frolicking years have gone by since you came in our lives dear R. When I look back at the years, the difficult parts do not seem to come to my mind at all. Instead, I can only think of how much sunshine you bring into our lives. It is so much easy to live life through your eyes. You are really an easy-going kid (touchwood!).

While you do have your bad days, temper tantrums, and unacceptable behaviour, you are mostly well-behaved, if I can say that. Having said that, I also notice that these days you are offended easily when reprimanded or chastised for bad behaviour. There is a perceptible rise in the mercury levels almost instantly but thankfully also dissipates as quickly. Just hope this is a phase and you don't inherit the short fuse trait from me. The house won't be able to handle so many frequent short circuits ;-) 

On the physical level, you are still the energetic lad, always on the go, though you've mellowed from earlier.  You are able to play independently and even in the playground don't make me run too much after you. Which is showing in some extra flab that I'm carrying nowadays ;-) And, you are not about to give up your mischievous ways, yet!

I'm not sure at what age kids start comparing themselves or their material possessions with their peers but definitely this trait so far is, to a large extent, dormant in you, R. You are quite happy with what you have and rarely 'ask' for something that your friend has. For instance, there have been numerous occasions when your friends flaunt a new fancy watch, shoes or toy. You are happy to play with their new possession but never come home and say, "look he has that, can I get one too?" And, on the rare occasions that have been exceptions to this you have quite readily accepted our explanations to why you may or may not have what you want.

You communicate extremely well in English and Tamil. Hindi is currently your nemesis. It's really comical to hear you put together some words as conversation. I can see the look of being left out when your friends at the complex belt out complex sentences. But, thanks to your resilient and positive nature, there is no sulking I've to deal with. I'm trying my best to introduce you to Hindi. Now you know why I insist on reading out to you the bilingual books that I picked up recently?!

Talking of books, I wonder if it is a gender thing but I'm unable to get you interested in folk stories, mythology or in general concepts that deal with humans, emotions, relationships, etc. While you don't resist, there is a distant look in your eyes that seem to say you don't really enjoy or understand. I can't say it is to do with your acumen in general for anything that is to do with the animal kingdom or vehicles or the inanimate is immediately registered in your little head and you can perfectly rattle out facts after a single reading session. Well, rest assured, your mother has only bought more books in the genre. Yes, I don't give up! :-)

R, you're a fine child and my wish for today is that you grow up to be a sensible and sensitive person. I'm trying and will always seek to bring you up in the most gender neutral manner and hope that you develop a healthy attitude towards life and fellow beings. Be good, always, my child. Amma and appa will love you always.

Happy Birthday!!!