Carson Luke,

Four years ago, you rocked my world when you made me a mom. Today, we celebrate you.

You are a sweet, compassionate, ultra-sensitive little guy. Boy, can you cry, but you get it honestly. You are unbelievably affectionate and complimentary. It’s not unusual for you to rub my back while declaring me “the most beautiful princess, best cook, and best mommy in the whooole world.” You are going to make an amazing husband one day. Just like your daddy.

Speaking of crying, your teacher told me a few weeks ago that she found you sitting at the table, looking completely forlorn. When she asked you what was wrong, you held back tears as you said, “I’m just so sad that not everyone is a Duke fan.” And the Allison legacy lives on.

You are an awesome big brother. You love Mary Grace like crazy and are fiercely protective of her. And you ask about your brother in Rwanda on a nearly basis. I know Wyatt will adore you as much as Mary Grace does.

It has been fascinating to see your passions more fully revealed this year. A child after my own heart, you love science. You’ll sit with me for an hour at a time just studying my anatomy books. And ever since you got your flu shot this fall, you have been enamored with the thought of “antibody armies” in your body. You’re such an awesome kid. You also love nature and are very observant of the world around you. For Christmas this year, you received the box set of the documentaries Planet Earth and Life. This was one of your favorite gifts. You ask awesome questions and don’t let me get by with an easy answer.

You’re completely and totally obsessed with Legos. It blows my mind how well you can build those complex little sets. I love how you stick out your tongue when you are in deep concentration while building. I don’t love how they have overtaken my house.

When you grow up, you want to be three things: an engineer, a doctor (so you can work at “mommy’s work”), and a paleontologist. You also claim to want six kids. I’m all about dreaming big, but, dude, you might want to chill a bit on your ambitions. 🙂

You are still slow to warm up and more on the introverted side, but you have really come out of your shell in the past few months. Since starting school in the fall, you have become far more comfortable and confident in social situations. It’s fun to hear you come home and jabber on and on about your little friends. Ah, the social lives of preschoolers.

Some funny quirks: you call call acorns “a nuts”. And instead of saying that you’re “hiccuping”, you say that you’re “hiccing up”. That makes me laugh.

You take rules very seriously, and you tend to be a bit bossy. I have to remind you on a daily basis that you are not in charge of parenting Mary Grace. As you grow up, buddy, I pray that the Gospel will take root in your heart and that you will realize that it’s not what you do that makes God (or us) love you. Not “being on green” at school. Not the number of goals you score in your soccer teams. Not obeying every rule out there. Carson, this year our pastor has been reinforcing to us that, in Christ, there is nothing we can do that would make God love us more, and nothing we have done, or could do, that would make God love us less. Oh, how I pray that you would grasp this truth at a young age.

Carson, we love you to the sun and the moon and to the planets and back. Happy fourth birthday, big boy!!