Nate laughing on his 4th Birthday

I woke up in the middle of the night last night with a head and heart full of things I wanted to say about Nathaniel Grey.

When he was a baby he took a long time to start talking. “Should we have him checked out?” Wyatt wondered. But no, if he went longer than Everett (who didn’t start talking until the week between Christmas and New Years after his 2nd birthday) then we’d start to worry.

And he did start talking right around his 2nd birthday.

And when he was first talking he would talk to me in a Darth Vader voice. He’d go really low and scratchy in what ever he had to say.

I remember one time walking around the grocery store and he was saying about every 20 seconds, in his Darth Vader voice: “Mom”

and I would lower my voice to match his “Ya, Nate?”

and then his response, still in Vader: “I love you.”

He did that for an hour while we walked around the grocery store. I overheard a few ladies laughing out loud as we passed by.

Nate riding in the wagon in San Diego, July 2018

He was a thumb sucker as a baby. I was asked by Catherine Horsley once: “Do you worry about that?”

No. Everett had been a finger sucker until he was about 4. Then one day he just decided he was done. And that was the end of that. I figured Nate-O would be the same.

(The luck of being a youngest is mamma is much more experienced about what is worth worrying about – which is not much).

So when Nate-O turned 4 and was still sucking his thumb, I told him that now that he was 4 he was a big boy like his older cousin Aiden, and Aiden would be so excited to find out that Nate didn’t suck his thumb anymore!

And that was it. Nate stopped sucking his thumb and never looked back.

Nate and Daddy walking to Disneyland, February 2019

Nate is a lover and a fighter. Maybe it’s the baby of the family role, but he sure loves being loved. He cuddles and sits on laps and loves being everyone’s baby. His favorite phrase is “I love you” and he tells each member of his family that at least 476 times a day. But at the same time, you better believe he’s in the thick of things with his brothers. He’s completely aware of offenses, intended or not, and is ready to stand up for himself and his perspective!

Last week he told me in a somewhat demanding tone that he needed a drink. Unimpressed, I invited him to find his cup and get one for himself. I went out of the room and Nate came to find me about two minutes later. He told me in complete disgust, as if I should already know this and help him accordingly: “Mom, I’m better at losing things than finding things!”

I feel complete panic and distress that my last baby is almost done with being 4. Four is my favorite age! I love Nate so much and I’m really going to sop up the last of these days before he goes to school 5 days a week! I love you Nathaniel Grey! You are such a joy!


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