i really remember my fourth birthday with surprising clarity. i remember my mom standing at the mixer, whipping up the batter for my strawberry shortcake cake. it was one of those nice tin pressed pans with the image of the beloved character molded so that when the cake was baked, you turned the pan over and out slid a lovely image of the beloved character. my mom went all out on the frosting, whites and pinks and reds with a little green and blue there. i remember that my large extended family threatened to skip it but then, to my parents' surprise (which i can remember as well), more came than were expected. and i think this was the only time in my history that such a gathering occurred. the next time i would see so many relatives, sadly, would be at the funerals of my grandmothers.
the reason why i am sharing this snippet of personal lore is because sebastian has reached this milestone of long-term memory. what goes on now is recorded. i realize that he, like myself, will always have earlier memories but those prior memories are sparse and scattered. the memories that are being created now will stay within his consciousness' grasp. so now, we need to be careful. most parents worry about getting their children through babyhood; i've been nervous about four since the two pink lines appeared on that plastic stick. it's pretty heavy, man. of course, at the same time, i have been looking forward to this age for a while. actually, to tell you the truth, through his, ahem, entire third year. three is so awkward. not a baby, not a kid but still a baby and almost a kid. he went through a lot this last year, transitions all around. and because he is sebastian, he bore it like a king. i am so happy to know such a cool little guy. he is friendly and funny and has so, so much energy and passion contained in his little frame that it is always on the verge of escape. happy birthday, darling boy. thank you for putting up with us.