Two weeks ago you turned forty seven months old.

All we have heard about, since December!, is your birthday party. Sometimes you tell people you are four as if that will magically transport you to a party already in progress celebrating you. (It doesn't.) You are the definition of slow to warm up, and it has taken you four years on Earth to come to love birthdays. I hope your special day is as every bit special as you're hoping it will be.

We have entered the phase of WHY. But you don't exactly ask Why? as much as you want definitions for things that are better left undefined. Like church. What is a church? Goodness. Where do I begin? I think this is the core of parenthood: A million answers flooded my brain and all I could manage to mutter was, It's where people go to be together.

I read a book on sexuality a long time ago and it made it clear that children want literal answers to literal questions. Where do babies come from? Mom. The end. Two years later, that'll get redefined, but at that moment it's literally WHERE. Except you saw your sister come out of me, so we'll never have to go there, but you get the idea and that's how I've tried to keep it when answering complicated questions from you. But I'm beginning to sense this is just the tip of the parenting iceberg.

As I sit here, finishing this letter, I'm thinking about next month, and how you will be four. I think three has been hard. I think the odd years always are. I see peace and growth next year. I see a more confident and capable child. You asked me if four is when you'll be big and I think you're onto something. Four is going to be grand, my dear, I can feel it.

Happy Forty Seventh Monthday.