Sunday, January 1, 2012


Today, Max Benjamin, you are turning four.

Oh, how you've waited for this day! Your silly Mama (the name you prefer) told you that your birthday was after Hanukkah, and it just couldn't get here fast enough. Four is pretty big, at least in your mind. I think you've decided that mostly on the basis that when you turn four, you get to eat two gummy vitamins instead of one each morning. Such a big accomplishment.

I feel like I've been waiting for you to be four for a long time too. There is nothing better than when you are sweet and loving, funny and curious, but you still have your difficult moments. You are a boundary pusher and fiercely independent - both wonderful qualities - unless you're doing something we'd prefer you not to do. I know you're working on it every day though, and I would safely wager that at five you will have a much better handle on your world.

Nonetheless, three was quite a year. Not many three year old's can claim such a love for the Eiffel Tower, but it made a huge impression on you. I don't think you actually remember that you threw a 45 minute tantrum at the top of it, but I know Daddy, Hannah and I will ever forget it. You enjoyed going to the Temple Emanuel Family Retreat ("New Hampshire!") and trying to keep up with Hannah and her friends. You loved getting to play in the street during our neighborhood block party. When the big moment arrived, you did a wonderful job walking down the aisle as ring bearer for Uncle Ryan and Aunt Allison, even if you didn't want to take any decent pictures the rest of the day. You went to birthday parties and play dates, concerts and museums, but what you love most is to stay home and play all day.

You still love Yo Gabba Gabba and dressed as Wyatt from Super Why for Halloween. You got a new guitar for Hanukkah, and someday I hope you will appreciate how much love I must have had for you to buy a newly four year old a drum kit. But without it, how would you get to take your imaginary band to perform on stage in New York City? (Maybe this year we'll actually take you there.) Blanket has survived another year as your most treasured possession, but that may soon change. You made a whole group of new friends this year, but I can still say that your sister is your very best friend.

This should be a great year for you. You're going to try swimming lessons and gymnastics, and I think you will enjoy getting to be among the biggest kids at the JCC. You love letters, and I think reading and writing are not far off. But whatever comes next, I know you will greet it with great enthusiasm. I am so lucky to be your Mama, and I love you, buddy.

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