Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy Third Birthday to you, E-Bear!




I'm turning three!

Dearest E-Bear,

What a blessing it is to celebrate three years with you today.  You have grown from a smiling little babe, into a train loving toddler, into a energetic preschooler.  There is so much that we treasure about you these days.  You will always be our precious first-born son, but you are so much more as well.  You are kind and tenderhearted, inviting toward others. You are your sister's best friend and playmate.  You are the delight of your little brother, so gentle and sweet toward him, considerate of his needs. You take life by the reins, plunge headlong into the challenges of your age, and yet you still make space for sweet, quiet moments.  This year with you has been filled with fun and milestones:

January......You are our pickiest eater at dinner, unless I'm serving noodles, but you eat breakfast with the best of them.  Every morning when I wake you up, you ask if you can play with your trains -- oh, the mornings we have had at your train table.  When we went to see Sesame Live together, you welcomed the muppets by name with enthusiastic cheers and claps, which is how you make me feel when you welcome me home from work too.

February....Whether reading library books with your sister on the couch, or solving your favorite jigsaw puzzle, you manage to stay busy during the long, cold winter.  Your focus and attention to your puzzles is impressive, and you are even teaching your sister a thing or two!  We loved your first spontaneous prayer at dinner time.  You also enjoyed your first weekend sleepover at MoMo and Papa's while Mommy and Daddy were out of town together.

March.... You cheered for the princes at Disney Princesses on Ice, no less enthusiastic than your princess -loving sister.  As the month passes, you are always asking me if you can "put a bean in the basket" for our Lenten preparations, and the prayers you add to our prayer chain are just as sweet.  You and your sister remain inseparable reading and make-believe buddies.   I pray almost daily that you remain this close always.

April....Snowsuits in April and a superman cape at your sister's birthday, you start the month in style.  You are giving my big belly lots of kisses for the baby these days. You are so ready and willing to be a big brother that you give up your crib for a big kid bed and are able to reach the light switch yourself, all in one afternoon!  When your little brother arrives, you take it all in stride, never flinching in your tenderness and sweetness....Except during our family Easter egg hunt at Papa's house, when you relentlessly hunted those jellybeans!

May....You have grown out of your first bike helmet, and you are helping Papa plant flowers in the garden.  You are, at the same time, the big brother looking out for the baby, and my little boy who asks me to kiss scrapes and bumps.  We rarely see you without your Prince Philip cape on, except when you're wowing us in the pool during your first swimming lessons.  At the playground, you are tackling the tallest twisty slides like a big kid, and you fit in like one, especially when you are holding hands with your sister's class on her end-of-the-year preschool field trips.

June....You are loving Shel Silverstein poems these days and excelling in your lessons at the pool and in your kite-flying skills.  At our last visit to the doctor, you impress Daddy and me so much by offering to be the first one to get shots.  You were so brave even though they hurt. You express yourself so well these days, and you are always making us laugh with your expressions.

July....It's a big month for us, from Fourth of July at "Cousin Brett's cabin" for GG's birthday, to our big move away from Minnesota.  We made up our "Lightning McQueen" bedtime song together at the cabin, and you developed an affinity for stickers during our long cabin weekends.  We treasure the last of our summer days in MN together with MoMo and Papa.  Then, you anxiously await our moving truck and help me pack up our playroom (your bedroom!) when the time comes.  Everyday, you ask me, "Mom, is it time to go to Norf Carolina?!"

August....A new home, a new room, and you take it all in stride.  You and your sister love sharing a room together.  Meanwhile, your love of Superman has arrived, and you love your new caped shirt.  You take Tweetsie Railroad by storm and we survive our first earthquake at the lunch table.

September....You are so excited to start school for the first time, and you only tear up after I've left your class.  The first week is harder on me than it is in you, and by the second week you are racing to you classroom door.  You are also quick to fall in love with Alabama football this season, a boy after your dad's heart.

October....You love jack-o-lanters and can't wait to be Woody for Halloween.  You also love your teachers at "Bible school" every week, and they adore you.  Everyday we visit "Mr. Gary" at our community office to practice trick-or-treating, so by Halloween at Papa's, you are a pro!

November....You have been potty training at school, with little help from mom.  By now, you are picking out your first pair of Cars underpants!  Unfortunately, the automated flushers cause us some problems on our travels.  All the more reason for you to be proud when you learn to stand at the potty: "See, I did it, Mom!" you say in delight.  Chick-fil-a lunches with Dad after Bible school are one of your favorite treats.

December....Christmas is a truly magical season for you this year, and we love to experience it anew through your wide eyes.  You are a generous giver on our Saint Nicholas day.  We make Advent wreaths and you decorate our Christmas cookies, and on our long interview travels you are a super-duper-trooper.  You now are able to respond to inquiring minds that you are "two-and-a-half," just in time to turn three.

Sweet E-Bear, thanks for always inviting me to join in, whether offering me your snack, part of your treat, or asking me to join you in playing with your trains.  Thanks for being your sister's best friend.  Thank you for delighting your brother.  Daddy and I treasure you.  May God continue to bless you with a tender heart for others and a powerful love for Him.

We love you, buddy.  Happy Birthday.

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