To Grayson on your 4th birthday // Dayton lifestyle photographer

To Grayson on your 4th birthday…

Another year in the books my little dear. Another year.

This morning I awoke to the sound of your stride entering my room. And then as usual, you climbed, crawled, and rolled yourself into the covers next to me.  You’ve claimed that spot for your morning ritual. You put your cheek up to mine and close yours eyes with that soft little grin on your face. Cheek to cheek. It’s your happy place. It’s mine too.

You are a lover! It’s one of the things you do best.  You snuggle and kiss so freely, and there are no shortage of “I love you’s” out of your mouth every day. You tell me constantly how you miss your daddy when he’s at work. You rarely let me out of your sight when we are home together. You make sure to tell me nearly everyday when you get off the bus that you missed me when you were at school. You are constantly filling my cup with compliments about my earrings, or my dress or my shirt. Nothing fills my life with more gratitude than these simple moments. I’ll take a lifetime of them.

Your fourth year of life was filled with adventures. You started preschool for the second time. You love school, but not so much for the schoolwork. Your interest lies in creating. You love to color and paint and glue and cut, and you often make portraits of us playing together. A recent one from school was titled “Mommy and mermaids.” According to your teacher the story reads like this…”The mermaid was playing with mommy. Mommy was eating.” I think you may be on to something there.

You’ve recently started playing soccer. You talked and talked about starting soccer. You were glowing when you put on your uniform for the first time. And then the first practice came and you suddenly realized that along with wearing a cool uniform, you were supposed to run after a ball for 45 minutes. You’ve since reminded us several times that you don’t want to play soccer anymore. You have made an art of chasing your shadow and walking in a straight line during games, and have nearly tripped on the soccer ball when it gets in the way.

So soccer may not be your thing, but the dressing up part you’ve got down. Playing dress-up is still one of your favorite pastimes. You’ve acquired several princess dresses and tutus, and they have to pass the spin test or they don’t get much play. You also love going through my closet and making hair out of scarfs, or dresses out of sarongs.  The neighborhood boys have gotten used to you wearing dresses around, and so you own it. You’ll get a tutu on and we’ll play Just Dance together, and you’ll shake it to Rihanna. It’s the best. Watching you in your dress ups and playing with your dolls, I’ve seen your imagination come to life.  You hardly ever played with toys until we finally gave in to the pink aisle at the store, and now a whole world has opened up to you. And watching you get to be you, is what it’s all about.

So to the boy with the smile that lights up a room. To the boy who’s sweetness wins people over. To the lover, the charmer, the creative, the wild child, the sensitive soul. We love you. Happy birthday sweet, sweet Grayson.

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