Dear Danny,

I don't even know where to begin with you.  It is hard to believe you are four years old already - well, closer to five now, just as Sam is closer to nine.  You are a dynamo in a small package.

I'll be honest, four isn't my favorite age.  There is so much testing, so much wanting to be independent and even though you are definitely advanced, you still can't do some of the things you want to do, and it frustrates you.  You also don't listen to reason or logic very well, and it is hard for me because most of the time Sam CAN at this point.  I will be happy when you're a little bit older and able to understand things a little bit better.

At the same time, you are a joy.  The other day Rob and Susan and their kids were over, and Rob looked at you and said "Have you ever stopped smiling since you were born, Danny?"  It's a good question, because you are SO cheerful most of the time.  You are happy to do almost anything, we can go places together and you almost never complain about going on an adventure.  You are fairly agreeable in the big picture, and when we go places, you still delight people.  For your whole life, it has been fun to take you places because the people we encounter, they can't help smiling when they see you.  You bring cheer to so many people.

You started preschool this year, at Bellingham Preschool of the Arts, and it seems to be a great fit.  You get to do art projects every day, and do kindergarten readiness, which you definitely needed to keep your growing mind busy.  I think you're going to do great in school when you start next fall.  You also recently started going to day care the other two days each week.  You are so easygoing, you made friends immediately and didn't want to leave after your first day.  It is very different for me to have a child who is so able to transition and adjust to new situations, because your brother was not like that.  In a lot of ways, you are the 'easier' child (though there are definitely some challenges!), and I'm glad you came along second.

You're so smart sometimes I am startled.  You already know how to write your name, and I know that if I was a pushy parent, you could be reading now.  I figure I'll just let you do what you do and you'll learn in the next year.  You are starting to be able to spell more words, and sometimes I play with you at sounding things out and figuring out letter sounds.  I think you'll be ahead of the curve in kindergarten no matter what.  

You're still a cuddle bug, and most nights as bedtime approaches, you still sit in my lap to relax and sometimes fall asleep there.  You come into my room in the middle of the night and I usually end up squished in a Sam/Danny sandwich before the sun comes up.  Sometimes, when you are sleeping, I look at your face and imagine who you will be when you get bigger.  I wonder what you'll be interested in, and where you will end up in the world.  I hope that when you grow up, we will still be close, I hope you will still want me around and we can still share special time, no matter how old you are and how much you have going on.

I think the next year is going to be pretty great.  Settling into our new home together, getting used to life as a family of three, and weekend visits with your other parent, then in the fall, going to school with Sam.  I think this is going to be our best year ever.

I love you,

Favorite Book:  You like books, but don't seem to gravitate towards just one
Favorite Movie: My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks is a current fav
Favorite Song:  Let It Go from Frozen & Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri
Favorite Board Game: Sorry
Favorite Video Game: Minecraft
Favorite TV Show: My Little Pony
Favorite Food: Pepperoni
Favorite Dessert: Chocolate
Favorite Thing to Do Outside the House: Basically anything.  You love going places.
Best Friend:  Adrian, Sawyer, Zion
Favorite Subject at School: Art