Dear Babies: 4-Years
I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that my little girls are 4-years-old. From teensy tiny little preemies at 3 and 4 lbs to walking, talking, thinking, independent, crazy, little girls. It’s nuts, I tell you.
Here we continue the letters that I’ll eventually give to the girls when they’re older and here they are together for their 4-year photo shoot:
This year for their birthday we had a family party at the American Girl store. They both picked out a Bitty Baby…the same one. I thought it fitting that they should be a part of the photos.
Here you are at 4:
My little 4-year-old. I love you so much it hurts sometimes. You have really grown up this year into a person all your own. People get you confused with your sister all the time but you guys are really so different. I think because I’m around you so often I can see the differences more than the similarities. As you go through childhood and adolescence, I think people will group you and your sister together more often than not, but I want you to know that we see how different you really are from each other. You’re most definitely not the same person despite how much you look physically similar. You have many (okay most) of the same mannerisms, but you use them in spectacularly different ways. Even being similar to your sister makes you unique in a way that only you and Teagan will ever share. I love being witness to it every day.
This year, Boston, you and Teagan really started to assert your own personalities and started taking interest in different things. For example, we have now taken both ballet and gymnastics. While Teagan really loves ballet (i think it’s the pink, the grace and the music) you love gymnastics (I think it’s the physical activity, the running and the variety of activities). You guys came to us to ask if Teagan could take ballet and you could take gymnastics. Pretty cool. You’re very good at gymnastics. You are strong and coordinated. You got out there as a very young and small beginner and figured that bar right out. Soon you were doing all of the required class circuits on your own. You overcame your fear of heights and swift movement this year in gymnastics. It is one of the memories of you that I will lock away in my heart forever. You declined the high swing a couple of classes in a row when you first started gymnastics (you don’t even take your hands off of us when we swing you by your feet…no way you were getting on that swing). One class, though, I was sitting and watching as your group got to the swing and you decided you were going to do it. You got up and I could see the fear in your eye but your determination to get up there was stronger. You asked the teacher not to swing you very high (the swing probably went 20 feet up) and you did it. All by yourself. You amazing, strong, brave girl. It might not seem like that big of a deal some day when you read this, but I think it’s a little glimpse of what is to come from you. If I had to guess, I think you’ll hang back a bit in life and let others be first (an amazing quality, I believe…I wish I had more of that in my own personality). You’ll observe first, but when it comes time, you’ll be brave. You’ll speak out when you need to. You’ll do things differently than the other kids, coworkers, classmates or peers. When you do something, though, you’ll be great at it. I can’t wait to see it. I’m so proud of you.
This year you and Teagan have fought a lot as you started to assert your independence and become your true selves. I think many people are under the impression that identical twins don’t fight and they’re surprised to learn that you act just like any other sisters. You fight. A lot. Sometimes it makes me crazy. You compete with each other at times. However, you also have an amazing bond. You still understand each other better than anyone else on this planet. You even understand Addy better than anyone else. If I can’t understand something she’s saying, I can ask you and you almost always know. You and Teagan can’t be separated for long periods of time. We thought about putting Addy with you to sleep because you both sleep more than Teagan does, but you both quickly put the kibosh on that. You guys get upset when one doesn’t wake the other up in the morning and you’re in your room alone. What one gets, the other gets in your eyes. What one can do the other can do in your eyes. I sing the “anything you can do I can do better” song to you at least once a day. You are both very attune to the other though. If one of you is sick, the other is sad. If one is hurt, the other is upset. You love each other very much. I am sure this will continue all of your lives and I wonder what it will be like if you decide on different colleges or when you guys get married. Will it be hard on you? I am sure it will.
You are very close with Addy, Boston. Closer than Teagan, who is the louder and more gregarious of the two of you most of the time (not that you’re quiet, because that is NOT the case). You love to be a caregiver for your baby sister. You tell everyone she is “your baby.” You make sure she’s taken care of. You concern yourself with her well-being and play with her one-on-one more than Teagan does. She loves Addy and I’ve seen them becoming much closer toward the end of this year, but there’s something between you two that is special. I wonder sometimes if the three of you will be inseparable when you get older. Will you share the same group of friends? Will you guys always do things together?
Boston, you and I are very similar in many ways and one of those ways is our love of sleep. You still remain my best sleeper. You go to bed without a fight (most nights), you’d take a nap if I let you, you sleep in, you hardly ever wake up in the middle of the night. You love your sleep. Me too, Bean, me too! You also blow your lid when you’re pushed too far like me and you get bored easily (but let’s ignore that right now). You’re amazingly similar to your dad as well. You’re very caring and sensitive like he is. You worry about people like he does and you are kind-hearted like him. When I see you interacting socially with other kids, I notice that you let others take from you and say nasty things to you and you don’t say a word. Daddy doesn’t like it. He wants you to push back at times, but I love it. I know it means that being nasty isn’t part of you. You’re very caring and I love it about you. These are some of the things I love the most about your daddy and I’m so happy to see these characteristics are part of your personality as well. Someday, if you choose, you’re going to be such a good mommy.
This year, you’re still sucking your right thumb, you are super tall and skinny, your hair grew so much I had to have 6 inches cut off of it, your hair is very fine and curly (which makes combing time a chore), you love fruit snacks more than life itself, you love to pray at dinner, you love to play pretend, you get so excited when your daddy gets home from work, you love disney movies and characters (especially Ariel), you don’t like pizza sauce (just like your mama), you want one-on-one attention from your parents, you love snuggles, you hate cleaning up after yourself, you hate clothes (all of them, no matter what…no), you love to dance and play games, and your laugh is infectious.
