I took this picture the other night when we were outside playing. Four years ago I stood by the very same flowering bush, hugely pregnant with you. Four years later...just look at you!
Four years have gone by far too fast for your old mom and dad.
You are our light...our reason for facing each day. It feels like we should thank you. But I don't know how we could adequately thank you for all the smiles and the happiness you have shared. And I know there is no proper way to thank you for all the love you brought with you when you arrived in our lives.
This year has been pretty terrible for our family and now two of your birthdays have been less than perfect. But through it all, you have showed us that the capacity to smile still remains. In fact, the experience of joy is still within our reach...in playing with bubbles, planting flowers, snuggling, watching Thomas on television, sledding, carving a pumpkin, eating ice cream, riding bikes, hugging a cat, dancing, playing music, reading books, playing on the swingset, playing hide and seek, and so much more.
You have grown and learned so much in the past year, we can hardly keep up with you. You have a vocabulary that astounds us every single day. You are curious about everything around you...and you retain the things you learn at an amazing rate. You are developing such hand-eye coordination that we have no doubt you will do something spectacular with it (baseball player...concert violinist...anything is possible). You have a kind personality that always makes me smile to see in action. All your friends rely on your love and understanding...as do your Daddy and I.
I hope that through any bad times, you are able to hang onto the memories and promises of the good times (like Daddy and I do). Remember that no matter what bad things we face, we will make it through as long as we face them together. You have already, in four short years, had to face so many things that never even crossed our consciousness until we were adults. I hope that we have preserved some of your childhood for you. I hope that you won't look back and remember all the horrible days...but will instead remember days like today, your fourth birthday...where you got your very first "big boy bike" and rode it around the living room.
You have made so many of our dreams come true. We love you.
Happy Birthday Sam-a-lama!