happy birthday, enzo

Dear Enzo:

Happy Birthday, my son. I feel like we’re getting to the point now where you progress and grow faster than I can record my incredulity. You are SO BIG now. You can do many things by yourself, but you’re still not sure if you want to give up the cozy feeling of having mommy and me do it for you. And that’s fine. Soon enough, I’m sure, you won’t let me do anything, so I’m glad that you still want me to help you get dressed, even though if you felt like it you could pick out all your clothes and put them on all by yourself. When you want to do that I am be appropriately enthusiastic and proud. But when you ask for help, I’ll confess I’m secretly pleased.

I have to admit that sometimes you try my patience. Most of the time that’s not because you are really doing anything out of the ordinary for a young child learning proper boundaries. In fact, it’s mostly because I see myself reflected in you, and not everything about me is perfect. That’s very frustrating, but by being so innocently reflective like that, you help me be a better person. I want to set as good an example as possible, so I strive to overcome my shortcomings. You make me appreciate your mother more and more, too. I see you reflect her, and I realize that I’m glad that she and I are different enough that hopefully between the two of us we can give you lots of complimentary personality traits.

And what a personality you have! You’re very charming. You’re reserved enough around strangers to be intriguing, but friendly enough to not turn people off. And you’re so cute that many are instantly captured by your look alone. You play for longer and longer periods, and sometimes you get so absorbed in things I’m surprised at your focus. You love to whisper stories to yourself (entire books, with total recall), or songs that you just learned. I heard you singing along softly to one of your favorite CDs in the car recently, and I wonder if you realize that I do that too.

Your eyes are big and brown (where did that come from anyway? Mimi’s got a wicked strong recessive gene, it appears), and your hair is always tousled and cutely messy.

In short, it has been an absolute pleasure watching you grow these four years, and I am prouder than you will ever know to have you as my son.

Happy Birthday, special boy.

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