It’s been exactly one month since you turned 4. I remember how, with the encouragement and reminder from your sister, you couldn’t wait to be 4 a week prior to your birthday.
You woke up every morning with such big smiles on your face, announcing your would-be birthday celebration. And each day you did that, you didn’t know that you were reminding me to write you a letter, on your birthday, for every single birthday that you’ll have.
I was gutted I couldn’t fulfil it then because the last 2 months had been pretty crazy. In fact, we almost did not celebrate your birthday for many reasons:
we had just moved to a new country
we have only just started to live in our new home
I had an eye infection
you didn’t have any friends yet for us to invite
I couldn’t bake you the cake you asked for
we couldn’t find a nice cupcake which we would always have as our family tradition for birthdays
and most importantly, it so happened that 1st June was the day your Papa started his new job.
In short, your birthday was going to be a bummer.
But we could not let that happen; especially not when you have been pretty crazy-excited about it. Not having one would not be fair.
So we haphazardly decided on a small family celebration with a simple cake, a visit from your Oma and Opa but without Papa or your familiar Bangkok friends. So haphazard that we almost couldn’t get you a cake and we even forgot the candles! Still, you were nothing but a sport. You went along, blowing imaginary candles and had a blast stuffing your face with the cake and the chocolate pieces. It was a delight to watch you.
You made quite a big deal on turning 4. I find it hilarious (sometimes embarrassing) that you have no qualms telling anyone, everyone and strangers on the streets of your upcoming birthday and continued on to tell everyone that you are now 4 and a big boy. One time, you approached a much older boy in front of me at the cashier in a supermarket.
Being the friendly chap that you always are, you said hi, told him your name and then continue to tell, wait…announce to him that you are Superman. Loudly.
Oh boy! If only you understood the expression on his face! I had to laugh at your antics and cheek-palm myself while you were at it as the boy was trying to make sense of you. At least he said hi back and tell you his name.
Sometimes, I just wish being the friendliest, happy-go-lucky, smiley and mild personality guy would be the only thing you do. You have given us several heart attacks with your daredevil acts. Perhaps it’s your age in which you harbour no sense of real danger or fear, but if we look at other kids your age, most tend to be cautious before they attempt something.
With you, you just go!
You did that recently with your first cycling attempt without side wheels. You went on the first trial and you go. You were able to get your balance and cycle in one minute! We were so proud of you.
But you also would “just go” with other things.
You are a water rat with a penchant for big slides, a climbing monkey with a curiosity for heights, a socket poker with an obsession for buttons/switches, a jumper, a runner, a slider, a smasher into people and/or things with such great speed that sometimes, it is impossible to stop you in time before you hurt yourself.
People tell me that it’s because you are a boy and those traits are atypical. Much like your obsessions with cars, wheels, heavy machinery and recently “flying bicycles that do loops”. I’m sure it is atypical and it’s a good thing to live your life without fear. I’ve seen how your eyes just light up when you get the adrenaline rush during a supervised session.
You love that ticklish feeling in your stomach you said. I hate the rush of blood in my heart.
But for now, bear with me. I think I’ll have to nag a while more to continue educating you on the fine line between thrill and down-right dangerous. Like it is absolutely OK to jump feet-first into a pool (supervised for now) but it is an absolute no-no to be jumping in the bathtub or the toilet like you would jump into the pool!
Not that I enjoy nagging, neither am I one to bubble –wrap you, nor it is my intention to fill you with fears because I completely condone you doing all the boys’ stuff. But! With you, there had been too many near-misses cases of when accidental accidents from your fearless nature would spell disaster.
So, I’ll continue to repeat myself with this: I’d rather you cry than us crying. Besides, you are only 4. You have a whole life ahead of you. I know, I know… it’s complicated, and someday you will understand.
Other than that, we love your contagious smiles, your easy-going nature, your adorable demeanour and your love for snuggles, kisses and hugs. Your sensitivity to other people’s feelings is out of this world. With so much compassion in such a tiny body, I’m looking forward to seeing you grow into a fine gentleman.
Bedtime is preferably still at 6.30 pm, but we can stretch it to no later than 7.30 pm. Sometimes. Not every day.
Happy belated birthday my dear, darling Squirt. You really have been a joy to hang out with. I promise you that this year will be yet another exciting year to add more amazing years to your life.
And you know what? It started with you being the first in the family to have the inaugural birthday celebration in a whole new different continent and in our new home. That, my boy, was pretty exciting!