The Magic of Three

Dear Charlie,

Today you are THREE!

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I know things have been a little crazy and your birthday has been sort of part of a whole whirlwind of “events” around these parts, but I wanted to make sure you know how special your day is to me. We maybe be focusing a lot on Alice right now and on mommy resting and getting better, but you have been on my heart a lot.

In fact, while recovering in the hospital, my thoughts turned to you often.

I thought of our hospital stay three years ago. Your soft little head that fit so perfectly in the neck space under my chin. Our late evening chats after daddy had gone home to Eddie. The way you were immediately my little Charlie Bird.

You are now “The Middle Child,” but you are still my littlest boy. And your role in this family is very important. Not only did you make Eddie a brother, but you made daddy and I parents of kids, plural.  You taught us that our hearts don’t just make room for more love, but they actually GROW with love.

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As a baby, you were our quiet, serious observant boy. You especially watched Eddie’s crazy shenanigans closely and skeptically.  Eventually, he would be the first to make you do the belly laugh you are now famous for.  You gave Eddie the brother he didn’t know he needed and you even out his bossy, follow-the-rules, cautious personality with a dose of risk, stubbornness, and goof.

You taught us that all babies, toddlers, kids are different–that just because you have had one, does not mean you know what you’re doing with all kids. For instance, Eddie didn’t say strings of words until he was almost three, but you have been talking for a good year now. There have been times when I had to remind myself you were only two because you would say such complete sentences.

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While Alice and I were in the hospital this past weekend, you crawled up on my bed and proceeded to hold up cards and papers you found and tell me about traffic lights and how red means stop and then green is go. Not everything made a ton of sense, but you just lectured on it for about ten minutes–telling me I was in my class. You are so very animated with your big blue eyes and your hand gestures and your facial expressions. YOU know what you’re talking about, and that is what matters.

All of your emotions are big, Charlie. I remember that about Eddie being three, but you’ve had the Big Feelings for a long time now. When you are mad, LOOK OUT. Your immediate reaction is to pick something up and throw it or knock it over. You want to spit and hit and scream NOOOOO!!!! It’s very exhausting.

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But your joy and love are big too, and I’m always trying to remember during your times of anger bombs, that you are also a very happy boy. You are quick to say “thank you!” and “I love you!” without being prompted. You like to sit CLOSE to me or daddy (mostly daddy). You even like to snuggle up to Eddie, who doesn’t always tolerate your cuddles like Dad Dad and I do.

Touch is definitely your love language. Whether you are smooshing your sleepy body next to daddy on the couch before bed, or flopping yourself on Eddie to wrestle, you love to touch and be touched. It’s how you show that you like someone.

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You are no longer the baby in the family, Charlie. But you don’t seem to care as much as I thought you would. You love your sister and want to share with her and kiss her and hug her. You love to hold her. The look on your face when you hold Alice is a new one to me. I’ve not seen that pride in your face before.

You surprise us and make us laugh every single day. Yes, you are probably also the child who is turning my hair gray so rapidly, but you also make me laugh the hardest.  From the time you put your hand on your hip and said, “I not argue with you, Mom Mom,” to just earlier this week when you were dancing around, planted your booty on Eddie and said, “here’s my butt, my big butt,” and then laughed your head off, you keep us guessing what you’ll do and say next.

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Three years ago, you came into this world and helped me heal from a lot of bad stuff I had gone through after Eddie was born. You taught me that having a baby didn’t have to suck. You softly slept on my chest assuring me it didn’t have to be so hard.

You continue to heal me, son. You are important to this family. You make daddy laugh until he cries, you challenge Eddie and give him a built-in buddy, you give your little sister love, and you are the patches and stitches that healed my broken heart.

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I am so proud to be your mom.

I know Three can be a tough age, but it is also a magical age. You will do a lot of growing up this year, Bird. With that will come growing pains for both of us. You will go from toddler to kid this year. You will probably (hopefully) potty train and give up your pacifier. The last of “baby” will fade away.

I will cry. You will fight it. But we will make it.

There will be loads of joy and celebration in it too, my son.

Here is to Three. Let the magic begin.

Love,

Mom Mom

my favorite eddie

Eddie,

In just over a month you will be turning three.

I just looked back at my posts from this time last year and the year before, and I was clearly sad that you were getting older.

This year I don’t feel sad.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like this whole deal where time steals my babies from me and replaces them with big boys.

But this year, pride is definitely choking out any sadness I feel about you getting bigger and older.

Eddie Bear, I am so fricking proud of you I could burst.

Yes, we have hard times.  You are almost three, after all.

You have a very, VERY strong stubborn streak and you are incredibly independent.

You want to do EVERYTHING “my own self, mommy.”

From helping me make juice to putting on your shoes to getting in your car seat to brushing your teeth.

No help is needed until you have tried and failed.  And even then, instead of jumping right in to do something for you, I try to encourage you to try again.

I was always such a quitter as a kid (and as an adult, if I am being honest).  It’s because I had no faith in myself that I could do anything.  I don’t want you to feel that way about yourself.  You are so bright and hardworking; daddy and I encourage you to do as much as you want to do on your own.

Because of this, you have become my helper.

Thursdays are now when Daddy has class, so you and I take care of Charlie together.   And soon, you will be home with me three days a week throughout the summer, and I can tell already that you and I will be a team.

Whenever we decide to do something, you say, ‘are we good to go?  let’s DO this!”

I die from the cute every time.

Most of the time you are very aware of your baby brother’s needs too.

If I am making dinner and he starts fussing or crying, you will jump over, put his pacifier in, and sweet talk to him.  Then you’ll announce, “I fixed baby Cha-wee, mommy.  Not you.  I.”

It makes me proud that you are so caring.

Eddie, you have no sense of being “too little” for anything.  And I love it.  If you see someone do something, you want to do it too and it never occurs to you that you might fail.

I wish I had this confidence.  This self-assurance.

You amaze me, Mr. Bear.

This past week you announced to me that you could read.  You opened How the Elephant Got His Trunk on my Nook and started telling me the story just by looking at the pictures.  You even got all the dialogue exactly right.

You sure can read, Eddie.  I am so proud.

Today you threw yourself on me and hugged me tight and announced, “you’re my favorite mommy, mom.”

I melted all over.  And then squeezed you so tight you squealed.

“You’re my favorite Eddie, Ed.”

And you giggled.

I love your giggle.  I love that you laugh at ridiculously obnoxious stuff like I do.

I love that daddy rolls his eyes at us when we are giggling about ridiculously obnoxious stuff.

I love that you have my same weird, quirky sense of humor.  You know.  The one that drives daddy crazy.

Yes, Eddie, we have our hard times, but you and I?  We are definitely a team.

I am so excited for you to turn three.

Because I am so proud of who you are.

And now?  Us being silly.  Because it’s our favorite.

Bud, you know I love you when I will post totally unflattering pictures of myself on the interwebs just because I love how much fun we had.

Don’t ever take yourself any more seriously than you do now…at age 2 and 11 months.

I love you.

You are my favorite Eddie, Ed.

Love,
Your favorite Mommy

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