Today my sweet, hilarious, moody, ridiculous, beloved boy August turns 4. When I dropped him off at dagis this morning, most of the other kids and the teachers came to him saying grattis and congratulations. He was enveloped in hugs, and then he lavished dozens and dozens of kisses upon me. What a way to start the day, eh?
August, of course, is the boy who made me a mama. Four years ago this black-haired little creature emerged from my womb, and I've been shattered ever since. He has always had a sense of humor, and I often think he's the funniest person I've ever met. He's a master builder, with Lego or Tegu or Magna-Tiles. He loves to read, and we've been enjoying the Frog and Toad books lately. He loves playing with words, making up his own, and even creates jokes by playing with how English and Swedish words translate. He's pretty much fluent in Swedish, and when we have Swedish-speaking friends come over he slips into his second language, and James and I love to sit back and listen, amazed at this boy who slips so easily between these two spoken worlds.
He's moody, to be sure. He knows how he wants things, and he doesn't settle for alternatives. Not easy for a parent, but we're also proud of how strong his vision is. 😉 He loves his long hair and won't let us touch it (much to the chagrin of all of our relatives). He'll wear his favorite shirts for days on end, and sometimes we have to undress him when he's asleep to finally wash his clothes!
I have to admit that I miss him a bit; because of our particular division of labor, and August's stubbornness (insisting that he has to have Papa for certain things), I don't get nearly as much one-on-one time with him as I'd like. However, he's chosen me as his go-to Lego master, so after receiving several Lego birthday gifts, I've been in high demand the last few days.
He has the most wonderful smile and he loves to make us laugh. As I think of him today, as his strong spirit develops in the home and love that we have built for him, I am reminded of the Khalil Gibran poem my loving friend Kristin shared with me recently.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
To my dear August on his fourth birthday—to his humor, his strength, his creativity, and his joy, and wishing for a year of boundless love to come.
Photos by me.
If you're looking for more, see also Kissing Boo-Boos and Bearing Witness and Why I Don't Ask My Kids to Smile for Pictures.
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