Right now you are sound asleep next to me in the bed where you were born, snoring softly in the darkness — a rare “sleepover”, courtesy of a Scouts trip the rest of our family is on. I’m not sure who enjoys our weekends together more, you or me, but I do know this is the last one that will be just the two of us.
In February, Baby-The-Last will make her appearance and you will take up a new rung on the ladder of our family.
Sometimes I worry that you will feel supplanted or pushed aside — you have been my near-constant sidekick for more than 4 years now, even coming to work with me as a newborn until this Fall when you were finally old enough to start school. In our not-so-small family, you and I have had a connection so different from the ones I have with your older brothers. I treasure it and I don’t want it to change.
Life moves on, though, and nothing stays the same.
I want you to know how I treasure your independence and your amazing ability to entertain yourself. You are like sunshine. Your sense of humour and the way you see the world from your shorter stature are highlights in my every day. You have a knack for cheering me up that I don’t fully understand — the rest of your family could take lessons from you. You are not concerned with making friends because as far as you are concerned everyone is your friend. You are my daily reminder to face the world with a sunny disposition and that genuine enthusiasm is highly underrated.
I know my worries about how you will adapt to your new position in our family are for naught. You are so funny, perceptive and adaptable — you have rarely failed to embrace change with open, excited arms. I think of all of us, you will adapt to this shift in our family dynamic the easiest. Your curiosity, sense of humour and enthusiastic excitement about finally getting to be a big brother just like your “Boys” will carry you through.
It will be bittersweet to watch.
I remember how suddenly big and grown Boy#1 seemed when Boy#2 arrived and I will be honest and say I am not looking forward to seeing this happen with you, too. I know I am fooling myself a little to suppose you haven’t done this already — this year you have moved from preschooler to big boy and I can see it on your face and hear it in your voice, but I prefer to hold you in my heart as my youngest.
So when you get to move up the ladder in February, don’t go too far or too fast.
You are my very last little boy.
Keep that curiosity and excitement with you as you grow, but don’t grow up too quickly. You have a whole life ahead of you to be older — I’d appreciate it if you could spend a bit more of it now being just the age you are. Age 4 has been pretty fantastic.