Dear Cooper,

Today you are four.


Four is big.  Grown up, almost.  Certainly not a baby, anyway.  Four means you can do stuff for yourself, without me.  Four means, that as a full time caregiver, I am nearly obsolete.

At four, I'd say your personality and your disposition are pretty well formed.

Sometimes when I look at you, I think you got all the best bits and pieces of your daddy and me, and none of the unpleasantness.

From me you got your wacky sense of humor, your innate sense of right and wrong, and your killer dimple.  From your daddy you got your instinctive abilities with all things electronic, your long, lanky frame and your gorgeous chocolate eyes.

You are an old soul with an understanding of life and people that goes far beyond what you should know and feel at four years old.  It astounds me.

You notice everything.  Everything.  It teaches and humbles me every day to stop what I'm doing, my mad dash of MOVEMENT, to see just a fraction of the things you can see and point out to me.

Sometimes you are content to just BE for minutes or hours, without entertainment of any sort, except for whatever's going on in your own mind.  There are so many lessons there I hardly know where to start, and I am certain that you didn't learn that sense of peace and calm from anyone you know.  It's just part of who you are.  And it's amazing.

You are funny.  You love to make people laugh, and sometimes you don't understand why everyone isn't as funny or as quick to laugh as you are.  Me neither, kid.  Me neither.

You love me and your daddy so very, very much, and your hugs every morning are the best part of my day.  A hug with no strings attached, no expectations, nothing but pure love and joy is a rare and precious gift, and you give it to me every day, without expecting anything in return.  But for as much as you love us, you love your big brother a little bit more.  And that's ok.  He feels the same way about you, too.

Some days you tell me that when you grow up, you will be a firefighter, so you can save all the kitties that are stuck in trees.  Some days you tell me you want to be an airplane pilot, or an astronaut, so you can fly high into the sky.  Sometimes you want to be a superhero, or a cowboy, or a doctor who takes care of sick animals.  It will be an amazing journey to see where you end up.

Right now your world is pretty small, but over the next few years it will begin to grow and expand,  and you will start to find your place in it.

Oh, and what a place it will be!  Thank you for letting me watch it, and be a part of it.



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