Today you woke up to balloons. I don’t know what your reaction to them was because you ran downstairs to see if presents were ready to open before even stopping by our room to wake us up. I love you for that. You and Michael played in the balloons and searched for presents while Dad and I gathered up your sister and the pile of presents we hid in our room.
When we came down stairs you did your signature Joy Dance. I love when you do this because I know you are happy and we have done something right. The pure excitement and joy you are feeling can not be contained and you do your little jig. I goes a little something like this: You gasp, your eyes grow to the size of flying saucers, every muscle from your toes to your nose flex tight and then in one quick explosion of joy you hop in place three time while clapping four times.
After you do you your dance you always look a little sheepish. I don’t know why because it is the sweetest thing and nothing makes me happier than to see you do that hop and clap combo.
You are our middle child but there is nothing middle about you. You have the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and you swing between those extremes like Tarzan through a jungle. You are sensitive, so very sensitive. However, you are not sensitive in a way that makes you weak. No, that is so far from the truth that it is laughable. You are sensitive in the way that allows you to read your audience and work them like a puppet master. You can manipulate everyone around you with a look.
If I was a pageant mom you would already have film credits under your belt. Your big and expressive eyes and notorious furrowed brow belongs center stage. You make me laugh like no one else can and you infuriate me in a way that makes me angry to the core of my being but all of that makes me love you even more. I don’t know how you do it but you have manipulated me too!
Your manipulation is topped of with a sweet shyness that allows you to get away with it all. This sweet shyness helps you get away with the worst of crimes with just a time out. For example, when you took a seam ripper to our sectional and “sawed” it to look like prop in a slasher movie. I have no proof (because you are THAT good) but I am sure that you are behind 90% of all the devious acts that you and your brother commit.
You are 5 weeks into preschool and I feared that your sweet, shy, master manipulator personality would be perceived as a Dennis the Menace class trouble maker but yet again you have surprised me and proved me wrong. Your teachers love you. They call you their little helper and that you have stepped up as a leader in the classroom. This makes me more proud (and relieved) than you will even know.
You and Michael are inseparable and you make such a great team. Michael and you have a give and take, leader and follower, teacher and student relationship that is so simple and complex at the same time. Some how you two are able to the best of friends and still swap roles of leader and follower seamlessly. On almost a daily basis I am asked if you two are twins. You look nothing alike but you get along like you can’t function without each other. Seeing you step up and become a leader in your Preschool class proves how strong and what a great kid you are.
One of your best qualities is generosity. When we were collecting toys to take to the youngest of the flood victims in Minot you didn’t hesitate to hand over some of your most prized toys. You understand beyond your years what others are feeling. You can empathize in a way that most adults can’t. You don’t like to see people hurting and you seem to know just how to remedy that hurt be it a cuddle and a smile or a favored toy. You giving spirit is unparallelled.
I love you Patrick James you are growing in ways that baffle me everyday. You are becoming a boy. You are not a toddler. You are far from baby. You are transitioning out of little boy faster than we can buy clothes for your long legs. I can’t believe that you are four years old.
Happy Birthday to my master puppeteer, my sweet shy boy, to my middle son that has no middle ground. Happy Birthday Patrick James. I can’t wait to see what year four brings. I am braced for anything because with you that is the only way to get through the day! I love you buddy.