Happy 4th birthday, my sweet son. I say this every year, but I simply can't believe another year has gone by. If I close my eyes for a moment, I can go right back to the morning I met you after an easy, peaceful birth at our home in the country. I loved you from the moment I knew you were in my womb, I loved you when I held you in my arms, but my sweet boy, how I love you now that you've been part of our family for four whole years!
It is such a joy to watch you learn and grow. This year has brought so many changes for you!
I closed your last birthday letter with an expression of my desire that you start using the potty. Several months ago, I got you to start by calling you, "Baby Joshua," until you started going potty. It worked! And as soon as you did it you said, "Mommy, you can stop calling me Baby Joshua now!" I'm so glad to have that behind us!
You've also learned so much in your role as Big Brother. You are so sweet with Josephine. You take good care of her, you share well with her, and you love her so much. This year has also brought you much closer with Katie and Benjamin as you've matured enough to keep up with their antics. You three are buddies and that brings such joy to my heart!
You enjoy coloring and drawing, playing outside, and all things little boy. You love cars, trains, planes, tools, superheroes (Captain America is your favorite), sports (especially baseball, like Benjamin and Daddy), and playing rough.
A few weeks ago, you woke up from your nap feeling sad. When I asked you what was wrong, you told me you were sad you couldn't be a superhero and fly like Ironman. I explained to you that superheroes were really just pretend, but that you could grow up and be strong and take good care of other people, protecting them from bad guys. It didn't satisfy you perfectly, but it was enough to get you out of your funk.
You are the earliest riser of the four Murchlings, usually up before 7. From the moment you wake up in the morning, you start talking a mile a minute and mostly end your sentences with, "...right?" You are a man of many words. You're also a man who knows what you want. These two qualities are an interesting combination now. They bring us much amusement and some frustration as well. But I know one day the two qualities can be combined for much good--if you learn to harness them! You are a funny, funny boy and keep us laughing too.
Joshua, I can't believe you're four. You add so much sweetness and joy to our family. You tell me you love me a million times a day. The way your blue eyes squint when you smile big melts my heart. I can't imagine life without you and I'm SO glad the Lord gave you to me. You ask me all the time lately, "Mama, you're not ready for me to grow up, are you?" Son, I'm not. Part of me wants to keep you my smiley, sweet little boy forever. But I know I can't do that. So I work to raise you into a godly man and pray (and pray and pray) that the Lord will bless my feeble efforts.
My son, I wish for you all the good things life offers--good health, a successful career, a wife who loves you, children who honor you, but above all these things, I long for you to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. I pray that you'll rise above the temptations of our day and by God's grace be a blameless man. May you live a life of faithfulness, generously loving your neighbor near and abroad, advancing the Kingdom of Christ with diligence, and may you always have joy and peace regardless of your circumstances.
I love you, sweet boy.