Friday, May 1, 2009

Why, hello, 3-year-old!

Dear J,

You're three years old today. Three whole years since you came into me and Daddy's life, three of the best years we've ever had. Your birthdays are always a little bittersweet for me, with a tiny bit more bitter each year as you get older. We just picked you up from daycare, and when we got there I could hear you through the door yelling, "My Mommy's here!" and when the door opened you hugged my legs and said, "I'm so happy to see you, Mommy." And as you ran down the sidewalk to the car where Daddy was waiting, I watched you running with your long lean legs and big-kid clothes, and thought, there's my little boy. I used to think, there's my baby, but you're definitely a little boy now. This is why birthdays are bittersweet -- I love watching you grow up and can't wait to see what each new year brings. I definitely don't want you to stay a baby...I just want you to stay my baby.

This past year with you has been wonderful, everything that I dreamed parenthood would be before you were born. This is the year that you really became our little companion, someone who can take part in family activities instead of just watching them, and who can hold up his end of a conversation. This is the year that you figured out the mechanics of riding your tricycle, and started to understand some street and traffic rules when we ride down to the park. This year I could find you "reading" your books by yourself instead of waiting for me or Daddy to read them. You taught yourself how to make ramps for your Matchbox cars all over the house, and how to pull your step-stool up to the counter so you could pour milk or juice into a cup (even though you're expressly forbidden from doing this, I still felt a little proud the first time I saw you manage it without spilling). You learned to brush your teeth the right way and wash your own body during baths. You travelled alot with Mommy and Daddy, too, sleeping on sofa beds and inflatable beds and hotel beds with no problem whatsoever. This year you learned how to play computer games without my help, and how to put your favorite DVD--right now it's Tom & Jerry Classics--in the DVD player by yourself. You started going to Children's Church without one of us tagging along and without crying, and even scored a line in the Christmas and Easter plays.

Above all, this was the year you Really Started Talking. This year, began to understand humor and made up your own "jokes," which actually made me laugh on occasion even though the punchline usually involves the words "pee-pee" or "stinky" followed by hysterical laughter. I love the way you pad into our room in the morning, after 10 hours of sleep, and tell me, "That was a really good nap," or how you hug Mimi and whisper to her, "I love you, Mimi. You're my favorite dog ever." And how you learned to make your language skills work for you, telling me things like, "There's a ghost in my room flying around, and he said he'll leave if I get some chocolate milk." This is also the year you started making smart-alecky statements like, "I don't have to do it if I don't really want to," or "I won't say please because you have to gimme it RIGHT NOW," or "Don't say oh my God, Mommy, you're supposed to say oh my gosh." You love correcting me.

This morning Daddy and I found out that you are going to have a little brother. I couldn't be happier. The last three years have been beautiful, and wonderful -- you're the only reason we even want another kid, in the hopes that it will be just as great the second time around. Thanks to you, J, we became parents, and as Daddy told me the other day while we were watching you throw sand on Mimi for the millionth time, "You know, even when he's being bad, life with him is so much better than it was without him." I couldn't agree more.


Love, Mommy


LauraC said...

Happy birthday J! And so happy to hear about #2 being a boy!

Julie said...

I am so totally crying right now--that was beautiful! You captured parenting a 3 year old so well! Happy Birthday to your little boy and congrats on having another little guy too :)

Joanna said...

Happy Birthday!

Sniff, sniff...