Today is your third birthday. You are finally three, and we can stop correcting people when they assume that you have already reached that milestone. Now if we can only convince you that YOU ARE 3. Presently you are still convinced that you are only two years old...and of course momma wouldn't mind if you would just stay a little girl forever!
This past year has brought on so many changes for you. New house. Totally & completely potty trained. New role as a big sister. And through it all, you have danced gracefully from each change to the next with better poise than even your momma. While I'm sure the changes have affected you, you have simply bounced along through life with your constant crinkly-nosed grin, contagious laughter, and never-ending stories of Mickey Mouse.
As I sat down to begin this post, you have gone to spend the day with Papa & Gigi so I could do some party prep for your birthday tomorrow. Your new baby sister is sleeping soundly beside me and I can't help but think back to those first few days of being your momma. I was so scared, and so unsure and everything was so new to both of us...but we've made it through. And as tears gather in my eyes thinking about how fast the time has passed, my heart also leaps with joy at the new experiences you & I & Nora & your daddy will have over the years to come.
You, my darling baby girl, are one of a kind. Seriously. And my love for you is unwavering. As I've watched you move from baby girl to toddler girl to little girl...and on some days straight into big girl, my heart comes close to bursting as I think about how proud I am to be called your mom. There are so many things that you are capable of that have absolutely nothing to do with anything I have done as a momma...but simply just because you are an amazing little girl.
I'm so thankful that the terrible two's seemed to have avoided our home for the past year...and while you are certainly a strong-willed, opinionated, stubborn, want what I want when I want it, little girl; I still seem to have the ability to reason with you on most occasions. So many have warned us that the 3s can be much more difficult, but I have faith that we will navigate through the next year just as we have the last three...and we'll make it.
Your level of understanding and vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds in the past year. You have memorized the ABCs, the Pledge of Allegiance, and multiple books and Mickey Mouse episodes. We truly limit your screen time each day, but it's hard to doubt the educational benefits of some of the things you learn when you spout off the proper use of some item that was used as a Mousekatool a few days or even weeks ago! You are able to put together 20-25 piece puzzles without much help after the first try, indicating that you may have quite a bit of your momma's photographic memory embedded in you. You also properly use pronouns, which in my opinion is quite advanced for not being yet 3 at the time.
You are still fairly cautious around strangers, but if they mention one of your favorite subjects, you seem to break down the wall fairly quickly. You love to engage with other children, and you talk about your cousins & friends in such a heartfelt manner. Watching you as a big sister has been an incredible honor. You LOVE Nora in a way that is breathtaking to witness and I'm so excited to see your relationship as sisters blossom and grow as the years go by.
Momma was fairly worn out toward the end of her pregnancy and because of that you started to develop an incredibly relationship with your Daddy. That has continued on since Nora arrived, and it seriously makes me so incredibly excited to watch your relationship with him blossom. He is an incredible man, and I pray that you will always be close to him...especially when you think that momma is a horrible person! ;o)
You have developed an incredibly imagination which shows itself so much as you play with Daddy, but also just as you sit in the playroom and entertain yourself. Sometimes I worry that I'm not engaging you often enough, but you are perfectly content to play your own little made-up games and it's satisfactory for you to simply allow me to witness your brain at work. We have tentative plans to send you to a few days of pre-school next fall so you can experience the school-life first hand. I know that you'll be incredible & absolutely love it.
As we are embarking on a huge adjustment of adding Nora to our family, you are continuing to teach me the grace & mercy that you have taught me so often in your short little life. You are honestly making this "newborn" baby thing easier simply because I am trying to model the grace you have for me with myself. God knows that I make mistakes every day as a mom, but you accept those failures as learning opportunities and never fail to give me a hug and say..."I forgive you." Thank you. Thank you for teaching me unconditional love and for teaching me that my heart truly can grow enough to love two little girls.
You are our first born, and while there's a new girl in the house...I am absolutely certain that our love for you will continue to blossom and increase as the minutes and days go by. We love you precious girl, thank you for filling our lives with so much joy!