Today you are three, my sweet little man.
Your black eyes melt my soul.
Your dimples assist you in getting yourself out of far more than you should.
You are completely, 1,000% percent made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails.
You don’t ever stop. Ever.
Your laughter permeates our house and I can still hear it echoing through the halls long after you have gone to bed.
You are our most spirited child and I say that with complete love. God knit you together in a way in which He wanted you to be curious, questioning, interested in how things work and are assembled. He wanted you to laugh hard and play hard. He wanted you to be tough and also sensitive at times as well.
You have always been the only one in the house to rush to my side if I say “Ouch!” and ask, while patting my leg, “You okay, mama?”
At the moment, you are deathly scared of ladybugs. Of all things. Yes. Lady bugs. You refuse to go down the slide in our backyard because there was once a lady bug at the bottom and apparently, it had a devastating effect.
You love to go and see the cross at our church. You want to sit at the bottom and pray. You like to remind us all that we “don’t touch the instruments on the stage.”
I love the moments with you when it’s just you and me, snuggled in your bed, reading books. It’s the one time I can get you to hold still and I drink your affection up like a tall glass of water on a 90 degree day.
When I bury my nose in your soft curls the sweet smell of you intoxicates me. You giggle and say “Mommy, stop” and I reluctantly respect your personal space wishes.
You are growing up too fast for my taste.
I also think you are in fact going to use the “big boy potty” now before you go off to Kindergarten in two years. A few months ago, I wasn’t so sure. But now you are expressing an interest and are particularly fond of your Lightening McQueen underpants that I dangle like a carrot in front of your nose to remind you of how much fun the potty really is.
I cannot write about you without mentioning that you stretch me as a mother and this is a good thing, my precious boy. It hasn’t always necessarily been easy to know the best way to parent you, dear one, but I suspect I might have been the same way as a child. It’s genetic. You are who you are and I love you for it. You feel deeply – love deeply, cry deeply, anger deeply.
And I love you deeply. We’re the same in that area, too.
You are now riding a bike with training wheels. In fact, today you will be presented with the Transformer bicycle with matching helmet that you have had your eye on for a while now. You won’t have to ride Sissy’s Dora bike with the too-big Tony Stewart helmet anymore. You will be one tough, stylin’ little dude in the neighborhood.
You are about to start swim lessons.
You are going to summer camp for a week at your school.
You are going to play “Saturday Soccer” for three-year-olds.
Your life is unfolding and I, as your mother, stand back and look at you in wonder. I’m amazed that just three short years ago today, you were a little shriveled-up, red peanut that emerged from my womb three weeks early and just ten days after our family had moved to a brand-new community in a brand-new city.
Your timing has always been just that – your timing. And we love you for it.
It’s getting a little bit easier to parent you these days because you are suddenly so unbelievably verbal. The existence of at least one new word is evident each day in your conversations and you don’t seem as frustrated now that you can tell me your side of the story in a sibling spat with your sister.
Susannah may not be so happy about this but I am.
And lastly, I am loving the heart I see growing within you, my love. The other day, I placed a new bottle of mouthwash on our steps to be taken up when convenient. For the record, I am usually the only one who notices the things on the steps so imagine my surprise when I walked up for nap time to find the bottle of mouthwash sitting in my bedroom doorway. “Now, who helped mommy so much by taking the initiative to carry the mouthwash up for me?” I asked my three little charges.
You giggled and flashed those dimples in delight. You were so pleased with yourself and I was, too. I could see that little kind heart emerging and this, my sweet one, is my goal for you. I love nothing more than to see it emerging.
Happy Birthday, baby. I love you with such an intensity it scares me. You are my son. You are my love. You are my everything.