What it Means to be Three

Don’t mind me, sweet baby.

I just love to watch you play, and nighttime is my favorite. When you get quiet and sleepy, a hush falls over the house. That’s when I look back and see that our day was made up of magic.

It takes my breath away.

They say the days are long but the years are short, and I s’pose that’s why it’s harder to see the magic in the moment. If only it could be the other way around. But looking back on the memories tonight, my mama heart could burst.

You’re three now, little love. Three years old! Already.

I can’t believe it.

I knew growing up was part of the deal, but I didn’t think it would happen so fast.

I didn’t know the time would slip through my fingers like sand.

I didn’t know that watching you grow would be like chasing the wind. I’ll never be able to catch the time in my hand…slow it down. I’ll never be able to stop it from blowing away.

But, let me tell you something.

Even though THREE is here too soon for me, I know you’re going to love it.

It’s a marvelous thing to be three. It’s full of whimsy and wonder.

Three is when you really learn to spread your wings.

You’ll soar a little higher.

And fall a little harder.

You’ll reach for me less often.

You’ll give up some of the last comforts that let you keep the title of “baby.” (I’ll tell you a secret, though…I don’t mind if you cling to those things a little while longer. And you’ll be my baby for always.)

You’ll definitely push more.

For your independence.

For your way.

For your opinion.

For your voice.

You’ll even push me away a little bit.

But you’ll also love even harder.

Your sticky-sweet hands will learn to be gentler.

Your kind heart will feel more natural compassion.

You’ll speak louder. Clearer.

You’ll know way too many things.

And ask so many questions.

Your curiosity and creativity will inspire me every day.

You’ll live in a land of make-believe and fill your days with giggles.

You’ll dare to create your own adventures.

You’ll marvel at the world — its color, its wonder, its song.

And you’ll invite the world and brand-new friends to marvel with you, too.

I’ll be there beside you, I promise.

I’ll be awestruck by your brilliance.

Mesmerized by your unique beauty.

Delighted by your quirks.

Every day, I’ll discover intricate, fascinating new pieces that somehow fit into the sublime puzzle of YOU.

I’ll learn to keep going without a whole heart. The aching remnant will constantly remind me of the missing piece…the piece that goes where you go.

The strings of sadness will tug a tiny bit, even when we’re together, because I won’t be able to ignore anymore that every passing moment is a second closer to the time you’ll fly away.

I’ll never be ready for that take-off. But I’ll always watch the skies and stretch my arm out when you land.

And even if I can’t capture time, your being three means we have many years left to play in the magic.

For tonight, you’re awfully sleepy. Come and snuggle in my arms, sweet baby. The night is still, the earth is at rest, the crickets are starting their serenade, and your mama is here to watch the dreams dance across your face.

THREE will still be waiting when the sun comes up tomorrow.

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