Three years ago today, you came into this world and into our lives. We were young and excited and clueless. You were (still are) beautiful and spirited and brilliant.
I can’t begin to tell you, son, how much I have learned from you already. I knew being a mom was not going to be easy, but I had my ideas about just how difficult the difficult parts would be. Then you came along and blew those out of the water.
We are so different, you and I. Complete opposites in many respects. There are lots of days that I find those differences infuriating, but lots more days that I find them invaluable. Today, I wouldn’t change them for the world. Yes, I know that much of our differences can be attributed to the fact that you are 3, and I am older and less rested. But much of them come from you just being you, and me just being me. You are so, so full of energy. You are (barring napless days and snackless afternoons) always smiling. You greet me with excitement and yelling my name every. single. time. You learn things so easily. You get so happy when you accomplish something new. You are so easy to praise, and you love all the praise you can get. You are a good big brother (most days). You love to make people smile.
You have your faults, too. For every phenomenal quality you posses, there is an equally annoying quality that manifests full force on your bad days. But, since today is your birthday, I am going to skip right over those and stroke your ego a little more. We’ll get into those other things on a day that I’m not emotional over how big you’ve gotten, or how sweet, or how handsome, or how smart.
Have I mentioned yet how smart you are? Dude, you’ve had that alphabet down for months! You spell things. You know colors and shapes and numbers way beyond what I thought you’d know at this age. You spell things! You love books (although lately you’ve been partial to tablets, through no fault of your own – those things are fun). You love to sing. I love to listen to you sing. Teaching you a new song and hearing you sing it back in your own unique way just melts my heart. In the future, if I’m upset with you, singing to me may be the only way you’ll get out of it. You’re welcome for that hint. Just, in the future, maybe don’t yell your songs at me? That would be a nice touch.
Speaking of the future, I worry about yours constantly. I’ve heard all good mothers (and fathers) do, but that doesn’t exactly ease the pain, the guilt, or the stress that comes with worry. My hope for you, among other things, is that you will use your beauty (outside and in), your spirit, your brilliance to serve others before yourself. That you are able to harness that energy and that mind and focus them on a purpose that you see fitting of your talents (for now, though, you’re allowed to just use them for play). When that time comes, your Daddy and I will be here to support you, to guide you, to love you through whatever obstacles may come your way. Remind me of this if I seem hesitant to do so then, because I’ve learned a time or two that good intentions are not always lived out in the moment where they are needed most.
It’s ok to remind me that I am on your side, just remember that I need you on mine, too. That might mean doing things I ask of you that you don’t understand. It might mean missing out on things you want to do because Mom said “no” this time. But no matter what, I am on your team. I want only all of the love, all of the happiness, and all of the rewards for your future.
Happy birthday, little one. You are such a blessing to our family. The less little you become, the more I pray for the big person you will become. My role in that transformation is a heavy one; I promise I will do my best to not let you down.