The Tovsky Tribe

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Friday, September 3, 2010

A Letter to my Sons on (or near) their 4 Year Birthday!

Dear Chase and Ryder,

You are now four years old. Big boys. Boys heading to Pre-K in September. Although I shouldn't be astonished, I am.  I can't help it. Every year, I am sure, I will say the same thing.  Your third year will be remembered as the year of the Spider, particularly for Ryder.  You turned from singing and dancing toddlers to wall climbing super heroes practically overnight and there is no doubt you will still be my super heroes long after this passion phases out.
We celebrated your birthday with a whole lot of fun.  You both woke up on the beautiful Wednesday morning excited to be 4!  You now ask everyone you see how old they are.  After hugs and kisses  and birthday wishes you spent the day at camp where you celebrated with Spider-man cupcakes for the whole bunk.

After camp all 5 of us went to Citizens Bank Park to watch your first ever Phillies game.  Our beloved Phils are in quite a slump and lost to the #1 Braves, and it was 104 degrees as we were amidst another heat wave.  But, despite the sweats and the big L we all had a ball.

The whole section sang happy birthday to you and showered you with a confetti I was thrilled I did not have to clean up and then your names scrolled on fanavision at the bottom of the fourth.   We went to the playground, had cotton candy and ice cream, and had a great time.  Even Turner managed to hang in there, though it is possible that he was too hot to even cry.  Plus, a nice man gave Chase ten bucks to give to his daddy.  When Todd thanked him and asked him why the kind man said, "any father who brings his 4 year old twins, and their baby brother, to the Phillies game in a heat wave for their birthday deserves a beer!" Who is Daddy not to oblige?  (Also, our car was broken into leaving us without several valuable items....but, that's not what we care to remember about the day!)
Then, on Saturday, we celebrated with all of your friends at East/West Karate where Spiderman came to help you punch and kick, and a samurai sword was used to cut the cake!!  A great time was had by all.

Chase, you seem to take the role of being 4 very seriously. "I am 4 now, I can do it" you will tell me whether it be swimming without swimmies (which you are still learning to do) or making your bed (which you rarely do!)  You are a bright and social child with a keen awareness for your surroundings.  You pay very close attention to the people and things around you and manage to remember it all.  Unlike me.  It frustrates you terribly that I can't always remember little things, and for that I am sorry.  You are caring and thoughtful and always have a compliment for people.  You do not realize it yet, but this is a characteristic that will take you far in life.   You love making friends and have recently begun to make your own by introducing yourself and asking their name.  You play well with others and like to be included and will often go along with the crowd.  You are funny and silly and want to make people laugh. You have learned to pick up on sarcasm, but have not used it yourself yet.  You know the rules, you expect people to follow them, and are often the first one to tattle when a rule is being broken.  With that being said, however, you do not always follow the rules and it is a clear decision you make when you choose to break them.  You love to test me, all of us, and have learned my weaknesses:)!  You are still very well-spoken, verbal, and inquisitive.  You ask hundreds of questions, all well thought out, and often require well thought out answers.  You love to speak on Ryder's behalf.  You love your brothers, your friends, your cousins, and grandparents with enthusiasm and you love a good time!  You love to describe things as your favorite: color, show, game, sport.  You are still very much a movie buff! You can be very independent when you want to be.  You are very mature and full of life.  You can blow us away with the things that you say, the things that you ask, and the things you remember.  You give and want to receive great big hugs and lots of kisses.  I never have a problem obliging.  You are energetic and happy and funny and charming, and of course, so very handsome.  You, my son, make me so very proud.

