My baby turned 3 last week! I know I sound like a broken record (try hearing it inside my head…it’s even worse!), but this time is going so, SO fast. We had several great birthday celebrations (maybe I will remember to post about them this year!) and, like we always do, Seano and I took his birthday off to spend time and celebrate with him. Also keeping with tradition, I wrote N his annual birthday letter like I did here and here.
This is something I enjoy doing every year, but I am especially looking forward to reading them years from now and reminiscing about his growth, what I was experiencing each year and so many special memories. Enjoy!
Oh, buddy! These birthdays just keep coming faster than I’m prepared for. You have changed so much this year! I keep waiting for it to slow down; thinking that eventually, the amount you change in a year will hardly be noticeable. But so far, there is no sign of this happening. I love who you are becoming and am proud every day that you are my little monkey.
I’m working hard to make sure I’m not pushing you into a certain mold and trying to let you become who you are ultimately meant to be. I find this difficult because at the same time I’m trying to allow you to explore and learn, I am trying teach right from wrong and help you learn many things that are based on my value system. I’m trying to find that balance and, honestly, some days are better than others.
With this said, you are all boy. Every now and then, you will watch a Disney princess movie or have a tea party with me. But, these are the ONLY activities you do that don’t involve running, jumping, wrestling, fighting, superheroes, dinosaurs, trucks or planes. Life with you is always exciting and an adventure. I can’t wait to see where you take us.
Your imagination has really blossomed in the last few months. While playing with you is one of my favorite things, I now also love to just sit back and watch you. When I’m picking up, I find little, homemade cities or airports with cars that have dinosaurs or superheros driving them. And it makes me smile. Hold on to your imagination forever. Life and this world are beautiful, challenging, ugly, rewarding things and a big imagination can both protect you, challenge you, and create amazing opportunity for you.
Your hugs. Ah, you hugs. The ones where your little arms wrap around my neck and squeeze so hard that I can feel all of the strength you have in your little body. Those are my favorite. You are one of the most loving children I have ever encountered. And, trust me; I eat up every little bit of it. You are already so thoughtful of other people’s feelings; this is one of the many qualities that I hope you hang on to forever. When I stub my toe and moan in pain or when I’ve had a rough day and am not quite my normal self, you are so aware and ask me if I’m okay and remind me how much you love me. You offer hugs, kisses and hand holding on a regular basis and during quiet times are always happy to cuddle and snuggle with your momma. I am so appreciative of these times and do my best to stay in these moments with you as long as possible.
One morning when you and I were out especially early, you looked up at the sky and said, “Look mommy. A special moon and star for Nevi and mommy.” You about burst my heart in one single moment. And, kid, you do that over and over again everyday. Parenting you is the most filling, beautiful opportunity I’ve ever had. And, while I may wish sometimes for time to slow down, I also look ahead and can’t wait for more. I’ve learned that’s a funny thing about parenting. It’s this balance between wishing for more time with our little ones, enjoying the beautiful moments in front of us, and looking ahead with excitement for what’s to come.
I can’t believe how much you are talking and how much you know. You are the first child I’ve watched grow before my eyes and I regularly underestimate how early you will learn and know things. So, I’m constantly surprised when you say things to me that sound like they should come straight from a grown ups mouth or when you share something new that you have processed and figured out. The other day when you woke up from your nap you came out to find a stuffed t-rex in your high chair. You tilted your head sideways, looked back and forth at daddy and I, pointed to the t-rex and said, “Really? Reeeeally?” It was as if you were the parent and we were the ornery children. Daddy and I both lost our minds and laughed so hard. Watching you learn is simply amazing. The other day, you taught me a whole song. A whole song. A song I had never heard, you taught me. And it was beautiful. I mean, it was about monkeys getting snapped by an alligator, but it was still beautiful and I will remember it forever.
One of your very favorite things to do is read. You will often pick a book over a toy. We read books in the morning after we get ready, during play time and in the evening before bed. We have tons of books. But, we are reading so much now, I feel like we need a few more to freshen up the rotation! I love when words or a story from a book make sense to you and you correlate them to real life. In a small way, it just shows me the limitless powers of reading.
I am pretty sure by putting this out there, I am going to eat, eat, eat my words. But, you are such a good little boy and listener. This doesn’t mean you don’t push boundaries, talk back or have the occasional temper tantrum. But, really you are easy and sweet. When you do participate in these things, it’s usually short lived and I, by no means, feel like they are regular occurrences in our home. People said two would be bad and it wasn’t. Now people tell me three will be worse. Maybe it will. But, right now, I just don’t see it.
Baby, keep playing, imagining, loving, learning, and reading. It may not be everything. But, it will be a darn good start to a beautiful life. I love you more than you will ever know little buddy! Have the happiest of birthdays kiddo.