This is the year that you will turn four, but not for many more months. You have to be three first. Being three means that you will decide about more things for yourself. You may decide to stop eating something that you used to like. But tell mommy its okay because you’ll eat it again later, maybe when you are ten or eleven. And you will tell the people in your life what you want. Even if you have to repeat it several times, or say it really, really loudly. You may get frustrated when things don’t go your way, take toys from other children and may even push them. But you’ll appreciate hearing how to manage those feelings and are able to change your behavior. That means caring and understanding adults will have to support you through it. You’ll examine your sense of what is right and wrong. But not inside your head. You’ll try things. A lot of behaviors will surprise your mom and dad. But by the end of this year, you’ll start helping other people manage their behavior. You’ll be telling adults not to smoke, to drive more slowly and what to buy at the grocery store.
The person you will be gets some practice with all the good language you have collected. The ideas you have are numerous and burst out so quickly that your mouth can’t keep up. You may have a little speech dis-fluency. But that subsides on its own in a few months. Not to worry. I hear I stuttered until I was 8.
But the best thing about your developing self this year is your imaginative play. You already pretended that your little dolls drank tea, the plastic cows ate grass and you could eat magazine food. But this year, you will dance more freely, sing songs out loud as you play, take on roles of people, animals and stories you read, movies you see. You may decide that you are not Orien and insist that others stop calling you that. You will delight in funny antics, simple jokes and want us to repeat favorite stories. You may also awaken at night with bad dreams. Movies for adults, loud music, the news, adult conversations or arguments can set you off. I hope the adults take care about those things. You can manage them by talking to daddy about them, playing them through with your little figures or paint your feelings in pictures. Oh yes, you will draw and scribble and paint and glue discovering your way to your first human representation this year. Representations of all kinds! I hope mommy send me your art. Because once you see what you’ve done, you won’t stop!
There are so many ways that you’ll be busy. You’ll learn to ski, hike further, and maybe paddle and swim. You’ll climb and slide, swing and dig deep holes. All of what you learned at two, you’ll keep doing. Maybe this year you’ll learn to pedal. It was just beginning when you left.
I bet your bike will be too small for you when you come back. Maybe Elizabeth can use it. I put it in out of the rain for you. It doesn’t snow here, but we get plenty of rain. I bet you really miss the outdoors. Today is a good day for a hike in Bonny Doon. I hurt my leg and am limping a little, but if you were here, I’d walk with you anyway. I could just put it up to rest after we got back.
That’s another thing, this is the year that you will come back home. I think so. When I gave up your spot at Rob’s school, I knew that it would be hard to get back in. But as soon I know when you are returning (I hope September), I will put you on the list for Carl’s classroom. Remember he was your infant caregiver at the college Lab? That would be good for your mom and daddy if Carl was your teacher again. They really hit it off.
Your mommy says that food stamps come this week. That’s how, she tells everyone on Facebook, that she is getting your lives back together. That’s a little sad to me. I tried to help you guys get food stamps here, but your daddy made just a few dollars too much money. There, with four of you now, in 2010 maybe he doesn’t. Maybe he’s really not working at all. I don’t ask about that. I am glad you’ll have some food. I hope you have had some all along. That’s another thing. You’ll be growing a lot. You’ll need healthy food and vitamins. Did you get the ones I sent? I used to like it when you’d come in each day and chortle, “Hey, I didn’t have my vitamins yet.” Even if you did. I’ll bring some when I see you in 12 days. I’ll also bring books, art materials and…oh my, I’ll only be there two nights. We can have a Happy New Year party. Shall I bring a tea set? I’ll try to finish the book I am writing you so we can read it. I hope you want to stay all night with me. See you soon buddy. Not soon enough. 12 and 11 and 10 and 9, 8 and 7 and 6 and 5 , 4 and 3 and 2 and 1 and whole lots more, they mow the hay and they take it away on a beautiful summer’s day!