HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOU WONDERFUL LITTLE BALL OF ABSOLUTE CRAZINESS!! I'm so excited to celebrate 3 years of you!
First of all, I know last year I promised that I wouldn't write one one of these dweeby birthday letters every year because we both know I'm cooler than that. But I'm not.
And I know I also said that your second year was especially worthy of a letter. But it wasn't. Every year is worthy of a letter.
And I'm also aware that you're probably much older than 3 if you can read this, and you're probably cringing at me. Please know that a tiny part of me is cringing along with you, BUT most of me is extra sleep deprived, extra sensitive, and extra in love with you because it's your birthday and birthdays are sentimental. SO just bear with me, be gracious, and humour me in my rambles.
Where do I begin? Well, this year was the beginning of the I love you's, the compassionate-saliva-filled kisses, the demanding back-tickling, the constant smell of pee, the imaginative 'run from the monster' games, the simple-yet-amazing Jesus conversations, the sudden love for books, the even more sudden and surprising love for singing, the constant chatter, the engulfing love of planes, and last but certainly not least the year you became the best dish-washer I know.
I think most people who know you right now will agree that the biggest and most noticeable change this year is that you are actually enjoyable to be around. I mean, it's not that you weren't enjoyable before, you were always enjoyable - but now you are your own little person and you interact in your own little way. You can form full sentences, ask questions, answer questions, express all kinds of emotions, remember things you shouldn't remember, repeat things you shouldn't repeat, and give orders...constantly. In fact, you don't just give orders, you shout orders. Son, you are a bellower. I am so sorry that you inherited such volume but hey, at least your presence is always known. Just yesterday you arrived at church, bounced into a group conversation, and announced, 'I'm heeereeee'. Subtlety is not your forte, but I like it. I may be biased but you are incredibly endearing, especially when I watch you absolutely at ease in a group of people trying to make them laugh.
For most parents it isn't much of a milestone but I am also quite excited that this year you started loving all the best hot beverages - tea, hot chocolate, and even coffee (when my back is turned). Something tells me that you are probably a product of your environment, but it makes you the perfect company for going on something that I like to call 'Reuben Dates'. Personally, I think they are the best thing to come out of this year of your life. Who doesn't want to date a 3 year old, beverage-loving, chatterbox? Just after your birthday last year, we went on our first date to the North Coast. You talked complete gibberish over hot chocolate and sandwhiches, followed by a ridiculously baltic run on the beach. Today we went on a date in Belfast and you talked about cars, planes, chipmunks, creche, and family, over hot chocolate and sandwhiches, followed by a ridiculously baltic run through the park. This year you definitely implemented some of our own family traditions.
It's also amazing that this time last year we were teaching you to say certain people's names, and now you have your own friendships with those people. Although, for while you only knew everyone by their cars or their dogs but to be honest that was just a really great party trick.
Oh, and you've still got that passion for dogs. 101 Dalmatians is still the foundation on which you begin your day, but this year you have ventured deeper into the world of Disney and there is a new favourite every week. The latest's have been The Lion King, The Jungle Book, and Peter Pan. I used to dream of 'movie days' and now you would declare every day a 'movie day' if I gave you half the chance. Ofcourse, within 5 minutes of the 'we need to get to creche and uni' argument, you are counting down the minutes until you can see Edward, Amelia, and Victoria.
I can't write this birthday letter without mentioning how darn adventurous you've gotten in the last 12 months. I always think that you are completely normal until we go to the park with another kid and I realise that you are either crazy-brave or I am crazy-neglectful. It's probably a mixture of both.
This week you got a birthday card from Charlotte at Capernwray where we went to the One Parent Family Week. And on it she wrote that you were the most adventurous 2 year old boy she has ever met. And by that I think she meant that she is probably still having nightmares of you rolling down steep hills, running on stoney ground and through wet fields without shoes for a week straight, sliding down stairs with goggles over your eyes, and playing football with the older boys because the toddlers weren't dangerous enough. At this point in our relationship I have low-grade anxiety from watching you do your 'boy' thing, but this year I have been made very aware and very thankful for all the men that God has placed in your life to encourage you to do those crazy things. I hope you know that Manga (Granda), John, Jason, Jayden, Jack, G, Phil, Mark and the rest of the Liberty lads are ALL routing for you and will always be ready to listen to you, let you climb the tallest tree, or give you a stern word for not listening to anything I say. Ofcourse, by the time you read this you will be an angel-son who is perfect in every way.
If you're not an angel-son, I hope you know that I love you anyway. And more importantly, I hope you know that Jesus loves you more than I ever could. We will always fail but his grace abounds.
I am excited for the year ahead and I already can't wait to write your next birthday letter. Please know that your massive family loves you. I am SO proud of you. And God is always good.
Have fun, play hard, stay sweet.