We've gone through quite a journey of a year, you and I.
At this time last year, I was raising the alarm to your doctor, the county, my friends, your grandparents- Help! We need HELP! You were unable to talk, incredibly frustrated that you couldn't, and melting down multiple times per day as a result. You were sleeping in our bed, waking up in the middle of the night, and in general were a miserable little person.
And so our odyssey began of speech therapy and sign language and special education and sleep training. Four times a week I would hustle to get you up and ready, the house looking decent, and mentally prepared to see what these wonderful women would have to offer you that morning.
And what they did- the miracle they performed- was that they brought you back to me.
Because underneath those tantrums, underneath the screaming and throwing yourself on the floor, you are a remarkably pleasant child. I fell in love with you all over again this year, not only because you are my child, but because I can honestly say that you are just someone I enjoy to be around. You are funny and gentle and sweet and calm and rock steady. You have many of the qualities that I love about your dad. And you are so handsome to boot.
Over the summer, we did a playground program through the town wherein every week we met and played with kids your age. I remember looking at you at one of those programs and thinking, "Oh, you are just the cutest thing! You are the most handsome kid here!" And then I thought, "Oh, isn't it wonderful that God gives us Mother Love Vision so we ALL think that our kid is the cutest of the group?" And THEN I thought to myself, in a whisper,"Yeah, but my kid really IS the cutest one here." And then I giggled to myself. So maybe I don't know how others see you, as I am clearly blinded by my own Mother Love Vision, but I can tell you this: most moments when I look at you, particularly when you are sleeping, my breath just stops and I am amazed that I have been blessed to have you as my son.
This is what we accomplished in this year of your life: you are sleeping in your own bed now. You are sleeping through the night. You are sleeping in a big boy bed, spurred on by your amazing adjustment to sleeping in one on Cape Cod in August. You are talking. You are talking. You are talking. Turns out you have a little lisp that we all adore. You are more agreeable, more outgoing, more willing to try something new, and more flexible. You started school, and while the initial transition into the classroom is still tough for you, you seem to enjoy going. You tolerated vacations, changes in routines, and improved your ability to put off for a moment what you want right now.
It was a big year.
Now, you are not perfect: you still only eat about 7 foods (strawberries, apples, mini muffins, corn, waffles, pancakes, pasta... protein? Who needs protein?, you ask); you still get awfully bossy sometimes; you have lots of rules about the right way to do things; you have a great many sensory issues that affect our everyday life; you still have the occasional Full-On Level-Five Freak Out. But you are just three, so I am not concerned... I know that this will pass. Life with you seems to get better and better, day by day, month by month, and I know from the experiences of raising your sisters that those months turn into years and seem to melt away.
You are a gift from God, and you spoke to me before you were born and told me you wanted to come to us. You laid on my heart then and you lay on my heart now, and for all our struggles- and believe me, there are moments that I really struggle with you- I know that God sent you to us and I was meant to be your mother. Of this I am positive. As I am busy raising you, you help me grow as a person and as a mother, and we are charting this course through life together.
And at this stage of our life together, I am madly in love with you.
Happy Birthday, my sweet boy.