Happiest third birthday, my E!
This is a big year for our family, as it is the last birthday of yours as a family of three! What a delight it has been to have had three years with just you, my little babe. You’ve made us parents and helped move us towards chasing the right things for you, even when following through can be hard. It’s been a gift to learn and grow in consistency as it’s just us three first.
You’ve brought us so many belly laughs the past year as you’ve grown into having the most joyful, silly and energetic personality. You enjoy entertaining yourself with your toys and playing make-believe with the animals and cars. We love just watching your mind create and solve problems for your toys. I love watching you play make-believe with Daddy. Watching him get down and play cars with you makes me fall for him even more.
The year also brought more opportunities for growth as we experience things we never have before. We are always on the lesson of kindness, gentleness and loving well as we teach you forgiveness and how to apologize for mistakes in that area. This has been a lesson your Daddy and I practice, as we also need grace. Discipline is hard, for you and for us. We are still learning as you are learning, so grace still plays a big role in our thoughts and hearts. I think that’s been the theme of the past year as we steward you to make choices of your own and take ownership over them.
Cuddle or hug requests, while not as frequent as I’d like, have been happening more often. Each time it just melts me to a puddle on the floor. Know I’m always here for a hug or a beso.
You have learned how to be a good helper! You have learned to pick up and even know how to organize your toys before bed. When Mommy’s phone rings, you pick it up to bring it over to me. A fun memory has been having your hand in some baking and dinner prep. Another thing you do is clean up messes! You actually request for paper towels to pick up spilled water or food, because you do not enjoy the mess (I’m okay with this). My sweet boy, you’re going to be such a great helper when your sister joins our family. I’m already so proud of you for being willing to follow directions.
We have added potty training to the mix, celebrating every single time you successfully use the bathroom. You will learn very quickly that celebrating victories is a big thing in this family. We do fist bumps, high fives and treats as we announce it to the entire household that you have used the bathroom! Oh man, the Lord has really taught us a lot about patience and not-our-own timing with this one. Even in the little moments with you, we’re growing as well.
Another thing you learned this past year was to pray on your own! You’ve prayed for your friends, you’ve thanked God for your food and for your grandparents, you’ve prayed for your sister to grow strong, and you’ve prayed for me when I’ve been sick (or when I stub my toe and you ask Jesus to help me feel better and see a doctor, lol). Our hope is that your friendship with God never lacks this genuine conversation. May you always realize you can talk to God about anything and that nothing is too small for Him to care about, even stubbing a toe.
While you’ve always been around kids in church or daycare, this year you made friends. You love saying that the neighbor is your best friend. A highlight has been seeing someone adore you as much as you adore them. While on a playdate, I was distracted by talking to your BFF’s mommy and then when we turn to look where you guys were, you were hugging each other voluntarily. Oh, how I love watching you love.
I’m excited to see you share that love for the little sister. Your greatest role yet will be to help lead her and help her. Oh, Ethan, it has been such a pleasure getting to know you more as you grow and love. Last night, as I was putting you to bed, I laid next to you in tears as I thanked God for bringing you to us. Your life is a gift and one I’m constantly thanking the Lord for.
Love you always,