A Letter to my Son on his 4th Birthday

To my baby on your 4th birthday,

Because of you, I am a mom. I am a completely different person than I was 4 years ago.

I am a better person and I have you to thank for that.

I love you more than I can tell you. I am proud of the person you are and the one you’re becoming.

Sometimes I wonder what the future will be like for you because honestly, the world can be a really shitty place. It can feel terrifying at times, especially as a parent. I want to shelter you and protect you from the bad things in life and in the world (though I know I won’t always be able to).

For now, I want you to enjoy being 4, loving life and seeing nothing but good in the world. On your 4th birthday I want share 10 reasons I love you and 10 hopes I have for your future.

There is so much I love about you, but here are 10 that I think about on a regular basis:

  1. I love that you tell me, unprompted, that you love me and that you ask if we can snuggle.
  2. I love that you can spend hours building Lego and have so much fun pretending to be Super heroes.
  3. I love that you also love art and Pinterest, and like spending time being creative.
  4. Even though others don’t always appreciate this, I love that you’re not afraid to cry.
  5. You make me proud when you’re able to calm yourself down when you’re upset. I love that you try to do that.
  6. I love that you can whisper really well and I love the quiet conversations we have in the middle of the night.
  7. I love that you are a goofball and love laughing. You make me laugh on a daily basis.
  8. You’re helping me learn to be a better person and I love you and thank you for that.
  9. Even though you don’t always get it right, you’re usually polite and respectful of others. I love you for this.
  10. You’re a fantastic big brother. My love for you grows when I see the love you have for him. I wish you wouldn’t harass him in the next breath, but it’s okay- you’re 4.

For a while now you’ve been telling me you’re not a baby. I tell you I know you’re not a baby- you’re a little kid.

But I try to explain that you’ll always be my baby.

I think you sort of understand. And, even though you’re definitely not a baby, and before I know it you won’t even be a kid anymore, I want to let you know what I hope for you in your lifetime. First of all, I hope you have a very long life ahead of you, but more than that, here is what I hope for your life:

  • I hope that you are happy. There will be sadness in life, but I hope there is mostly happiness.
  • I hope that you find someone to love who loves you in return. I don’t care who that person is as long as they love and respect you. But bonus points if I like them too.
  • I hope that you go to, and graduate from, college. I don’t know what the world will be like when you’re done with high school and what value will be placed on college, but I do want you to go. And to graduate.

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  • I hope you don’t have to stress about money. You don’t need a lot of it- you just need enough and you need to be smart about it (We’ll do our best to teach you about this).
  • I hope you know that you can always talk to us. Even if you mess up. We’re here.
  • I hope you don’t mess up so badly that you alter the path of your life in a negative way. Yes, shit happens and people make choices that they may not understand the consequences of, but I hope that you know right from wrong and keep yourself out of trouble.
  • I hope that you become a respectful, tolerant human who is willing to stand up for others. I don’t want you to ever be the bully. Or be bullied. You can stand up for yourself.
  • I hope you learn empathy, effective communication, and anger management. We will try to teach you about all of these.
  • I hope you understand the importance of hard work. Yes, we will give you a lot in life. But we are your parents. The rest of the world is not like this- you will need to put in work and not expect that things will be handed to you.
  • I hope you find something fulfilling to do with your adult life. Since hard work is necessary, I’d love it if you enjoy the work that you’re doing.

There you have it, my baby. On your 4th birthday, this is what I love about and hope for you. I also hope you have a fantastic 4th year.

Love you,



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