Happy 4th Birthday, Ethan!

Happy birthday, my love!

I just left your bedroom after falling asleep in your toddler bed with you! I went in to check on you, but decided to stay awhile. The bed hardly fits you and all of your stuffed animals, I know, but I just can’t give up your snuggles. You’re looking more and more grown and it’s causing me to be mindful of how quickly time is passing without even noticing. So, I will cram into your bed with you to delight in the little moments just a bit longer. Besides, you’ve started this thing where you reach out for my hand AND CUDDLE as you fall asleep. I want to keep these moments forever!

This past year, we have spent more time as a family than ever before! You got promoted to big brother when Selah was born, so Daddy and I were able to stay home with you guys for three glorious (and sleep-deprived) months. You meeting Selah for the first time has been my favorite memory from the past year. It is the most precious thing to watch you adore someone so much and even take pride and ownership in your role as big brother. It is my joy to witness you love her. 

Kindness and gentleness is still an ongoing conversation as we navigate through new emotions and situations. Emotions are big in our home (mine included), so we continue to learn together. You even correct us at times. I love that we are a safe place for you to feel the freedom to express yourself. When something wasn’t met with gentleness, you are open to sharing your feelings. Ethan, you’re an advocate for what’s right (there’s nothing like a toddler correcting your tone)! I pray that turns into a heart for justice and that you take that same passionate approach to advocate for those around you. 

Something we are so proud of you for is how you’ve learned to quickly apologize and take accountability of wrongdoings. That shows that you are starting to understand the importance of reconciliation and honoring one another. We are seeing fruit from those countless conversations in hard moments (praise!). You’ve proved that it’s never too early to begin to introduce the why behind  choices and actually talk it out. 

Another thing we are proud of is your heart of generosity, which comes from your dad. You told me the other day that you want to work and make money, because you want to give it to other people. Last weekend you told me you wanted to be a doctor when you grow up, because you want to help people feel better. You’re even generous in the little things, like a favorite snack or treat (although you don’t get this from your Daddy). You actually get excited about asking everyone if they want a piece. I’m excited to see that generosity build in other forms, because your excitement for others to have something you have is a gift! This is the exact reason we lead you in gentleness and grace, because His love abounds so much for us that we can’t help but gift the overflow. 

My love, you’re so precious to me! Your abundant joy is an answered prayer. When you turn the corner, you fill the room with giggles and energy that is full of LIFE. You wear your joy in your squinty-eyed smile. You ask me a lot what my favorite thing about you is. I tell you your gentleness, your dance moves and your silliness. Those around you can’t help but laugh with you.

So here I am, ready to crawl back into your toddler bed with you to have just one more snuggle. I’m in a place where I’m not really looking ahead for the new season or new milestones. I am loving this right here, right now and I want to be here for a long time.

Love you always,

Mommy

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