yesterday you turned four years old. As you told me on our way to kindergarten this morning that means that you’re now much bigger and can do everything better than before. I hope you won’t be disappointed on this. You have been waiting for this birthday the whole year. After you turned three you said that you wanted to have a birthday party and we promised you’d have one with your friends when turning four. So yesterday was a little overwhelming. Only two days before you had the kindergarten’s Christmas party, where you played one of the Christmas trees. (And how proud I was when you lead all the little trees on stage and said your surprisingly many lines even though you were hoarse, and then when you went to the buffet as one of the firsts and got yourself food and drink even before your parents entered the room. You really are your mother’s son.)
Yesterday you received a huge amount of presents even though we had tried to keep it small. Of course you kept asking for more the whole day long. Just wait a little, next week it will all start over again.
In the last year a lot has happened. At your last birthday we told you that you’d get a drum set and lessons this year, when you still would be as interested as then, but though you practiced “stick technique” every day for weeks your interested has paled a little. Instead you have been building fantastic Lego-structures, and then, a couple of weeks ago, you started drawing and crafting every day for hours.
You started kindergarten in February. At first you went only afternoons and since the beginning of the month you stay there from morning ’til afternoon. Your kindergarten teacher told me that you are a fantastic child, very good with language and intelligent, you like to play with the other children and when you have enough you go off and play by yourself. When we were at your medical checkup two weeks ago the doctor beamed at me and told me what a joy it was to examine you. How great your language skills, how intelligent you are, how well behaved and smart, how good you can hold a pen when you draw, she was full of praise.
I’m a little envious when I see how easily you draw people to you. Even as a baby you charmed everyone. Your less charming sides you keep strictly for family. Especially we two have been desperate and sad because we couldn’t stop fighting so much. No day went by without you and me screaming at each other. But it is getting better at last. We are both becoming more reasonable and patient and your long day in kindergarten makes you less restless.
When you turned three you still took a nap, although reluctantly. And now you don’t need any diapers any more. You have grown a lot, 5 cm (about 2 inches) taller and 2 kg (a little less than 4 pounds) heavier than last year. In spring you had middle ear infection after middle ear infection, but I’m glad that you didn’t need antibiotics. At the end of May you learned to ride your – and here you see me speechless because I didn’t find an equivalent for “Laufrad“; imagine a kid’s bike without pedals pushed by his feet as if he were running. – Next spring we will be having the pedals put on your bike and you’ll learn to ride it for real. At the end of last spring you gave up your pacifiers. Your interest in reading and writing grew and you found out that when one is able to write O, A and M, one can write “OMA” (granny).
You’re still loving books and are slowly enjoying also stories and not only non-fiction. You were especially interested in astronauts and space travel. For weeks you wanted to watch only the video with pictures of the moon landing and the Gemini missions. This video has a soundtrack of sixties hits and you’re still singing songs like, “She’s got a ticket to wear.” In fact you started learning English in Kindergarten this fall, but so far you only have learned things like “What is your name?” and the names of some colors and animals there.
My beloved son, I’m enjoying you every day and miss you every time I haven’t seen you for an hour. You so eloquent, intelligent, charming and self-confident. You have a vivid imagination that I took for granted, because I thought everyone’s like that. But then I learned that there are boys out there who spend their days pushing toy cars and making car noises. Boys who don’t wake up saying, “I’m an astronaut, I have to fly to the moon today.” or “I am a penguin. This is water. Teddy is a polar bear. Now I’m stuck under a rock. Teddy, save me!”
Every time somebody tells me I should live in the moment like a child and stop thinking I have to think of you. Even when you were only a few days old one could see your mind working. One day before your birthday you told me, “This will be my second birthday.” Me, “No, your fourth.” You were right in a way since this was the second that you were conscious of. You thought for a while, counted on your fingers and said, “No, it is my third.” Me, “No, your fourth.” We started fighting about this again, and then I told you, ” When you were born you were not a year old. Only after one year a child turns one year old. that’s the first birthday. then the second, the third and the fourth.” You still insisted on it being your third birthday, then you turned on your brain, counted on your fingers again and said, “No, tomorrow is my fourth birthday.”
Your teddy bear is still your best friend, but in the meantime there are dozens of stuffed animals sharing the bed with you. Every time I have the feeling that I’m maybe not a good mother, I look at you and see that I can’t have been doing much wrong. I’m curious what the next year will bring,
your loving mother.