My sweet boy, you are three today! We made it. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. I love you more than I ever imagined possible. Your Daddy asked me the other day in the midst of all the birthday craziness of making 15 dinosaur invitations and dinosaur tails, who I was trying to impress. I tried to explain in some rational way, how or why I set these impossibly ridiculous criteria for your birthday celebrations and lives for that matter, but I failed miserably. "I just want them to have the best" doesn't cover it for some reason. I love life and I love you guys. I want to share everything I love about life with you and your brother and sister so you can be as happy as I am. I remember the pure joy of being celebrated on my birthday. Complete indulgence with donuts for breakfast, cake for dinner, the magic of seeing a fish tank and Rainbow-Brite on my bedside the moment I popped my eyes open. I want it all for you too.
And by all I don't mean all the latest craptastic toys, an over scheduled extra curricular life, the biggest, most expensive, loudest, most competitive, my kids have it better than your kids, life. I want you to feel the pure joy of all the simply beautiful things that life has to offer. Happiness, love, sorrow, nature, family, friends, magic and mystery.
This time between two and three has been so magical for me as a mother because I've been watching you go from a sure and steady toddler who engulfed the world around him to a young child who is taking a closer look at all the things you missed in your frenzy to know everything. You are learning how to interact with the world and we are learning who you are and what tickles you fancy. I'm learning. You're a perfectionist, you embarass easily, you love attention but don't want us to know it, you don't like tv, you can't whisper, you need control and you're picky but the ones you choose you love hard.
Today, when I get a quiet moment I'll stop and remember the day you came into this world and how carefully I planned every detail of your birth. You see, with your sister, I had no idea, I mean NO idea what I was in for. Yeah, we took the classes and read the book and unfortunately, heard the stories, but there's just no preparing for something like that and five years ago I had some major issues with not being able to prepare. So, nineteen months later when you were coming ON your due date... just like I planned... I was ready. I had a checklist for everything and another checklist to tell me or whoever needed it, in which order to do the checklists. Done. But you, you were someone I could not prepare for. In all of my years of studying child development, and teaching, and reading parenting books, I was and am not prepared for you. You have changed me and how I see life more than your siblings.
You are this rock in my river that springs up all of these ripples and forces me to part my waters. I am changed in so many ways. Yes, I have less hair and even some more grays, but I have also parted ways with my expectations of myself because that person is not who you need. I am here for you, because you need me and even though I haven't figured it all out yet, I know that I won't ever stop trying. I love you. The real you; not the you, I planned for you to be. Happy birthday my big three year old. I can't wait to what you've got planned for us this year!