Four years old! I knew it would happen and yet, like every birthday, it leaves me a little breathless. You still sound so little, your high pitched voice carrying your toddler self with it a little longer. You still are so little, your tiny feet and tiny features and small stature leave some baffled at your actual age. But when I have the opportunity to sit and just watch you, and I look in your crystal blue eyes-- I see it then-- I see you are four, and you are growing up.
You are growing up in the way you observe and take in this world. You are more inquisitive, sometimes taking something in for entire minutes before forming a question about what you are observing. You are growing up in the way you process. I have watched you learn how to cope and deal with situations that aren't going exactly your way, far better than you used to. You have [a little ;)] more patience and can handle changes in plan so much better. You are, in fact, becoming a big kid-- you are four. And a couple of weeks before you turned four you came running into the room and bursting with excitement said, "Mommy! I'm FOUR!" I informed you would be in a couple of weeks and you said, "No, I AM four because I can turn on the light now!!!" You hadn't been able to reach the light switch and you kept asking me when you would be able to, and I just guessed and said, "When you're four." You took my word for it!
You are our feeler, in every sense of the word. You feel deeply about everything. You feel every emotion fully. Happiness. Excitement. Anger. Fear. Sadness. Compassion. Hilarity. You feel it all clear through to the tips of your toes and all I have to do is look at your face to know what emotion you are harboring. When you are fearful your body shakes. When your sister got a bloody nose you trembled and cried about it longer than she did. When you find something really funny your laugh cannot be contained and you cannot make it stop. When you're excited, or just happy, you hop around like you have springs in your legs. When you are angry, everyone in a ten mile radius knows about it because it spews out of you like a volcano. And when you're at peace, you are so very content to just be alone.
You are also a feeler in that you want to touch and snuggle and hug and kiss. Nan does not always appreciate this part of your personality, but you usually sneak a few hugs out of her by the end of the day. At least once or twice during the day, I'll find you curled up on my lap, and I don't even necessarily remember how you got there. But you found your way. You love to be scratched and give the absolute best and most sincere hugs. I am not a big toucher, but you have taught me how to slow down and just sit with you; you've taught me how our skin next to each other can speak love. I think because of this physical closeness, you're also incredibly intuitive and sometimes a little prophetic [which can be creepy ;)]. You told me multiple times that there was a baby in my tummy, before I ever told you I was pregnant. When I miscarried Jordan, it was almost as if you knew before I told you. You handled these big, big things this year so well because there is something very tender inside of you, Becks.
Once of your favorite things to do with me is help me with meals. You scurry up on the counter and cross your little legs and help stir or pour or measure. You help me keep track of how many cups of flour I've put it [because I'm bound to lose track!], and you LOVE to plop a tablespoon or two of butter into a pan because you squeeze it really hard as it slips out of your fingers so that you can lick the residue. You are content on that counter with me, and you rarely make making a meal more difficult because you are actually helpful. You've started asking good questions about why I do certain things a certain way, and it's been a fun thing to share with just you.
You and I will start preschool together this year. This will be a thing of growth for both of us, I have no doubt. You have started to want to learn more though, and will let me show you letters and numbers, and teach you little things here and there. I did order more of a curriculum for you than I did for Blythe, because I think a little structure will be better for both of us when it comes to working together. And it's not because you're difficult, please don't hear that. Oh no, Becks Lynae, it's because you and I are cut from the very same cloth, and sometimes when two people are so similar it can be hard to be student and teacher together.
Becks, you are still the most determined girl. If you make up your mind about something, it can take almost an hour to bend your little will. That is a very long time. But I am praying that those hours add up to a big deposit in your heart that teaches you that there is Someone greater looking out for you. I hope you learn, through our hard fought battles of determination, that that Someone Greater has plans that will blow your mind and far exceed what you could come up with or make happen in your own power; that giving up what you want for something better is not just me "winning a battle", but it's so you can see with your own eyes the Something Better God has in store for you in this life. Relax your will, little one. I love your fire and your passion, but don't let it keep you from a God who will ask you to die to yourself daily.
Becks, you are so unique and beautiful. I love how you like to be alone and need space sometimes. You like to access new situations before you jump right in, and I will forever remember your head buried in my leg at this age when we are in public. And yet, you are so full of life and spunk and fun. I am so deeply thankful you are a part of this family. When they laid your so small body on my chest four years ago, I had no idea how you would make me into a new kind of mother I had not been before your arrival. You require things from me I hadn't had to develop before. You have made me look in the mirror and pray in ways I hadn't. And I will forever be thankful for these gifts you've given me and for what you've taught me and all the things I have yet to learn from you. We continue to pray you are full of integrity, and patience. That you be devoted to God and your people and the work He calls you to and that you live your life with purity.
As I always do, I will end this FOUR year old letter with this: Your dad and I hope you always understand the why behind our no-s. We hope you feel safe in the boundaries we set. We hope you feel freedom in the wide open places we leave for you. We hope you see God in our actions and words. We hope when you leave our little home for good and go out on your own that you'll look back on this simple little life we had together-- chaos and mistakes and messes and all-- and see that it was Grace that held us together; that you see that it was God's daily bread that provided it all.
Happy fourth birthday, Becks Lynae! There is nothing you can ever do that will ever make us stop loving you!