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To my son on your fourth birthday.

You, running your first race (age 3).

Tonight is the last time your father and I will put you to bed as a three-year-old, tomorrow you will be four. We brag about how great of a toddler you are especially compared to a difficult colicky ten month start to life. The truth is you aren't a toddler anymore and I'm scared. 

You asked me when I put you to bed if we can still give kisses and hugs when you are four and my heart ached for how innocent you are. I know that the coming years will be filled with difficult conversations and incredible memories but sometimes I wonder about the world we have brought you into. This world is not always kind and I worry about your perfectly imperfect existence in it but I know that you have qualities that this world desperately needs. 

You, one day old. 


You have faith in Jesus, family, and friends. You have yet to experience death in your world or had to make tough choices in regards to friendships. I pray that when you approach both of these situations in the coming years that you understand that Jesus has a plan for you and that we will not always understand the path that Jesus has set for us but that we must have faith that we are exactly where we need to be. 


You are generous. You want to open our home to everyone that needs one and feed everyone that we can. As you have gotten older I can see that you are more interested in material things. I pray that we can guide you to realize that material things do not last and that your actions will speak volumes over your possessions. 

Your first birthday. 


You have an awesome sense of humor. I love that you can be silly without worrying about what others think of you.  Life is tough and sometimes in those moments when you have done everything you can to get through you just have to look around and laugh. Help make others laugh and try not to take everything so seriously.  


You have yet to be persuaded by stereotypes and I pray that we have done a good job to prevent that. You always see the best in people and you are open-minded about what others think. You will learn soon that this world is very divided and those that are open-minded will be the ones to help reconnect the division. You are so articulate and I pray that what my generation has yet to fix your generation can find the bridges that we desperately need to change the world.  

Your first haircut, (1.5 years old)


You forgive quicker than anyone I know. Those moments when mommy and daddy are just not doing a great job parenting and we apologize for our short tempers, bad workdays, and long work hours you forgive us without even considering an alternative. I have found this a difficult trait to hold onto as I grow older. I pray that you continue to forgive others just as easily as you want to be forgiven.  Do not, however, confuse forgiveness for weakness. Forgive but do not let yourself be taken advantage of.  

Riding your bike, (3 years old). 

There are many more qualities that you possess that make you who you are. I love that you are not afraid to be yourself and I pray that you continue to be confident in who you are. I can't wait to celebrate this birthday with you and all the birthdays that we have in the future. 

The days can be long, the years are always short, and you are loved beyond measure. 

~Mom and Dad 

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