Sunday, December 25, 2011

To my son on his third Christmas

Dear Elias,
This is Christmas #3 for you, and hopefully the last one in Missouri.  We've almost completed an Advent tree, for which you've hung the ornaments after sitting patiently through the stories. 

You've also enjoyed playing with a Hanukkah dreidel and eating gelt (chocolate coins) because I was inspired by your Highlights magazine to incorporate that into our holiday as well. 

This picture pretty much sums up a good bit of your interests right now.

Mrs. B is your best friend and she is talking to your Aflac duck. You enjoy your various stuffed animals conversing with one another.  You also enjoy Spiderman, what little you've seen of him.  You like singing the 1960s cartoon theme song, appropriate because this was a popular meme in the U.S. in 2011. Your other pairs of pajamas are mostly Thomas-related.  

You do a few things that are worth recording for posterity. We scold you for them but I inwardly smile because it shows you have some natural obtuseness.  When we say "Right now!" you reply "Right later!"  When we say "put it right here," you say "put it left here."  When I say "stand up" you say "sit down."  You almost always do what we say so it's hard to categorize your responses as outright defiance. But it shows you cleverly know your opposites want to be your own person. You often will say "no" to something you know is a good idea because it was suggested to you rather than you coming up with it on your own.  

God is showing us some of the ways He has made you special.  You like to be in perpetual motion, whether it be piggybacking on daddy, spinning upside down, or driving your big wheel down the flimsy ramp we made for you in the front yard. You love music, whether it be listening to your Bible verse CDs during nap time, or watching Lawrence Welk reruns on Saturdays, or singing with us at church. You still request to have "room time" in the mornings where you play and listen to your children's music in your room. 

You have a proclivity to memorize things.  You've memorized a dozen or so books, a few memory verses, the Pledge of Allegiance, and countless songs.  You can count to twenty nine in Turkish, and can count in French and Spanish as well.  You're learning to recognize words and read, plus figuring out how to spell; yesterday you almost spelled "train" correctly. Thanks to PBS and the letters we stick on the bathtub. 

You are also off the charts, weighing in at 48 pounds and taller than plenty of kids older than you. I'm pleased about this for you and hope it continues.

Our plan is to be in Turkey this time next year.  You'll be older, wiser, and probably asking a lot of questions. I've enjoyed the last three years because we could pretty much do holidays and such however we wanted as you were none the wiser about how they "should" be.  My promise is to never belittle or grow tired of your questions.

I pray 2012 will be a great year of growth and maturity for you. That you make friends of various cultures and experience things most 3 year old American boys do not.  But always that you will continue to read with us, pray with us, and sing with us.That you grow up to be a Godly man of good character.  That your current contrariness grows into helpful skepticism and a greater curiosity about how the world works. 

I love you very much and hope you one day enjoy more letters from me than I have written thus far.

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