorite songs are: In My Heart There Rings a Melody, Set Me Free (Casting Crowns), and (still)... God of Wonders. Most days I can find you standing on the couch, with a pretend microphone in hand, a book open, calling out songs and leading your sister and brother in worship. My prayer is that your love for singing will grow in you a heart of worship, and a fervant desire to praise your Maker.
I think of your chatter. All the stories you want to tell us, all the events you want to recount (and heaven forbid we interrupt you! You will set us in our place with a stern reprimand for interrupting!)
You are so endearing with your hugs and kisses. I have this moment tucked away in my mind: me, heading out to the van, turning back to wave to you kids at the window. As is customary, we all blow kisses. But that day when I looked I saw you blow a kiss and then wrap your arms tightly around yourself, to send mama a hug, too. That picture is sweet, Isaac. You are *so* dear to me.
You love to snuggle and you miss affection when you don't get it. One morning, recently, we got a late start and our morning cuddles were missed-- not much time for mama holding you. Our day was full and busy. After dinner you wanted me to hold you. At bedtime you said, "When I wake up I wanna hold you for a long time." Music to this mama's ears!
Every single time you are outside you pick a flower for me. You follow up to make sure I've cared for it, too. I do so need a stash of tiny vases for your offerings of flowers!
As I sat on the couch last week after church, you came over to me, touched my skirt, and whispered, "You look pretty today, mommy."
We have this thing, you and I... whenever we talk about how grown up you are, what a big boy you're becoming, how tall you'll be someday (daddy will hold you up higher than himself and say, "You think you'll be this big?"), and mama will pretend to be so sad: "I don't want you to be so big!" And you reassure me with this, every time: "But I'll still hold you, mama. I'll still sit on your lap." (And don't think for a second I won't hold you to your word, my son.)
You're quick to comfort me, especially when I'm sad. A couple of weeks ago I lost it, and promptly slid to the kitchen floor, weeping. You were there immediately, your hand on me, soothing me with these words: "I love you, mommy. It's okay." And then a day last week, when I had hollered at you kids in exasperation, and then sat down on the couch to say sorry... you came to me, wrapped your arms tightly around my neck, and said, "I still love you even when you're crabby." Such sweet grace. And you do, sweet boy. You love me well. Thank you. You fill this mama's heart with your sweet expressions of love.
You have a tender heart, Isaac. You are always remorseful for your sins; always quick to say you're sorry, to hug, say "I love you" and make things right. The things you get disciplined for most often are hitting and not obeying.
You are quick to pray. When we pray in the car on the way to church, you're always the first volunteer. When one of us is sick it is you who will go to them, lay hands on them, and pray for healing. I love that about you. When I need a prayer, I know I can ask you and you will pray. Right then. Oh how I hope this carries on into your life with Jesus, Isaac! May you be quick to turn to Him throughout your life, and have that easy conversation with Him that you do now.
What else? Well, you may be quick to pray and say you're sorry, but you're not quick about much else, little fella. It takes you a very long time to eat anything; you are too easily distracted. There's simply too much to think about and talk about. We work very hard with you to teach you to obey right away when we ask you to come or to do something. Or to finish something and not get completely distracted halfway through. This is especially hard for you.
You are extremely sensitive to all things scary. Scary-to-you are skeletons, especially skulls, and eyeballs (some stuffed animals, even, with big eyes, unsettle you). You have become so adept at averting your eyes, like when we walk through a store with Oct. 31st decorations. You close your eyes, tuck your head down, and simply don't look. And yes, you tremble, too. I am so thankful you are being careful with your eyes like the song we sing. (And I hope, too, that this discipline now of averting your eyes will serve you in the future for purity issues) *but* I also don't want you to be fearful, either. We have nothing to fear under the care of such a big, strong, God!
You wake in an instant, sitting up to tell something. You're a good sleeper, sleeping deeply and falling asleep quickly (and any place: in the van, in our arms at church or hymn sing (which mama LOVES)) when you're tired.
You love your daddy, and want to be like him and do everything he does. Right now as I edit this you are in the bathroom, helping daddy sand our floor. A few weeks ago daddy took you out to breakfast on his day off-- the same place he goes weekly with some guys from church. You felt so important and loved that time with just you and your daddy.
You love all things that make you "grown up" or a "man". I remember once this year we were at Costco and you watched an older boy walk over to the vending machine, put some money in, and get himself a bottle of water. You were mesmerized. You asked right away if you could get a water, too. I said no (because I didn't want to spend the money), and said something like, "Maybe when you're bigger you can do that, budders." And you repeated, "When I'm a big boy I can do that?" And then I thought better of it. I knelt down next to you and said, "Do you know what? You *are* my big boy. Let's go over there and get you a water." You were positively beaming, as if you'd just been pronounced a man. :)
You love it when a responsibility falls to you when daddy isn't here to do it. You take your role very seriously as daddy's stand-in.
You love Ella. I know the two of you will always be close. You truly are the best of friends, and I love to see you interact. You are growing to love your little brother, too. It has been a joy for daddy and I to see you turning to Isaias as your playmate more and more.
You love dinosaurs (or so you tell me, though mama thinks you're a bit wary of them). You love the Steelers, or dressing in "football" or "baseball" clothes. Outfit of choice this year for you was your Steelers Bettis jersey and your black pants with a yellow stripe down the side. I must say, I'm thankful you're outgrowing it. *grin* You stopped wearing diapers this year, too, and graduated to big-boy underwear. (WOOO HOOO!)
You are quite the puzzle maker, my boy! You seem to have a knack for finding exactly the right piece for a spot. You love books, and magazines, and anything you can get your hands on to "read". You've even pulled out the phone book a few times.
You love to play with others but you definitely like your solitude, too. Even when we play with friends or cousins, everyone else will run outside to play or off to play something in a big pack, and you will linger, find a puzzle or a book, and sit quietly to play. You play so well independently or with others. You rarely have tantrums or meltdowns. (As in, I can count them on my hand). You are very easy-going, and just tend to be so content and cheerful.
I'm afraid you've picked up my (and Ella's) lingo, because I hear you say things like, "That's so cute!" or, "Mama, I just saw the cutest grandpa walking by!" You also say things like, "I very want to go there!" Or, "I very love you, mommy!" Which is very cute. And you say every night at dinner, "This looks belicious!"
You have the best smile and you love to laugh. You have the best giggle, and we hear it often around here. You also love to be tickled.
You have quite the imagination- you're always creating stories and characters and imaginary friends. (Most notably: Migi and Donto and Jonathan Trustee.) Where you came up with those names we'll never know, but those guys were your playmates or personas for most of this year.
And now you're four.
I love you, my Isaac. And my fervant prayer for you as you grow up is that you would love Jesus more and more with each passing day.
...and this (if it works)... is a typical Isaac moment around our house...