Now you are three! Three years has gone by so, so fast! Dad and I are so proud of who you are and how you have grown this year. It seems like just yesterday you were toddling around, exploring your world. Now, you run everywhere and yell, “Mommy!” at the top of your lungs. You have so much to say, and have found that sweet but powerful voice of yours.
You’ve learned a lot this year. You’ve learned to count, to identify numbers and letters. You know all your colors, and your favorite is blue. Last year, you started to learn how to pedal your tricycle, and now you are a pro! Thanks to Meghan Trainor, you finally learned to dance! Dance parties have become a part of our routine. May dancing always bring you the smiles and giggles it brings you now. You learned that diapers are so last year, and you don’t need them anymore! You can get dressed almost all by yourself! Did you know that’s one of your favorite things to tell us? That you want to do something all by yourself? That independence will serve you well, kiddo. But sometimes, you’ll need help. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Your kitchen skills have improved this year. You love to help Mommy make muffins, eggs, pancakes, cupcakes, everything! Daddy’s the biscuit and bread guy, so you’re learning about all of that from him. As a family, we grew veggies and cooked those for our supper. You love to care for your plants. We enjoy seeing you sit and watch over the plants, carefully bending down to count the flowers or inspect the tiny beginnings of vegetables on each plant. Through gardening, you are learning how to nurture other living things. You are also learning that hard work can produce wonderful, sometimes miraculous results. I say miraculous because if it weren’t for your enthusiasm to water and check on the plants every day, I would probably forget. Thank you for that.
You got into taking care of your baby dolls this year. As a mom, it is so comforting to see how gentle and caring you are with your babies. You speak to them so softly, tucking them gently under your arm or next to you in your chair. The way you pat their backs to sleep shows me that you are already learning how to take care of other people, and that you are learning empathy. Empathy is a big word for feeling how someone else might be feeling, or putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Having empathy toward others is one of the most valuable skills you can master, and you are already well on your way.
You absolutely love being in water. If there’s water you want to be in it! You are a kid after my own heart! I think your favorite thing about last year was going to the beach with our friends. You, hands down, are a beach kid! We have tried to make a trip to the beach every year. We probably won’t be going this year, I know you’re disappointed. We are too. When it is safe, we will go and have the time of our lives splashing in the water, we promise! We will build sandcastles and do all of the beachy things.
As much as you have learned this last year, you have changed a lot too. Last year, it was all about Sesame Street and Moana. As you turn three, it’s Daniel Tiger and Elsa and Anna. Last year, you happily let us put your hair up in cute little pigtails and braids, but now you fight to have your hair down all day. You still love to build, but now the blocks are smaller and you are building more intricate designs. You enjoy sorting your blocks by size, color, and shape. You create tall towers, big cakes, and structures for your dinosaurs to interact with.
Sweet Girl, this year’s birthday looks a little different. You may not remember this when you get bigger, but we didn’t have a party this year. Dad and I had planned a great party at your favorite place, the children’s museum. We were looking forward to seeing you have so much fun with friends and family in your happy place. Then everything closed. And we had to regroup. So instead, we had a birthday parade for you. Friends and family drove by to wish you a happy birthday. Family gatherings were virtual, and cupcakes were shared with just us. It was perfect, actually. This year, your birthday book is “ish” by Peter H. Reynolds. What a year for “ish!” We’ve had to be okay with a lot of “ishness” lately, but being together with you has made this time of unknowing so fun and precious.
You are growing so fast, Sweet Girl. Sometimes Dad and I feel like we can’t keep up. Keep growing, keep learning, keep becoming the amazing human being we know you are.
We love you,
Mom (and Dad)