I love you Beanie Bean. I really do. You guys teach me something new every day. Being your mom is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life and I’m worried that I am failing a lot, but when I see you being sweet to others and becoming a strong little girl, I know we must be doing something right. God blessed me with you. He knew that you were just what I needed.
Happy 4th birthday, baby girl.
Here you are at 4:
What a big girl you are, Teagan. Of all my children you are the one that is most like me in personality. I know this because we butt heads the most of any of my children. You are loud, you are crazy, you are sneaky at times, you make a huge mess and don’t want to clean it up, you are the first to say you’ll do something (very brave), you’re a fighter, you’re witty and you love sweets. You also got some great qualities that I see in your daddy. You’re caring, you are very concerned about the well-being of others (especially feelings of animals and other poeple), you are very affectionate and you are silly. If I had to guess, I think that you and I are going to have a rough go when you’re a teenager and you’re becoming more independent but we’ll also become very close when you’re a bit older. Kinda like it was with my mom. Who knows, though, you could surprise me…I hope you do sweet girl, I want to be very close to you as you’re growing up. I hate fighting with you. I really do.
Teagan. Look at this picture. It’s so you. SO YOU. You are sassy and full of personality. You’re so dramatic at times and you’re hilarious. When I told you to “go over there and stand so I can take your picture,” this is what you gave me. I love it. You keep us very entertained and busy, Teagan. You have great ideas for games and projects that you talk your sisters into playing with you (much to your mother’s chagrin, might I add). You’re getting so big. You love playing pretend and you’re an excellent mommy. If you were going to be a princess this year, you’d be Merida. You decided on Merida from Brave for Halloween this year and you really talk about her a lot still. I can’t wait to take you to Disney to see all of the characters. Of all of my kids, you’re going to love it the most, I just know it. You are all in on the princess thing so I know this trip is going to blow your mind. I am going to take a lot of pictures of it. I know this stage isn’t going to last forever and I want you to remember what it feels like to believe in fairytales. You might look back and think this is silly but it really is part of you. You wake up talking about princesses and go to bed talking about them.
This year you really showed me that you’re 100% girl. You love pretty things, fluffy things, cute things, tiny things, pink things…if it’s made for a girl, you NEED it! You loved ballet and you asked if you could take ballet over gymnastics this year. So, Addy got you some new ballet shoes for Christmas and we’re going to be starting in a couple of weeks. I hope you always love dance. I love to dance so much. I didn’t take dance classes when I was younger but I always wished that I did. I’m so glad that you like it and I get to watch you enjoy it. It’s one of the best parts about being a mom. We get to go back and be little every so often with you.
This year you and Boston have fought a lot as you started to assert your independence and become your true selves. I think many people are under the impression that identical twins don’t fight and they’re surprised to learn that you act just like any other sisters. You fight. A lot. Sometimes it makes me crazy. You compete with each other at times. However, you also have an amazing bond. You still understand each other better than anyone else on this planet. You even understand Addy better than anyone else. If I can’t understand something she’s saying, I can ask you and you almost always know. You and Boston can’t be separated for long periods of time. We thought about putting Addy with B to sleep because they both sleep more than you do (you’re killing me with the sleep, kid), but you both quickly put the kibosh on that. You guys get upset when one doesn’t wake the other up in the morning and you’re in your room alone. What one gets, the other gets in your eyes. What one can do the other can do in your eyes. I sing the “anything you can do I can do better” song to you at least once a day. You are both very attune to the other though. If one of you is sick, the other is sad. If one is hurt, the other is upset. You love each other very much. I am sure this will continue all of your lives and I wonder what it will be like if you decide on different colleges or when you guys get married. Will it be hard on you? I am sure it will.
You love Addy very much. You’re very protective of her (you’re the most protective child) and Boston. You will stand up for them and you will be the first to try something to make sure it’s safe. I love that about you. I hope you’ll always stand up for yourself and what you believe in…even if it’s not popular. It has been my experience that most things that are worth fighting for aren’t popular. Remember that. If it’s important…go get it, girl. You can do it. I am sure of it. I can see that if you want something in life, you have the personality to just go for it even if others might not. I hope you won’t let the failures that you’ll inevitably face hold you back as you learn and get older. That’s the thing with being the first to do something or trying something new. Sometimes you’re going to fail at it. The key is dusting yourself off and trying again, trying something new. You have it in you, I know you do.
This year you’re still sucking your left thumb, you’re sneaky, you’re very loud, you love to sing and dance, you have fine curly hair (which makes combing it a chore), you don’t want to wear clothes unless it’s a dress-up dress, you don’t love routine, you make huge messes and hate cleaning up, you want to stay up at all hours of the night, you decided you were done with naps, you take care of your sisters, you are learning very fast, you are changing right before my eyes, you’re very tall and skinny, you talk with your hands, you love sweets and treats, you like to run and wrestle with your sisters, you think you are going to become a princess, you are dramatic and amazingly sweet.
I love you Teagan. I love when you snuggle me and tell me that you love me. You teach me something new every day and most of it is about love and patience. God blessed me with you. He knew you were just what I needed on my path. I hope I am as good of a mother to you as you are a daughter to me.
Happy 4th birthday, T.