Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday, Buddy Bear!

Dearest Buddy Bear,

Happy birthday to you, bud.  My, has this been a big year for you.  You are energetically, enthusiastically, unabashedly exploring the world, always ready to make new friends. Your sweet smile lights up my days and your energy always surpasses mine.  There are so many memories from the past year that I love to remember:

May...You call yourself "Gee," which we love. You also start speech with your teachers.  You were frustrated that others can't quite understand all you have to say, and now you are excited to have a teacher visitor every week, just for you.  You really rise to the occasion, and by the end of the summer you have improved leaps and bounds.  You are always begging to "see baby, peeeeese?"  You are our wiggle worm at church, and a big help in the garden.  You love to water the flowers for me!

June... You love balls of all kinds.  You are always begging me to bring the basketball hoop outside to the backyard so you can shoot hoops.  You have a great arm and great enthusiasm for all things sport!  We get to do swimming lessons together, and you are a champ in the water even though it is so cold outside.  You pass your level with flying colors!  We love searching for trucks on our neighborhood walks, because you love the Truck Tunes songs we sing together.

July...Morning breaks with blue paci, exploring Plymouth Plantation and the woods in Massachusetts with your cousins, riding the tractor with Uncle Scott up at GG's cabin and playing with Cousins B,E and P.  You love to run around the fountain with E-Bear and G-Bear at the University quad, it is so tempting to get wet as the weather warms!

August...Walking and talking with Papa at the cabin, riding on Daddy's shoulders on our evening walks, digging in the sand in Hilton Head (never complaining about sand in your suit), saying "Alabama" for the first time.  You creatively offer your dinner bites to the birds on our porch, "Here, birdie, birdie, eat this!"  At the State Fair, you love the rides: there are many tears each time your turn is over!

September...You are speaking so clearly now, everyone notices.  After church, you are off on your own, meeting and greeting others and inviting friends to play chase games, so much so that we sometimes can't find you!  You are a great helper sorting the silverware when we put away the dishes.  You make my day with your sweet sayings, "Oh, mommy, I missed you," or "I wove you soo much," and "You my pecial, pecial mommy."  After getting sick, you become a compassionate brother when others are sick, telling me, "Mommy, G-Bear needs med-cine."

October...Playing knights with E-Bear, who you love to tackle.  You LOVE a good knock-knock joke, and you are happy to share your favorite, the one about an interrupting cow--MOO!  You are Woody for Halloween.  For months to come your favorite greeting will be, "Happy Halloween!"

November...You love stories of any kind, especially Bible Stories and Disney stories.  I love to snuggle up and read with you, pal.  You are so sweet and gentle to J-Bear.  Somehow you can always contain your energy into soft sweetness when she is around.  We are back in swimming lessons together, and a few times you actually get to try class by yourself with "Teacher Anna!"

December...You are in the big kid room now, in your new big bed. You love to hop in by climbing over the railing head first, but you never hop out on your own.  Thankfully, G-Bear and E-Bear love to help you out in the morning.  You three make quite the team, so much so that it makes you sad to drop E-Bear and G-Bear off at school.  "I like to be a family," you say sadly whenever someone is away.  When we are re-united at the end of the day, we often here you cheer, "Yeah, we are a family again!" Thanks for all your help shoveling the snow so far.  Your pacis are getting chewed and broken, but neither of us are ready for you to give them up (you sleep so well with them at nap time!), so you get a few new ones in your Christmas stocking.

January...You love the story of David and Goliath so much that we make up a new bedtime song, "David and the Giant," to the tune of E-Bear's "Lightning McQueen" bedtime song.  You ask me to sing it every night.  You always have wonderful prayers to offer at bedtime.  You pray that we won't get sick, that God would bless each member of our family, you even pray for E-Bear's Lego Head lego holder on the bookshelf.  You have so much physical energy to let out everyday, too bad you aren't quite old enough for basketball school with E-Bear and G-Bear.  You are so excited to join in that it pains me to keep you on the sidelines.  Your speech teacher is so impressed, she says you are ready to graduate.  Oh, by the way, you now say your full name.  We are so proud of all you have to say, no matter how you say it.

February...Making a new friend at church, Mr. S, who you love to run over and hug. You are suddenly tall enough to turn on the light switch, but that is not all.  You can climb in your own car seat, bus your dishes, help me get J-Bear's diapers and put on snow boots.  Your favorite songs are "Jesus, Take My All" by Rend Collective and "God's Not Dead." I love to listen to you sing these songs at the top of your lungs and roar like a lion during the lyrics of the latter, and you love inviting us to sing along too.  You impress us all by processing with the toy riding horse around the house saying, "I carrying the cross,"  and by blessing your bites at dinner by holding them up over your head.

March...skiing for the first time (between my legs, but even down the big hills!), snow shoeing in the backpack with Dad near the cabin.  We are coloring pictures, playing with play dough and coloring with chalk these wintery days.  You have lots to say to everyone.  Everyone we meet comments on how engaging and friendly you are. You greet J-Bear in her crib with the sweetest words: "Hiiii, J-Bear!"

April...At the beginning of the month you are using the potty, and you are in underpants by your birthday!  Way to go!  The secret was rewarding you with Jake & Neverland Pirates shows at the end of the day if you kept your pants clean.  You love inviting E-Bear and G-bear to join in your reward, and they are always so excited and happy to join you.  Your birthday also brings your first night without your chewed white paci, just by chance, and you are so proud to tell everyone that you did it!  You still love having time with blue paci at nap time, and that is fine with me.  You love visiting friends and inviting friends over. You love the Muppets, Finding Nemo the Musical, Cat Chat and Ninja turtles.

Buddy Bear, you really have grown into a big kid in almost every way.  Your enthusiasm and energy sometimes gets the best of you, but you show such a penitent heart when I have to correct you for doing something wrong.  As Daddy says, you are such a FUN brother for your siblings.  You make friends so easily because you have a way of including and welcoming others.  I love to be silly to you.  I love slowing down to hear all you have to say.  I love to hear you sing to Jesus and talk to him.  I love both your shy and mischievous smiles.  Daddy and I pray that your heart will grow in love of the Lord and all people, and we pray that you will continue to be the shining light of love that you already are.  For now, I am going to treasure your snuggles and your head on my shoulder when I wake you up from nap time to get G-Bear and E-Bear from school.  These little days with you pass are flying by.  Happy birthday, sweet bubby, happy birthday.

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