Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Matthew is FOUR!

Darling Matthew,

Today you are FOUR. How swiftly these years, these halcyon days have flown by. I am so grateful to have been a part of it all and to have tucked away in my memory every precious moment with you.

Matthew, you are growing into such a wonderful little boy. Erm...big boy. You are bright and funny and as much as your non-stop chattering wears me out some days, I miss it when you're not here. Miss your questions and your constant "why's?" when you're at school and it's only Luke and I clattering about the house, waiting.

I love you more than all the tea in China
I love you more than all the stars in the sky
I love you more than all the bubbles in the bathtub
I love you more than you ask me, "Why?"

Thank you for asking tough questions that make me think long and hard about the world and our place in it. For remembering Uncle Andrew with such light and love and for missing him. How lovely to know that your heart accepts a cloud-filled, high-in-the-sky Heaven and that a God who watches over us pleases you, too.

Since you were born I have been slowly drawn back to the church of my own childhood - seeking comfort in the rituals that transcend both language and borders. I'm so happy to see that you've already developed a love of hymns and music and singing out with joyous abandon.

I love that you sing along with every song in the car, no matter how silly, random or sad. That certain pieces of music can bring you to tears is lovely too, albeit heartbreaking to see. You are a sensitive soul, Matthew James and the world needs more souls like you. Is lucky to have you.

Thank you for singing through supper and teaching a rapt Luke all the gestures and faces for "Five Yummy Apples." I am so happy that you're adjusting so well to school life and that you've formed such a close, warm bond with William, Sweet William. Together, you will have many, many adventures, ones I hope you'll share with me over milk and cookies upon your return.

I miss you when you're at school, my darling. Thrilled as I am to know that you're enjoying yourself and to have special one-on-one time with Luke, I miss your sweet laugh, your endless stories and seeing the world through your eyes. You have a sweetness about you - an innate need to please, to reach out, to care. Yesterday, even though you really, really wanted to play by yourself, you made sure to set aside some special toys for your brother so that he could play by your side. Cracks my heart - both the desire to be on your own and the way you quietly show him that he is loved and special.

I love that despite all this growing up business, you still crawl into bed with me each morning, seeking heat and cuddles. I love that you often fall asleep with your hand on my face, as you've done from early on. Stalling method or not, I love that you often save your best, most-involved tales for the quiet of your bedroom after dark. Love how you recite with me:

Matthew is his Mama's very heart, his Daddy's pride and joy!
Matthew is Nanny's treasure and Papa's best big boy!

I hope you know that they're not just pretty words at bedtime, Matthew. They are truth in rhyme. You are indeed my very heart and Daddy is so, so proud of you. You are Nanny's blessed treasure and her every joy. When you were born, she came alive again and you bring all sorts of magic to her days simply by being. You. Papa too - you make him laugh so much Matthew and have given him another chance to play and frolic and get dirty. Another chance.

Yes, your defiance and sassy mouth challenge my sanity some days, Matthew. I see so much of me in your petulant stance, your slamming-door temper and the proud upward tilt of your chin when you're in trouble. I see me and it shocks me, infuriates me, makes me wary, worry, wilt...and love you even more.

On this your fourth birthday, I promise to tell you "Yes!" more often and to let your pour your own juice for breakfast. To spend less time "getting through" and more time simply being - with you. I promise to yell less, listen more. To give you space as you need it and to always be a safe place to land.

I am so proud to be your Mummy and thank God every day for the wonder that is you. Thank you for choosing me.

I love you.


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