No one makes me swear as much as you do. Goddamn it, stop! Did you hear me? Get down! Sshhh! Go to sleep, get back here, you know better than that, it's not funny, don't you dare...god fucking damn it, look at me!
And when you do.
Your eyes are the most beautiful hazel, your lips red and always wet. Sometimes you curl them in a way that can only be described as a shit-eating grin. Funny how a love letter to a 4 year old could have so many bad words, but this is you, the very best boy who brings out the very worst words. Because goddamn fucking-A, how I love you feels like a well-timed bad word exploding inside my head, my chest, uncontrollably, viscerally, everythingally.
You test me. Poke your fingers at my edges, look at me knowing full well, and sometimes I fail that test. Like lately. We need to break him, I said the other day, only half joking. Like a horse, break his spirit so he behaves, but of course I don't want that. Would not let that happen. You are exactly who you are and exactly as you should be, and I will live my life protecting your spirit, your you-ness, even if that means I hold your hand as you walk across the tops of fences. Because at night when I lie beside you trying to get you to sleep, you turn your head to kiss me with your eyes closed, your cheeks sucked in, lips puckered like a fish. And just as if I were truly underwater, I cannot breathe but also know that there is no need to panic.
So here we are. Tomorrow when we wake up you will be 4. And just like every morning I will start the day telling myself not to lose it. But goddamn it Oz, you funny, whiny, silly, smart, button-pushing, creative little Mister Man of a boy. If there is one thing I need you to listen to me when I say, it is that I love you. With every expletive you are not allowed to use. Just the way you are.
Happy birthday sweet boy,
3--didn't write one last year :(
Right before you were born