You are three. How quickly this world turns. It’s hard to explain in regular, old words how bittersweet your birthday really is. Maybe someday you’ll have babies of your own. Then you’ll know how it feels to live in the space where everything makes you proud and sad in equal parts. As your babes learn to crawl, and then walk, and then run, each new step taking them farther from you.
You run and jump and climb with such enthusiasm, I know you are destined for great things and big adventures on which I won’t be able to follow. For now, it’s one of my greatest privileges to explore with you, to see this world through your special lens.
Nothing scares you and I worry a desire for self-preservation will never develop. You happily hop from the highest heights and scale the tallest walls and balance precariously whenever it is an option. And I can safely say I have never met anyone who hates to sit still more than you.
For now nothing makes you happier than being outside, in the sun and the mud, in the sandbox or at the park. You live for campin’ and hikin’ and creek stompin’ so we spent your third birthday in the woods trekking through post rain mud puddles, smelling flowers, sneaking up on baby bunnies, and resting our weary feet in the river. Oh, and eating donuts with strawberry frosting and chocolate sprinkles.
Of our three, you are the clown. You live to be right in the middle of it all, often times the day’s entertainment. Your goofiness and chip-toothed smile draws people to you. You’re a pro at coaxing smirks from even the most stone-faced people we encounter. I love to see you pull giggles from your sister’s old-soul, pre-teen seriousness. Sometimes, I stand at the bottom of the steps to listen to the two of you playing on the upstairs landing, loving the way your very different personalities bounce off each other. Soon Hank will be old enough to join in and I can’t wait to see what the mix looked like with you suspended between the other two.
At three you are already so much more than we could have imagined when we dreamed you up in the six years between you and your sister. The sour patch, the overly enthusiastic brother, the stinkerpants, the sneakerpants, the dinosaur aficionado, the kitchen counter climber, the Green Ranger, the time-out frequenter, the snack sharer, the graham cracker kid
You know how much I love you? All the way to that moon.
Happy Birthday, Indy.
PS: Maybe, you could slow down once in a while, just for me because it’s going too fast and only get to do this together once.
PPS: I’m sorry I gave you a bad haircut the night before your birthday. Next time, I’ll leave it up to the professionals.