Ryder, you are remarkable. You're a soulful mix of passion and personality, enthusiasm and creativity, relaxed and, yet, stubborn.  You are independent with your thoughts yet close to home in your heart.  You love your brothers and your friends and also love to be alone.  You are a thinker and a doer and love to use your hands. You like to draw (and are starting to get quite good) and to do puzzles and to build structures.  Some of your favorite toys are legos and trios. You can figure things out that are supposed to be child-proofed and you can make a mess even if it is mess-free.  You like to dress up in costume and believe you are Spider-man.  You are unbelievably silly and have an echoing laugh that accompanies the smile that lights up your whole face.  You can giggle uncontrollably.  You are tender and caring towards Turner and Chase is your very best friend.  You are friendly and social and a part of the group, when you want to be, and other times find enjoyment in being alone, creating or thinking.  You love music, though you have not picked up the guitar for most of the year.  I am not convinced, however, that your first love is gone forever.  You love everything with a deep passion and an excitement that makes me want to love it too.  This game, this toy, this movie, this song -whatever- is the absolute best thing in the whole world you will exclaim with your wide open eyes and your large as life smile.  You have a quiet way about you.  We may not always realize you are paying attention or even aware, but a time will come when you will let us know that you are always paying attention even if it seems you are not.  You have gotten a lot more independent over the last year and do not feel the need to follow the crowd.  You still love to dress up in costume and have adopted a unique sense of fashion that includes wearing certain jeans, wearing a belt, and keeping your hair long.  You are stubborn, at times,  but also sensitive and empathetic and generous beyond your years.  You are the mysterious type, where whatever is going on inside of your mind is sometimes confused with a lack of  focus.  You are smart and sweet and silly and kind.  You are overloaded with energy and passion.  You, my handsome boy, are a remarkable combination of traits that leaves me in awe and so very proud.

Your third year was a good year.  You both made my job of parenting a whole lot easier as you learned to listen and behave more often than not.  You had a fantastic year at school where you made new friends, and learned new lessons including how to spell and write your name. Although you did many projects I found the ALL ABOUT ME BOOK to be very interesting.  You learned this year that though you are twins with a bond us singletons can never fully understand you are two individuals who may have different interests.  We encourage you to be different where you want to be (and it seems you are) and make decisions separate from each other.    You are spending this summer at Rainbow Academy for camp and it seems that you are both having a very good time.  You have learned to ride bikes and really enjoy it and both of your interests in baseball have been sparked.

For the stats, Chase you weighed in at 33 pounds and stood 39 inches tall and Ryder you weighed in at 34 pounds and stood 38 inches tall outweighing your brother for only the second time that I can recall.   Although, I do not think you are an inch apart in height anymore, because I think, Ryder, you have grown since that measurement. 

In May you both made the big boy decision to give up your blankies.  Although Todd and I would occasionally mention that it may soon be time to get rid of them, you ultimately made this decision on your own, together.  You have not asked for them since but you do, sometimes tend to curl up to Turner's.  Much to his dismay.  You insist on taking showers, and doing it yourself, and learning to swim without water wings, all indicators of you becoming big boys!  You also pick out your own clothes (sometimes) and chose your own sneakers.  Every day, more and more, you need me less and less.  This fact, as expected, makes me both proud and sad- something every mother must deal with.

In sports our beloved Phils tried to repeat as World Champions and, sadly, lost to the Yankees.  The Eagles clawed their way into the Play-offs only to lose their first game to the Cowboys.  The Sixers were absolutely horrendous and are rebuilding, again, including a new coach (and a new draft pick named Evan TURNER!)  And, the Flyers, our beloved Flyers, shocked us all by barely making the play-offs (it came down to a shoot-out the very last game of the season) and going all the way to the Stanley Cup finals, including a history making come from behind 2nd series win.  In the end, they lost, but it was fun to watch, and to believe.

We had the snowiest winter in history with over 70 inches of snow, something we may never see again in our lifetime.  Coming off that winter we've had record breaking heat this summer with 6 heat waves, and over 40 days of 90+ heat thus far and we are only half way through the summer days.

Our economy is still in the tank and, financially, things have been tougher than I ever remember them.  For most people. Us included.  But, we manage.  And we will.  Because through it all, the highs, the lows, the every days I see my boys, I see what you are and who you are becoming and I realize how little everything else matters.  Nothing could make me more proud than my boys and nothing ever will.

I often try to teach you life lessons as we motion through our days attempting to mold the men you will be.  This is my method, for better or worse.  But, in all my life lessons, I hope you take this one:  continue to be the wonderful boys that you are.  Continue to learn and to grow and ask all of your questions.  Continue to laugh and to make mundane moments silly.  Continue to be the loving sweet boys, sons, brothers that you are and everything else will fall into place.  

Happy birthday my dear sons, I love you now and will still love you even when its not cool for your mommy to tell you that!!!!

Love, Mommy

Here are some of the 4 yr (18 mos) professional shots!

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