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Happy 4th Birthday Jack!

We had several celebrations with Jack over the course of the last week. We had a friend party on Saturday, followed by a family dinner to celebrate at El Metate (the Mexican place where you wear a blue hat), and then a preschool party on Jack's actual birthday.

We are about partied out around here.

I have so much to say about my sweet boy, though not all of the blogs in the world would adequately describe him or what he means to our family. Hopefully these few words will suffice.

At four, Jack is incredibly curious. As with most parents of 3 and 4 year olds, we continue to be in a never-ending why phase. As a parent I have a love-hate relationship with these questions. I love that he is learning and wants so badly to know things, but sometimes the questions never seem to cease. These questions stretch me to help him understand the world around us and in turn I learn more as well.

Right now Jack havs a deep love for people and helping others. He has never met a stranger. His standard pick-up line at the park is "Hi, I'm Jack. I'm three [now four]. Do you want to play with me?" I hope he is always this outgoing and that his sweet spirit never gets crushed. His confidence amazes me. He doesn't care how old or young you are, he wants to be your friend. It makes him sad when older kids are not interested in playing with him. In turn that makes me sad, but I try to let him experience these harder moments without interference, along with the sweet moments.

At preschool and church, Jack wants to hold the door for every single person coming in and out. We are typically running late anyways, so I really have to check my patience at the door. Instead of being exasperated that we are behind (mostly my fault anyways), I allow him to hold doors and talk to everyone. I hope he always desires to put others first.

We spend a decent amount of time in the car and I try to use those moments to teach him things like our address and how to count to 100 and how to do basic addition and subtraction using his fingers. He is a little sponge and soaks up all of these lessons. He is starting to consistently recognize a handful of letters and can spell his name. One of his favorite games is to play teacher and I know that his time spent in preschool aids in his love for all things school and learning related. He has quite a few books memorized (his favorite right now is Madeline) and I can't wait until he learns to actually read and all of the doors that reading will open for him.

This year Jack requested his very own kayak so that he could take his friends paddling with him. This was a big change from last year when all he wanted was an electric toothbrush! Since it was November, we weren't ready to commit to a kayak, but we are still mulling it over – maybe Christmas little buddy! His back up request was an Optimus Prime robot (which his Great Grandmother lovingly bought for him!). I think he had a good birthday.

Most days the days are long, but the years really are short. I'm still kind of in shock that we have a four-year-old. Jack loves being four, but doesn't get why he doesn't get to move up to the 4s class at preschool and church. I am working to convince him that he is one of the first to turn four and he gets the privilege of teaching the other kids how to get ready to be four. I am really looking forward to the coming year and all that it holds for Jack.


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