You, my little boy. You are so many things. You are a bundle of endless energy, rough and tumble and bouncy and adventurous. You are gentle, sweet, kind and loving. You scream and yell if you don’t like what’s going on, but you are just as ready to give kisses, hugs and snuggles. You show empathy with ease, always wanting to make others feel better if they appear sad or sick or hurt to you.
Your sense of humor makes me laugh every day. You understand jokes – in fact, you understand quite a bit more than your few years should allow – and say the funniest things. You play make-believe with your whole heart and being, investing yourself fully in different voices for your toys. The scenarios you come up with are unique and entirely your own fabrication. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen such an outward display of imagination in one so young.
Your obsession with goats (specifically mountain goats), trains and all things green still holds strong. You love all animals, but flamingos have now been added to the top of the list. In fact, you specifically requested a “green flamingo choo-choo” birthday. (I’ll get right on that). Cars (all vehicles, really) and “kitties!” also occupy significant roles on your list of interests.
You would live outdoors if I’d let you. The slightest hint that you might be allowed outside to play generates an enthusiastic response on your part. Those opportunities have, unfortunately, been somewhat limited this year as I’ve been feeling so poor and you still can’t be trusted outside unsupervised. Even in the relative safety of our fenced backyard, you find ways to get into trouble: eating dirt and mud, trying to pick up the (quite large!) funnel spiders and garden snakes, attempting to climb trees beyond your abilities.
You’ve been determined to give up naps for several months now, and I’m equally determined that you will continue to take them for at least a few more months. I’m not sure which of us is winning this battle, to be honest, but I suspect it isn’t me. Your current fascination with opening your curtains is not helping the matter. You do love your new “Big Boy Bed” though. It’s quite thrilling to be able to jump around and flop all over your twin sized mattress, with no fear because it rests on the floor.
Alden, your heart is easily three times the size of you. I don’t know how you contain so much love and kindness. You seem to be bursting with it. I never expected to love a little boy with the fierceness that I love you. I thought you would seem foreign to me, that I wouldn’t understand you somehow. But you, my feisty, goofy, silly one, you have had me wrapped around your finger from the moment I first laid eyes on you. I knew you, the second you were born. While you frequently try my patience (just be potty-trained already!!!) I find I can never stay annoyed with you. You break me down and make me laugh so easily. And I think you know it, you little stinker. You’re incredibly smart and I’m wary of how I’ll keep ahead of you as you grow.
Thank you for being mine, Alden. Thank you for the absolute JOY that raising you through babyhood has been. You’re a full-fledged toddler-going-on-preschooler now and I can’t even be sad about how fast it has gone by because every new stage with you is just so much fun. Happy third birthday, my beautiful boy.