You are three years old today, my love! Happy birthday! On this birthday, the start of a year when you will transition from toddler to preschooler, I am pausing to share my thoughts on where you are and what I hope life brings your way.
You are joyful, strong-willed, funny, feisty, happy, and enthusiastic. You keep me on my toes and make me very happy (and sometimes very tired). I sometimes struggle with your determination (especially between 7:30 and 9:00 PM, when you really need to go to sleep), but I am reminded often that life can be hard, and that your determination will fortify you when times are not easy or carefree.
I hope so much for you that life brings you adventure and that you keep the wonder and excitement you have now. I hope that you grow up to be a woman who is confident and flexible, that you understand the importance of giving back, and that you are kind, thoughtful, and generous.
I hope you are more patient than me. I hope fear does not prevent you from trying new things and that uncertainty does not cloud your ability to see the lessons life offers us.
You’ll make mistakes. We all do. I hope you recognize that those errors are moments to learn from and that it’s always important to apologize when you are wrong. It will be hard but you will be better for it.
I hope you and your brother are always good friends–best friends even. I hope you’ll always remember that your father and I are here for you, that you can tell us anything (even the stuff you think we won’t want to know), and that, no matter what, we will stand by your side.
You are an affectionate, loving child, and it is such a gift when you wrap your little arms around my neck and say, “I love you, Mommy.” Always be sure to tell the people you love that they matter to you.
And, I know you said you’re going to marry me when you get older (wearing a pink dress, no less), and while I really appreciate the offer, I’m going to let you off the hook on that one. I hope for you a love that makes your heart sing and a partner who makes you feel like a better version of yourself.
And, lastly, listen to yourself, your inner voice. Let that voice sing out loud and trust it to guide you through life’s ups and downs.
Happy, happy, happy birthday, my beloved.
P.S. Yes, that’s you, realizing birthday cupcakes were coming your way….