Today is an important day; you are turning four years old. A big milestone. Happy birthday my sweetheart. This past year, we as a family, and you as our baby have been through so much, much more than some people do in a lifetime. I just want to start out by saying that through everything we have been through you have been our beacon, our constant and our hope. Everything seems a lot better when we hear you laugh.
You have grown so much over the past year. Last year at this time, you were a very shy kid who talked a lot with his parents, but very shy with others. This past year you have certainly bloomed, you have become more outgoing, you still talk up a storm, but now you do it with others too.
We have always said you are smart and intelligent. You have started reading, you did start reading when you were three and a half, but you stopped for some reason, but have started again and I am glad. You can math in your head; you can spell words like you have always known them. It is a joy to see you use phonetic sounds to spell out words and read books. Activity books have been your biggest thing this summer. You and I spend hours doing them and you never get bored. You take it as a challenge and do them all. We even finished the kindergarten books; I really need to find something else to challenge you.
You have also moved to your official full time preschool and you love it. The best part you enjoy- homework. You asked me, with your big eyes wide open : “Amma can I ask my teachers to give me lot and lots of homework, I like homework”. My love bug.
This year is also the year you became a big brother. A journey which is still continuing and testing our patience. Patience is a virtue and something we need to learn from you. Ever since I got pregnant you have been waiting for something or the other. The first four months I had terrible nausea and you had to give up mommy time, as I was either in the bathroom throwing up or on the couch wasted out. You had so much understanding of what I was going through and every day when I got home from work you would ask “ Amma do you have to throw up?”. We figured out our own way to spend time- read books, play small games where I could just sit with you and enjoy our time.
Then just when my nausea eased up and we were getting ready to enjoy the rest of the pregnancy, we got the biggest bombshell yet- the CDH diagnosis for your little brother. We did not tell you anything then, as we knew it would be hard for to understand. It changed our lives forever. What was supposed to be fun trip to find the sex of the baby turned out to be a nightmare at that time. You still were the reason sanity prevailed.
Something big happened in April- DISNEY WORLD. A trip which we decided to go on, in spite of the diagnosis, just for you. You have been such a good kid and we wanted to have some family time, just us three before the storm came. We had a lovely time and you enjoyed your entire time there. Everything amazed you, you were a trooper on those rides, even the ones that scared you a bit. We got some super fun family time in. You were especially fond of the princesses, at one point the only boy standing in line to see them J.
Once we got back it was all about preparing for the arrival of your little brother. You fondly named him Amik. A name which you are still on giving up, though you saying Atiksh is one of the sweetest thing I have heard. I have to write about how much you love this little kid even before he came out. Not a day went by without you talking about him. You went through your toys and picked out the ones for Amik. You were determined to share everything you had with him. Every time you talked about him, I cried, out of fear because I knew there was a huge possibility that your little brother might be very very sick and you may never get to meet him. You made this request for a bunk bed and said you would pacify him at nights when he gets scared just like we would pacify you. You told us you would teach him bad things- like eating booger J. At all those times I really wished it would all come true, because the alternative was too hard to think. You deserve a little brother, because you loved him so much even before you met him.
Then July came and I had to move. I explained to you and you seemed to understand. You have has this amazing ability, right since you were very little, to understand complex emotional feelings. Anyone who has met you has commented on your emotional maturity. You stayed with me for a week and when it was time to leave him, you handled that well too. You were sad, but you were a grown up about it and it hurts me sometimes, I wish you were still a kid. I say this and feel this way, but you turn right around and trouble us so much to eat and make us scream and I feel, good, my baby is still a baby J
Yes that is right. You have made eating such a big ordeal these day little man. You better correct it through the course of next year. Something for you to work on in the coming year. Also, soon we will be doing your milk challenge and hopefully you are all set to enjoy some regular ice cream.
This year you have also had a lot of grandparents’ love, which you don’t get often, as they don’t visit that often. Rajee Paati (my mom) has been with us since Januray, that you are now convinced that she is part of our family and will never go back. I dread the day she has to, because I do not think you are prepared. Then July brought all the other- Bakki Thatha (my dad), Balu Thatha (Ajit’s dad) and Sumi paati (Ajit’s mom). You have been pampered like anything, as you are the single source of strength and solace for them all, who are having a tough time too. You say every day that you want them all to be with you forever and you do not want any of them to go back. You also comment to us, your parents, on why we get angry with you, when none of the grandparents ever do. What do I say?
August 18th came and your little brother arrived. When you came to see me Sunday morning, right after he was born, the first thing you told me was “ Amma now can we put a baby sister in your tummy since it is empty”. You have so much love to give my sweetheart, but let us put a hold on that sister reuqest. I believe you also told your thatha-paati that you wanted triplet sisters- I would say that possibility of that is very bleak. I explained to you when you came to see me that your little brother is sick and you said “Why is my baby sick? Why should only he be sick?”. I explained it happens sometimes and that they will fix him, desperately hoping they can. We then took you to show him. He had tubes down his throat and all over him. I would have given anything to take a picture of your face, it was just pure glee to see him- you saw nothing but him, your little brother. You asked, if you can touch him and we let you touch his knee and it as a moment of pure joy.
I would say it was love at first sight, but I know it was love even much before you ever saw him. Every day you would ask, if you can come with us to see him, it is three weeks today, and your enthusiasm has not waned. I tell you, soon, you will get to see him soon and you wait- patiently. I do hope the day comes soon. I know you are dying to help change his diaper, dying to hold him, dying to give him a bottle- it will all happen soon, I know it. Atiksh is going to be a spoiled baby, spoilt by you- his big brother.
I do hope you turning four will be a turnaround in our lives and soon as you wished, we can take Atiksh home and be a family again. I know you wanted him to come to your birthday, it was the plan, it was the plan we made in January. Best laid plans sometimes go awry. I promise you sweety, for your faith and your patience, your little brother will be home soon and I will do everything I can to ensure that.
You need to know that without you, your dad and I will have no sanity at all. After a day at the hospital when we get home and hear your giggle, life seems normal. We laugh, we giggle, we smile, we get mad and live a normal life because of you. You in your way are our biggest strength and Atiksh’s biggest strength. You adjust to what we need to do without any tantrums. I remember, you were going to get a haircut and got in the car, when I had to change the plan and head to the hospital. You immediately said okay and went inside. We took you the next day for your haircut. It may not seem big to others, but I know how much you wanted to go, yet, you understood and for that I am so thankful.
You my love are our constant, our hope, our joy, our solace and our biggest strength. You have sacrificed so much over the past year which I will make it up to you very soon.We wish you many many happy returns of the day on turning four years old. May the next year be filled with the love and joy you so deserve.
Mom & Dad
p.s- Good luck on your first soccer game today.