Today Jackson the Jedi turns 4.
This is a very big day for such a little boy.
I've been thinking about this birthday coming for a couple months now.
Four is a very big deal.
1 is pretty huge, but it always seemed to me like that birthday was more about the parents celebrating having survived 1 whole year in the same house as a small baby.
2 is wonderful, and it's simple and sweet and fun to look back at 1 and see how much has changed, which between 1 and 2 is almost everything.
3 is a very fun birthday, and probably the first birthday where they have any idea it's their birthday. A special day just for them, and even know they're not sure what to expect, they know that lots of people are there, and everyone is so happy to see them, and they are getting cake and cookies and shiny wrapped presents at every turn.
Four is special because they are four now.
This is for most children the last year of their life before they start going to "real school".
Jack is in preschool, but it's really just daycare if we're being honest with ourselves, and once he's four he only has 1 year left before he starts Kindergarten. This is also the year he moves into the "4's class" which is the last class before the "schoolers class" which is where they put the Kindergarten and 1st graders together.
This is their last year as what some people might still classify a "toddler" even though they're far past toddling.
This is the last year you can get away with calling Jack "the baby".
Sure he'll always be the baby of the family, but you won't be able to say "Hey where's the baby? Is he in his room or out back?" and not get funny looks. When he's five you certainly can't call him the baby.
It just sounds weird.
And four is special because he knows enough now to be excited about his birthday, and even look forward to it.
Almost every day he asks me when he's going to be four, and four will be like.
He's clearly very excited.
Jackson is such a special, sweet boy, and I remember the day he was born so so clearly.
I remember how warm he was when they laid him on my belly.
I remember how soft his then-red hair was.
And I remember how he loved sleeping next to me, even then.
He loved his vibrating bouncy seat, but hated the baby sling.
He loved touching my hair but was scared of his mobile.
He loved water from the time he was born, and bathtime was always his favorite.
I hope he always loves his sister as much as he does right now.
I hope his imagination is always as vivid as it is now.
I hope his wit and sense of humor is always sharp and surprising.
I hope he always has a charming smile and beautiful eyes and a tender place in his heart that makes him look out for girls and smaller kids.
And I hope he always loves airplanes, and is always looking up at the sky.
I love you Jackson Cassidy.
Right up to the moon, and back again.
One hundred million times.