The Big Four

7 Dec

Dearest James,

Your birthday passed just a few days ago and I’ve been struggling to sit down and write this.  Your birthday is meant to be a joyous celebration, and it certainly is!  But it is also a painful reminder to me that you are growing up.  Yes, you are only four—it’s not like you are moving out of the house any time soon, I know, I know.  But, your baby days are long gone, and everything that is sentimental in me wells up at the thought of you turning into a big boy.


When I think about one word that describes you, it is most certainly *big.*  The most obvious is your size and the fact that you and Jonah can pretty much share clothes and shoes even though he is 2 1/2 years older than you.  You wear your Dutch genes well.

2014-08-30 13.27.16 You have a big personality.  When you are around, there is an energy and demand for attention that cannot be overlooked.  You crack yourself up (your daddy has no idea where you get that from), you sing at the top of your lungs, and make a general ruckus wherever you go.  Where there is noise…there is James.

2014-03-23 16.30.53

Your heart—your love—your intense hugs…yes, they are all very, very big.  Every. Single. Nap and Bedtime you wrap your arms in a strong hold around my neck as I lean in to give you a kiss.  You squeeze and plead, “Don’t leave.  I just love you so much.”  And even when I try to pull away, you squeeze so tight that I literally cannot escape your bear hug.  This always ends in a giggle fest, and ultimately you get me to stay and snuggle…every single time.   

As you are growing, your capacity to learn amazes me.  Simply from listening to your siblings recite long scripture passages from the bible, you walk around recalling them without a single error.  The first time we heard you do this, Annie, Jonah and I stared at each other in disbelief, wondering how in the heck you had just flawlessly recited the entire Parable of the Good Shepherd.  You prefer having chapter books with more sophisticated plots read to you over picture books, and you are still obsessed with all things puzzles.  In the last few months, you have mastered 100 piece puzzles and I’m sure that in no time you will be moving on to our collection of 200 pieces.


You also began atrium this year and you are absolutely loving it.  You are entering into a beautiful relationship with our Lord.  Just the other day, we were praying through the Prophecy of the Light:  “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light”  (Isaiah 9:2).  And when wondering about that great light, you immediately exclaimed, “It was Jesus!”  We talked about being in the darkness and you explained, “I’m not scared of the dark because Jesus’ light is always with me.  Plus, I have my nightlight, so I can always see with those two things.”  You get it, buddy.  It is my greatest prayer that you remain in that light. 

As is the tradition, I interviewed you today to capture all the favorites in your current 4 year old world:

What is your favorite color(s)?

Green and blue

What is your favorite sport?  Why?

Playing hockey because I like hitting the puck

Who is your favorite friend?

Owen because he likes to play with guns.

What do you like to do during your “free time?”

I like to color, do puzzles and play trains and dress up as a firefighter and play with my trucks.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A paleontologist and a basketball player (since I don’t even know how to play basketball).

What is your favorite and least favorite meal?

Favorite is Beef and Noodle

Least favorite is broccoli and stir fry

What is your favorite dessert?

Chocolate cake with homemade chocolate chip ice cream

What is your favorite and least favorite subject in school?


Least Favorite=I love all the school works.

What do you like to do with Annie and Jonah?

Play games and pretend stuff. I also like to play trucks with them on my car rug.

What do you like to do with your family?

Watch movies, read books, and play Sequence.

What is the most important thing that you know about God?

That he is the light of the world. He came first as baby Jesus and was born in a manger. Then he got to be the big Jesus. We know about Him from the Bible. He died on the cross and rose again. Now He is in Heaven.

You got it, buddy.  Now if I could just hit PAUSE and keep you in your four year old glory, my heart would be most appreciative.  But, alas, you are getting big…and, so, my heart grows with you, as you continue to teach me what it means to love and be loved with your big personality tucked into your big four year old body.

I love you, buddy!




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