Four years ago Matt came into our lives and we are so happy that he’s here. It’s not always easy being a brother to two older sisters but he endures by watching the Cars movie and playing train upstairs. He’s emphatic in his fondness for railroad cars and keeps a sharp lookout for trains when we are in the van. He often “sees that train” and expects us to respond to his announcement by saying that we see it as well whether we actually do or not. There’s a 25% chance that we’ll catch one on the way to church and back, and I’ve been known to slow down while approaching the tracks secretly hoping that we’ll hear that “ding ding” getting close enough to require a stop.

Matt gets up four days a week and gets on the bus like a big boy. We never expected that he would be going to school with a Spiderman backpack on his shoulders so early in his life but he is handling it well, probably better than his parents are. Next to trains, Matt pays attention to school buses and enjoys riding them to school and back. It’s very important that his chicken nuggets and fruit cup be waiting for him when he gets home so he can sit down and relax while watching the Disney channel. He’s on a schedule of sorts because his trains are waiting and as the conductor he has to make sure they run on time.

He is happy and pleasant most of the time except when I insist that he take a nap, which means that I am ready for one and he is not. He makes a beeline to my office on Sunday and Wednesdays to take his three wintergreen lifesaver mints from the jar on my desk. I have learned to ration his intake, and am proud to say he has the best smelling breath of any child in the preschool suite. This comes in handy since he has developed some feelings for “baby Gentry” and doesn’t mind her parents knowing about it. Matt does have good taste in music, apparently, and especially enjoys the theme music to “The West Wing” since his parents seem to be sentimental in playing the show throughout the evening. He runs in and and sits down in front of the TV whenever he hears those drums.

It’s been a wonderful four years Matt. I guess as trains and families go, you could be called our caboose. I thank God we’re riding on the same track and look forward to seeing you grow up, but am in no hurry to see you get off our train anytime soon. Happy Birthday my son.