I usually write these in scrapbooks or cards, or in our traditional birthday book each year… but I wanted to do something a little different for my not-so-little-anymore guy, especially with all the changes that happened this year so…
Dear Sweet Son,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You are three years old today. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since you made me a mom. It seems like just yesterday your little squishy newborn body was placed on my chest and I was smiling through grateful tears and repeating “we did it little boy! we did it!” This has been one HUGE year for you. You have grown and changed so much and you have had so many changes thrown at you too.
I have been amazed as I watched you transform from a toddler who was barely putting words together, into a little chatterbox who loves to tell stories, sing, and learn new words. During that same time you went from a crib to a big kid bed, and aside from climbing on it like a monkey you had absolutely no problem with that transition! You were absolutely ready to clear your crib and make way for your sister to be the 7th kid to use it.
I have loved watching you take interest in various things around you. We had so much fun together this fall baking each Sunday and pretending to cook and bake remains one of your favorite activities. This spring you took right to the garden we decided to plant and I love hearing you excitedly ask to water the plants each afternoon. You say hello to the flowers and make me stop to smell them. You want to know all about animals, including dinosaurs, as well as plants, stars, and how things are made. You still love music, but now you want to sing along instead of just bopping your head or dancing. You are anxious to play any instrument you see. You think everything can be made into a drum. You love to sing to your little sister.
Speaking of, it has been one of the greatest joys of my life thus far to watch you become a big brother. It seemed you grew up overnight when we brought your sister home, although we worried you would wish we’d return her after a few weeks, when you realized this split attention from your parents was here to stay. Instead, you’ve just fallen more and more in love with her so far. She is the first thing you ask about in the morning and the last person you want to give a hug and kiss to before bed. You can make her smile so big and you are so sweet with her. You want to do anything to help her when she is upset or crying. You want to dance with her and hold her hand and share your toys with her, even those she is still much too little to play with.
I shouldn’t be surprised. While you have your moments and tantrums just like any toddler, you have this incredible capacity for empathy that you show and share all the time. If a kid is crying, you offer to share your toys or give a hug to make them stop. If you are watching Moana, you make sure to tell me when the characters are feeling sad, or worried, or very happy. You are so in tune with feelings and I hope you never lose that.
You are also nonstop. You are a blur in most photos I have of you from the past year. You are always wanting to explore and to run out all your energy. You love to make messes and push limits. If given the chance, you will treat anything like a jungle gym. A trip to the park is one of the happiest things we can offer you and you love to wrestle and jump and dance. You are so very physical and active everyone can’t help but laugh at your speed, but also joke that your dad and I must have our hands full and be kept very busy. They are right. And while I’m sorry I don’t always have the energy to keep up, I love your passion and energy oh so much and know they will be used for something great.
Son, I pray over you all the time and have a strange time puzzling over what you might be as you continue to grow up while trying not to mourn the stages that are already in the past. I feel like it is going so fast and in the midst of the day to day discipline and routines and sleeplessness I just want to freeze time and read you one more story, sing you one more song, or have one more round of snuggles or tickle fights.
I love you so much and can’t wait to see what your third year brings. I am excited to see what we can teach each other. I am curious what your new favorite things will be and what you will learn. No matter what the future holds, know that I love you more than I can express, and I’m a word nerd so that’s saying something! I love you and I am so proud of you each and every day.
You are still my bright, particular star,