My sweetest Joshua,
Just like that — as though I merely snapped my fingers — you, my tiny miracle, sprouted from this…
I keep asking myself where the time went. I keep asking myself what I could ever have done to deserve the gift that you are. I keep asking myself how one tiny human being could possibly bring so much light, laughter, and love to so many people. I keep asking myself how you went from a completely helpless newborn, needing mommy and daddy to do everything for you, to getting mad at us for trying to help you cook scrambled eggs. And I ask myself every single day if there is anything, anything at all, that I could have done to slow down time and keep you this small for a little while longer.
And then I tell myself that you, my beautiful, sweet, funny, rambunctious, messy, increasingly independent little boy, are still the same you, only better. Once upon a time, you loved taking baths (and I have the pictures to prove it!) and now you scream when water touches your hair; you’re still wearing diapers 24/7 because you just aren’t ready to potty-train yet; and your temper tantrums could give coddled, spoiled celebrities or politicians in Washington a run for their money…but these things won’t last forever. One day you’ll figure out that, if you just close your eyes and tilt your head back, water and shampoo will avoid your eyes. You’ll eventually realize that you don’t like feeling wet and you’ll shun diapers like you do vegetables, and then going potty will become as routine as asking for your “min and milk” in the mornings.
As for the temper tantrums? Well…I hope you outgrow them eventually. (Fingers crossed nice and tight on that one.)
Right now — literally, the very minute this letter publishes — three years ago, I was lying on an operating table, scared and excited and anticipating your first cry, and desperately trying to hold myself together when that beautiful sound made its grand debut. Today, that’s been replaced with joyous shrieking and giggling, lots of quiet singing, and discussion about when you’ll get to ride a school bus. (For the record, I am not looking forward to that day.) You have filled my days with the world’s most beautiful music, prettier even than the greatest symphony, and I would have it no other way. I’m so thankful to your daddy for finding a way to let me stay home with you; I think we’ve learned a great deal from each other already, and that will only continue as we draw closer to kindergarten.
But today isn’t about learning. It’s about celebrating you! You’ll get to pick what we have for lunch, and we’ll get you a cupcake at your favorite bookstore. Daddy and I know you’ve loved playing with the new toys you got at your birthday party over the weekend, and today’s about picking out some more things you love and bringing them home. That yellow dump truck you’ve been asking Daddy to get for you? Today, it’s yours. And the red Tonka monster truck you wanted? We’ll buy it today. Maybe I’ll even be able to talk Daddy into letting you get the fire truck that matches the police car and ambulance that you got from Grandma at your party! And that’s just the “red store” — the big goal for the toy store is to pick up all the Cars vehicles you don’t have yet (because I know that the six you already have just aren’t enough and that you need the whole set from Radiator Springs)! And of course, as boring as it probably is for you, we’ll buy you some new clothes, because you just can’t seem to stop growing! You’re going to come home today with lots of new stuff and I can’t wait to see you smile as all the toys you’ve coveted for so long will finally make it out to the car with us!
We love you so very much and we couldn’t be even the tiniest bit prouder of the boy you’re becoming. We know you’re three now, and that means you’re a big boy. We know you’re not going to want to hold our hands forever, so we’re taking full advantage now while we still can…but remember, if you ever need a hand to squeeze, Mommy’s and Daddy’s are always available for you.
Happy third birthday, Baby Bear!
Mommy, Daddy, and “Frankie Face”