You’ll often hear me joke that we’re simply graduating from the “Terrifying Threes” to the “What the Fours,” but no matter what comes out of your father’s cynical, hardened mouth, I want you to know that you’re a pretty great kid.
I’m plenty hard on you—your little brother is literally copying your every move right now, so I need you to be a good role model for him—but it’s all because I want you to become the best you possible. You won’t get this until you’re much, much older, but the time I spend as your Dad often makes me reflect on my childhood, realising much of what I hated my parents for back then became the life lessons that make me who I am today. It won’t be easy for you—unfortunately, I’ll likely make sure of it—but I hope you’ll eventually realise I’m doing it to make the best you possible.
Through our great moments—wrestling, cuddling and our excellent “Good Morning” routines for your classmates—and the not so great ones, like when you cry over things I don’t see as issues and or where you refuse to eat and later complain over your hunger… I hope we can sit down sometime in the future, laughing about this over a beer.
You make me laugh, make me shout, and on the rare occasion make me cry (but I don’t break easy, sir), but I’m happy to call you my son and it’s great to see what you contribute to your world. You’re clever, compassionate and really good at making friends—though my focus is on rules, manners and obedience, you have what it takes to become a far better person than your Dad is, and I hope you always know that.
What the Fours — Let’s Make This an Amazing Year!
It’s hard to believe you’re already four, and even looking back at old photos and your younger brother, you already stand out so much as your own person. You’re a little ball of energy who loves experimenting with his hands, and the more I learn about you, the more I want to support your strengths and interests so you never live a life that doesn’t align with your values.
All that said, happy birthday to you. You’ve celebrated with Mom and ate an opulent McDonald’s dinner as per your request. I hope you’ve had a great day, kiddo—here’s to many more!