Letter to E: Year Four

Music: “Rollerskate” by Call & Response

Dear E,

You grew so much this last year. At the beginning of the year you still had a bit of toddler shyness about you but now you are very much a big little boy.

You love going places; every morning when you get up you ask me where we’re going today. Your favorite places to visit are the dinosaur museum, the library, and your Aunt Jan’s house. Weekends when our family gets to spend all day together are your favorite.

In general you’re still fairly well-mannered but this year you’ve grown a little sassy. Sometimes when I tell you do something you don’t want to do I’ll hear you muttering, “okay, okay, oKAY” under your breath. And when you keep asking “why?” instead of doing what I asked I find myself channeling the frustration of parents throughout the ages and across the globe and the words “Because I’m your mom!” burst out of my mouth.

But that same sprightliness that makes it difficult to get out the door on time also makes you a lot of fun to have around. I sincerely like going places and spending time with you. You crack me up. You also love being your dad’s little pal and you can’t wait for him to come home in the evening so you can hang out together.

You have an acute sensitivity to the feelings of others that is very endearing. If you sense that someone is a little down or tired you’ll ask them “Are you happy?,” your face full of concern. And if someone bonks their elbow or gets hurt you’re the first to rush over to see if they’re okay and to plant a kiss on their owie.

This year you’ve finally outgrown your crib so we bought you a twin bed for your birthday. We had never had a problem with you climbing out of your crib but I was a little bit worried that you would have issues staying in your new bed. But you transitioned awesomely and now lie down like a champ for your nap and for bedtime.

Your imagination has really bloomed this year. You like to name all your toys “Dommas” which we’re mystified by. You make us songs and silly jokes (current favorite: “How does a monster count to 13? On its head!”) and like to pretend your a robot or a super hero. When we watch Batman cartoons you like to run around the room during the opening credits jumping off the couch and pretending you’re Batman. My favorite part is how you put on your imaginary Batman costume–the gloves, the mask, the pants–before you jump around.

Your imagination can get away from you, though. Halloween really threw you for a loop this year and now you’re afraid of monsters. Going to bed is a little hard because you’re worried about them but we put imaginary force fields around your room and the house which seems to help.

These last couple of months you’ve been more anxious in general. Besides worrying about monsters you don’t like to be separated from your dad or me. Last week, after going to your primary class at church happily for months on your own, you flat out refused and preferred to sit in time out on a metal chair rather than leave your dad’s side.

I think it’s because you’re just starting to realize just how big of a place the world can be, that with your growing sense of independence you need extra reassurance that your mom and dad are here and that we’ll always keep you safe.

It is humbling to see you take these steps towards growing into your own person. It throws me for a loop to realize I have memories from when I was your age. In some ways it feels like dress rehearsal is over and now we’re playing for keeps. I know that I’ve made mistakes as a parent and that I will make many, many more but I hope that as you grow you will view them with same generosity and love that you show us now.

Your dad and I love you so much.



Project: Chessboard

I’ve made my mom a cutting board and a jewelry box but hadn’t had the chance to make a woodworking project for dad yet. So when it became apparent that I would have a little extra time after finishing my spice cabinet I made this chessboard for him out of curly maple and mahogany.

I found some chess pieces online that kind of matched and shipped everything off to my dad for Christmas. Apparently my dad was very impressed with the pieces (and the wooden box they came in) because after saying how much he liked the gift he went on and on about how nice the pieces were and asked me if I made them and the box. I was a little surprised and after I stammered, “Um, no…but I made the fancy chessboard by hand!” there was a little awkward pause. Ah, good times!

After everything’s said and done I’m happy I got the chessboard finished in time for Christmas. It came together pretty quickly and it was fun to make. My dad’s a really great guy; with his health issues it felt good to do something nice for him.

Thanks, IS•LY!

I enjoy following Melissa Esplin’s craft blog IS•LY and so when I saw that she was having a handmade craft challenge in February I entered pictures of one of my cutting boards.

Lo and behold, Melissa selected my cutting board as first place! I’m very honored and excited about winning this great hand-bound book and stickers.

I’ve been meaning to put together a slide show of how I make these cutting boards and now seems like an apt time to do so. (The photos are from the making of two different boards so you might notice some differences but the process is the same.)

Thanks again, Melissa!

Slideshow: A Day in the Life of E.

This was one of our photo assignments for this last week: doing a ‘day in the life’ photo story about someone.

Also, the allergist’s office called yesterday: they had a cancelled appointment open up this afternoon and so they offered it to us. I’m excited that we’re able to get in earlier than mid-October. I hope we’ll be able to get some answers; details to follow on Monday. Have a good weekend!