Our baby boy turns four tomorrow. It's inspiring for me. Every age is unique, but I feel like 4 is the first memorable age for us. After that, things start to crystallize at a much faster rate. I still have flashes as a four-year-old—I vaguely remember my birthday celebration at a local pizza party spot off the Tollway in Dallas.
This Saturday, we are getting together with friends in the park to celebrate Hawk. As a gift on his behalf, I want to share a few short reflections on being a father to a 4-year-old (and a 5-year-old going 19, Henry).
I'm much more grateful as a parent. Flat out, becoming a parent put plenty in perspective. It's all the things and more as the job is often touted. Being in awe of the birth process and the role of our mothers (thank you, Lisa, thank you, mom) is monumental enough for a lifetime of gratitude. And then there's just the opportunity to grow as a more dynamic individual and family unit learning all together. Oh, the lessons. 🤣
We have so much natural instinct embedded in our bodies. Watch most any child under four operate at a playground, and you can see the art form gifted to all of us. Tushes to the ground in the sandbox and backward bends as if they are all born yogis. We are meant for diverse and consistent movement. It's a big reason I like to play with my boys on the ground—more opportunities to gain back that childlike flexibility and 'floor' strength.
Finally, we are thick sponges and shiny mirrors. Our ability to learn is immense from a very early age. Check out the science here.1 What I like to notice even more as a parent is how the absorption reflects back to us. There are great benefits in emotional development for a parent to mirror for a child.2 More compelling to me is how we can invert as well. 🧽
I feel like we can all walk into almost any situation with small children and parents, and we can write a short essay about another parent based on the interaction with their children. It's because it isn't rocket science. We simply mimic everything we see, hear, digest, and then iterate based on approval signals. It's only the most incredible gift and test in our lives besides partnership. 🤣 The cool thing to me is that my shiny mirrors can always tell me how I'm showing up, and even if it's not always great, they still say I love you. ❤️
Thank you again, Lisa! 🙏🏽 Happy Birthday, Hawk-y! 🎈