Thursday, May 8, 2014

To Declan at Four

Dec Man. What do I say about the last year with you?  Last summer you were really sick. I was really scared. It all worked out in the end, but I have to say, in the darkest days I did not know if I would be writing this letter this year. But here we are!!!

You started school this year. You strolled into RKNS like you owned the place. I guess you *have* been going there to drop off and pick up your sister since before you could walk, so it shouldn't have surprised me that you were so comfortable from day one. 
First day of nursery school
RKNS Christmas Concert 2013
  You've always been so quiet and laid-back. I didn't realize how much you were in your big sister's shadow until this year when you burst out on your own. I'm so proud of you when your teacher tells me what a good boy you are. You are smart and funny and well-behaved. Now that your big sister is in school full-time, you take your role as big brother to Ruby very seriously. The two of you are getting to be such good buddies and are always getting into something together. I love to see that you are good friends with both your sisters. Someday your siblings will be an important support to you, your connection to our family, your best friends. I love to see the beginnings of those relationships now.

3 Raine Circus

Last summer, in the midst of your Very Scary Virus, we received a report from your physiotherapist that said you had the gross motor skills of a 20 month old. While we didn't exactly agree with her assessment, we could see that some movements just weren't easy for you. You worked hard at gymnastics, baseball, swimming lessons, bike riding, and playing outside. This winter you started skating lessons and Cross Fit. You have come a long way!! Daddy made you a rink and you have loved playing hockey outside. You are really fast with your one-foot push - Grampy calls you "One Wheel Drive" - and your shot is kind of amazing. Cross Fit has also been so good for you. When you started, you couldn't really bend your knees and now you can do amazing, deep squats. Way to go, buddy.

So many hours out on the rink, playing hockey with Dad
The playstructure is no match for you now.

You are a natural little fish and have been flying through swimming lessons. You ask me almost everyday when summer is coming so you can swim in our pool. I can't wait to see the big adventures you'll have outside this summer!

Goodbye Salamander, hello Sunfish!
This year for your birthday you had a fun friend party with your sisters, cousins, friends from town, and friends from your class. It was great to see you have a special day with your buddies.

Birthday party at Gym Kids

You are the most responsible member of our family, including the adults. You keep close tabs on your clean clothes supply and give me warnings such as "Uh, Mama, you should do some laundry because I only have 2 pairs of clean gitchies left. And maybe you should do it today because if you forget then I'll only have 1." Every request we make of you is met with a cheerful "Awight!" and the thump of your little feet scurrying off to do what was asked.

You are Grampy's little partner in crime. Grandpa Raine is your special buddy, but since Grampy moved to town you know who to go for when you want a treat or a McDonald's craving hits you. You are also Daddy's little spy, though, and Grampy can't sneak over here and borrow anything from Daddy's tool shed without you giving a full report when Dad gets home from work.

Your cousin Landon is your best friend. The two of you are like brothers when you get together, which is so special, especially since Rylan went to be an angel. 

Dec, you are a great kid. You had to grow up fast when Ruby was born before you could even walk, and I wonder if that's what has made you an old soul. You've always been easy going, mellow, and quiet. But more importantly, you are kind, and generous, and sensitive to how other people feel. You are a unique combination of mischievous little boy and seasoned old man, all rolled into one. But I'm glad that you're not too big to crawl into my lap with your blanky, at least for another year.