John at four, because how can I not document a birthday on the blog?
He turned four on February 8th, and celebrated with a stomach virus. Bless him. Scott's parents and niece were here, and we had invited a few families from church to eat pizza with us, but we quickly cancelled that when we realized he was sick. So...he spent his birthday lying on the couch. It broke my heart a little bit.
But he felt better by the next afternoon, and our little family of five quickly rallied and picked up an appropriately themed cake and celebrated after all.
At four John is growing up right before my eyes. He is super independent these days. He wants to do everything by himself, and it tries my patience ;) I have to remind myself that I must let him struggle through these essential daily skills if he is going to grow. But goodness gracious the time it takes for him to dress himself or buckle his seat belt or whatever else fills in the blank of things an independent four year old tries to do. He also no longer loves to cuddle with me. He actually reminds me of myself in that way. I am not naturally a hugger or a cuddler and I crave my space. John seems to be that way (unlike Ada!!) At bed time, Scott lies in the bed with Ada and I lie in the bed with John while we read and pray. Well, John wants me in the bed, but he doesn't want me to touch him. And I am only "allowed" to kiss him on the top of his head. I can not kiss his cheek. And one night, after we had a hard day of disobedience and discipline, I was trying to talk to him and have a good moment with him before bed, and he humoured me for a while until he sighed, and said, "can I go to sleep now, mom?" He is my boy, and I already see glimpses of how different that relationship will look from my relationship with Ada.
Though he can still be moody, he doesn't have the strong feelings that I suspected he would have. Things roll off of him a lot, in a way that they don't roll off of Ada. In fact, I really thought he would have a strong reaction to Evie's birth, but it never even phased him. It was as if nothing had changed. He does still seem to be a major introvert, and prefers home and even playing by himself.
At four he creates little pretend worlds all the time, usually involving good guys vs. bad guys and things like "saving the day" and "protecting his family," and things like that. He is very into ninja turtles right now, and daily assigns a different turtle identity to each member of the family. Even Evie becomes a turtle. He had some birthday money, and he used the money to buy a ninja turtle. (he had one other one from a happy meal, which is how the ninja turtle obsession began). Well, a few days ago, he mentioned that he couldn't find the ninja turtle, and as of last night, he still hadn't found it, and we were all becoming concerned. I asked him if he wanted to pray about it, and I reminded him that God knew where it was, even though none of us did. So, we prayed about it, asking God to help us find that ninja turtle. Well, today, we were all gathered in my bedroom (Scott was still at work), while I nursed Evie. John and Ada were just sort of hanging out, and John was looking out the bedroom window, sort of absent-mindedly. All of a sudden he very enthusiastically yelled, "my ninja turtle!!" it was lying in the grass in the front yard, and he happened to notice it while looking out the window!!! He and Ada ran outside to get it, and, I kid you not, he had tears in his eyes because he was so excited to have it back. I reminded him that we had prayed about it, and he said very excitedly, "God found my ninja turtle!" I know it sounds trivial, but to his four year old heart, I was so thankful for this very big deal in his world that begins to reveal truth to him. God is big, so much bigger than us, and when he can't find his ninja turtle, he can turn to God about that.
It's also a big year for John as he shifted from youngest to middle child. He loves Evie so much. All day long he says, "where's my cute girl? How's my cute girl?" And he practically smothers her with his hugs, kisses, and shared toys. Maybe that is the cause of the independent streak--he is stepping into his new responsibility of big brother ;)
We love our John. We are so thankful for him. With Evie, I feel this need, more than ever, to somehow savor this baby stage--soaking in the sounds, smells, cuddles--you know. (as if it is really possible to soak it in or slow down time), but while I am extra-obsessed with Evie ;), I am also seeing how much fun it is to watch my children grow into their God-given personalities. It's so exciting to see who God has created them to be, in a way that I can't see when they are babies. So, as bittersweet as it may be for the years to pass, it's also really fun to watch who John is becoming.