My baby isn’t a baby anymore

My dearest Everest,

You are officially three years old, and I can’t believe how fast time has flown by.

I’m amazed at how much you’ve grown and developed within this past year. You’ve accomplished so much and I couldn’t be more proud of you, kid!

Beyond the basic fundamentals of ABC’s and 123’s, you’ve impressed me with your knowledge of Bruno Mars songs. You can recite each line of your favorite TMNT movie, and you know the difference between Huraches, Air Maxes, and Jordans.

You are aware of safety in all areas of life. For example, you tell us to hold your hand when crossing the street, and gather all the butter knives on the table at every restaurant we go to, claiming that these utensils are very dangerous and only grown ups can use them.

But you still have trouble grasping the idea that your toy sai weapons are a hazard whenever you pretend to be Raphael, and you swing them here and there, putting everyone around you at risk. It’s okay, you’ll eventually get it one day, because it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

You are quite the helper within our household. You love doing the laundry with daddy and you are an amazing sous chef whenever I need assistance cooking dinner. Even though it may be more of a distraction, I’m sure your big brother doesn’t mind whenever you offer to help him with his homework. By that, you mean taking your own crayons and paper, sitting next to him while you draw and doodle your favorite dinosaur. I hope you will continue to enjoy picking up Hulk’s poop in our backyard, and this interest will remain intact as the years go by.

I truly love your little quirks. Like your obsession with collecting coins, which has now gone beyond pennies and Chuck E Cheese’s tokens, since you specifically began asking people for five dollars. Or your need for bandaids to place on your imaginary owies, only to discard them five minutes later.

Oh, and my favorite one so far: your constant desire to give me a flower every single day. At times you get upset whenever you can’t pick one out, and have to settle with a leaf or twig that you found on the ground, but I love them all just the same. You are such a sweetheart, and I’m sure daddy could use some tips in the flower-giving department. But don’t tell him I told you that.

I can’t go without mentioning your big milestone of the year: potty training. The one thing we put off, but also the same thing you accomplished just two weeks before your birthday. I was impressed with how fast you learned the concept, and was upset that we didn’t start earlier.

We should have known better than to underestimate your learning capabilities. Actually, that’s not true. Mommy and daddy shouldn’t have been so lazy. Nonetheless you got it down quick, and we are elated over the fact that your preschool tuition decreased, and we don’t have to purchase anymore diapers. You rock!

You are an incredible little guy. I found happiness in witnessing your personality and characteristics grow throughout the year. Certain qualities stand out and cannot go without saying.

You have a strong sense of compassion. When others are sad or in pain, you experience an overwhelming amount of empathy and sympathy. At times, I feel you burden their struggles on your own little shoulders, and attempt in many ways to provide relief and comfort. This is something I’ve seen you do since you were a tiny baby, when you would place your chubby hand on my cheek whenever I would cry, and this quality has grown immensely each and every day.

You are quite a comedian. Your sense of humor keeps us all laughing and brings so much light into our lives. You always know how to put a smile on our faces, even if the timing is inappropriate. For example, whenever you do something wrong or know you’re in for a huge scolding; you crack a joke, making it difficult for me to stay completely mad at you. Don’t get me wrong. Mommy still makes sure you’ve learned your lesson, but you have a great way of lightening the mood. Perhaps the lesson that I have learned through this particular personality trait is to not take life so seriously, and to enjoy every moment we share together.

You are extremely persistent. This is probably a nice way of me saying that you have a hard time listening. Maybe you have selective hearing? Let’s just keep it at persistent.

Either way, you know how to exhaust all your options before finally accepting the fact that you have to obey and do as your told. This certain characteristic seems to appear more frequently during bedtime.

Your refusal to step into our night time routine calls for just one more episode of Transformers, just one more glass of water, just one more book to read, just one more lullaby for me to sing, just one more trip to the bathroom because you just had to have that one more glass of water.

And you even started asking for FULL BODY MASSAGES before you go to sleep!

You sure are determined to say the least. And even though it leaves me feeling even more exhausted at the end of the day, it also provides just a little bit more quality time I get to spend with you.

To be honest, I could go on and on about how much you’ve developed this past year. Seeing you go from two years old to now three, has forced me to accept that you really aren’t a baby anymore. You’ve become quite a character and I’m excited to see what this next year will bring.

As your parent, it is my job to teach you about life, and help you learn to maneuver through adversity. But I must say that it is you that has taught me so much since the day you were born.

You gave me that extra sense of compassion. I have never felt such a desire to love others the way I do until you came into my life. I also try my very best to be there for you, our family, and our friends, whenever support is needed. This is something that I have always tried to maintain throughout my life, but I am now more vigilant in expressing my feelings toward those I truly care for.

You also taught me to not be so serious all the time. I can be a clown and crack a few mom jokes here and there. I never was one to be so lighthearted. I always felt I had to carry the struggle and the pain deep within me, but you showed me that life doesn’t have to be so forbidding. I’ve learned to let go and take it easy. This has been especially important during times when I’m feeling stressed. Sometimes all we need is a good laugh.

Like I mentioned earlier, you are relentless, insistent, and enduring. Well that attitude has definitely rubbed off on me. I always thought I was very motivated and strong-willed, but I sure did receive that extra oomph of determination the day you were born.

You inspired me to seek out my passions and set goals that I thought was unattainable. I used to believe I was a hard worker, but I truly am working harder than I ever did before. I went back to school and finally graduated from college this year. I understand that I should take some credit since I was the one staying up late at night, writing papers, reading textbooks, studying notes, and taking finals. But it’s safe to say that if you weren’t here, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.

So thank you baby. You are my miracle and my life saver. I know it is your birthday that we are celebrating, but you truly are the greatest gift one could ever receive. I’ve told you this before, but I will say it again…

As long as I’m living, forever my baby you will be.

Love,

Mommy

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