Dear Peanut:

Today is your third birthday.

I blinked and a year went by.

You have been telling people you are three since June, so understandably, you’ve been a little confused today that you aren’t turning four, but please, don’t speed up the clock on me. It’s all flying by so fast as it is.

I’m not sure if I can document any specific milestones this year other than the fact that you somehow turned into a little boy. Toddler and baby, although they are terms I try to label you with, are no longer accurate in describing you. Physically, you are long and lean and strong. You are extremely verbal and have expanded your normal narration of your experiences and play time to actually carrying on coherent conversations, making up less coherent “jokes” and creating play time story lines.

You have given up nap and rest time, which pains your mother to no end. You moved from your crib to the “big boy bed” configuration of your crib and, as of this weekend, have moved into your official, permanent twin bed. You hardly take up any space in it, but I’ve enjoyed the extra room since it allows me to snuggle in with you when we read stories in the afternoon.

You are officially out of all manner of diapers – only big kid underwear for you, day and night. We haven’t had a day-time accident in several weeks and, as long as we (um, your daddy) take you for a pre-parental bed time pee break, you manage to wake up dry, too. Although I’m sure I’ve just jinxed your progress.

You’ve been quite the traveler this summer. In addition to our frequent trips home to NC to visit your family throughout the year, you’ve been to Florida twice in an attempt to see Space Shuttle Endeavor launch (unfortunately, you watched it on TV at home) as well as to Massachusetts to see extended family. You are an excellent traveler and we thank you for that.

You start pre-school this fall and I think you’re going to love it. You also are going to become a big brother. I am so excited to see you in this role and watch the bond you all create as you grow up together. I know you will be caring, sweet and up to all manner of hijinks together. How much you understand the big brother concept right now or that this thing we call a baby in mommy’s belly is going to be a baby that lives and shares physical and emotional space in our home, I just don’t know. But I have faith that you will handle that transition like you have all others to this point – with relative ease and good humor.

There have been some bumps in the road this year. The terrible twos weren’t really all that terrible, to be honest. As we’ve inched closer to three, the attempts you make to assert your independence have been a bit more challenging for your daddy and me. We are doing our best to help you feel in control while still achieving what we ultimately want from you. Some days are better than others.

Today I asked you, as a lark, how old you thought mommy was if you were turning three today. Your concept of numbers is unique – you’re excellent through 13 then it gets a little murky. You hit all the right ones, just not in the right order. You thought about it for a minute and started counting on your fingers and then announced that I was three, too.

It’s true. In a way, I am three today as well. Today is my third birthday celebrating the day I became a mother. A day when my life and heart and marriage and sense of self changed completely. A day that makes a new arrival to the family that much more special because, peanut, you are the one that first marked me as mommy. I can’t put into words a thank you for giving me that gift.

You are the most selfish, wonderful, frustrating, challenging, silliest, beautiful thing I have done in my life and every day I can’t imagine loving you more and yet I do. A tiny bit more every day that I barely notice until I catch you in the sunlight or hear you explain something completely ridiculous and I’m practically reduced to tears at the overwhelming feelings I have for you.

So now, I’ll go attempt to frost a ridiculous attempt at a cake resembling a race track since you are currently obsessed with “Cars.” Why? Not because you’ll remember or it will impress anyone but because it will make you smile for a moment. And that, peanut, is all this mama needs.

Happy Birthday, Peanut.

4 thoughts on “Three

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