Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Thirty-Six Months: My Letter to Little Man

So here we are, my little buckaroo, on your third birthday. Can you believe it's been three years? I know, I know, to me, it feels like the blink of an eye, but I guess to you, it feels like a lifetime. We've been talking about this day for weeks now, maybe even months, me with much sadness, you with much glee. When I tell you you're going to be three, you like to rub it in by saying "yeah! And then I be four! And then I be five!" Which, ok, I get it! Eventually you'll also be 35 and wanting to date, but we don't have to talk about that either, ok?

But if we must talk about dating, I hope you know that I am fully grooming you to be the perfect husband. You love to cook with me, and the other night, when your dad was gone, you and I went all out and made quite the feast for each other. We started with shrimp cocktail, followed by tortilla-crusted tilapia with a red pepper sauce and some fantastic sides. You helped with the whole process and as we sat there eating together after all of our hard work was done, I said to you "you're going to be quite the catch someday! You're smart, good looking and you'll be an awesome cook!" You nodded and said "and I can hit balls really hard!" Which you obviously read in Cosmo Magazine that the ability to hit balls is the top requirement women have for their men.

So much has happened during the past year, that if I were to try to summarize the last 365 days, I wouldn't even know where to start. Yesterday, you and I were watching videos of you that I have on my computer, and some of them were almost a year old and the difference between the you on those videos and the you now is so staggering, that I can hardly believe that I'm looking at the same boy. The chubbiness of your cheeks, the rolls of your legs, they're gone now, leaving in their wake the face of a little boy and the legs of a runner. Your speech, which I thought was complex and advanced a year ago, is no longer comparable to the things you say now (my current favorite? "Are you kidding me?" Although, just so you know, it's cute coming out of a barely three-year old's mouth, but it'll probably be considered obnoxious by the time you turn five).

Today, you move to the big kids' class at your school. This morning, I walked you into the building, like I always do, holding your little hand tightly in mine, but this time, you were wearing a uniform and everything was different. Today, you begin to study reading and writing and working on a monthly science project and doing things that ensure that you will know more than me by your fourth birthday.

One major change during the past year has been what you call me. We started out the year with "Mama," a name I expected to have for a very long time. But sometime this year, I became "Mommy" and no matter how much foot stomping I did, you wouldn't go back to Mama. Then, a couple of weeks ago, out of nowhere, with absolutely no warning, you switched to "Mom." This is where I really lost it, because seriously? I wasn't expecting to become someone's "Mom" for at least 8 or 10 more years. I finally convinced you that unless you wanted to be taken out of the will right there and then, you'd better switch back to at least Mommy. And wouldn't you know it, hitting you in the piggy bank was the ticket, because if there's one thing you've inherited from your father, it's your love of money.

This morning, you blew out the first candle of your third-birthday celebration. I made you an Eggo waffle and served it with a big scoop of chocolate ice cream on it, because if you can't have ice cream for breakfast on your birthday, then when can you? (the answer to that, of course, is when you're pregnant. Which please choose to blame your father if you're mad that you'll miss out on that front, I'm sure you'll find plenty to blame on me as you approach your adult years.) I put a candle on that scoop of ice cream and you declared that this was a mighty fine breakfast indeed. When your Nonnie called to wish you a happy birthday, you told her you'd had ice cream for breakfast, which all I have to say about that is way to leave out of the story the vitamin-filled waffle, kid.

This will be a big year for you. A new class, a new baby brother, and by the time your next birthday rolls around, you'll have started pre-K at your elementary school. A part of me wants to hold you back and beg you to stay with me right here, in this moment. Let's snuggle forever, instead of just a whole lazy Sunday morning away together, or let's draw Daddy in chalk on the sidewalk 10,000 times or sing head, shoulders, knees and toes (and I promise I won't do the hand gestures, since you always yell at me when I try to jump in) 50,000 times, I'll do anything you want, just stop growing up so fast. I guess I'm learning that as a mother, I'm nothing more than your Velveteen rabbit. Some day, when you get hurt and cry out, instead of running to me and asking me to kiss it better, you'll shrug it off or curse under your breath.

You'll stop asking me "are you my friend?" when we're quietly reading books together. And some day, you'll leave me for good and I'll cherish every phone call from you, no matter how few and far between they might be and I'll remember that once upon a time, you were mine, even if it was ever so briefly. But just like the velveteen rabbit, I'll still be looking out for you, making sure that you're safe and loving you with every fiber of my being. And that, my friend, is something that I hope you never doubt, no matter where the road of life may take you.

I love you my Little Man,



Wonderful World of Weiners said...

The eyes over the watermelon? Priceless!

Mr. Sock Monkey and I MAY just have to campaign our butts your way just to get a look at them in person.

Still need 14 more states!! UGH!!

Hallie :)

Burgh Baby said...

Best. Portraits. Ever. They are perfect!

Happy birthday, Little Man! I hope the entire day is filled with ice cream and cookies and whatever else your little heart desires.

Anonymous said...

Loe the portraits!! Such a handsome little boy!!

Happy Birthday, Little Man!! I hope you get all the ice cream and cake and candles you wish for :)

Rachel said...

One day I will learn not to read your letters while I am at work.

Happy Birthday Little Man!!!

ChrisB said...

That is a lovely post and the portraits are beautiful.
Happy Birthday to your gorgeous Little Man.

Julie said...

Happy birthday big guy! I love that you served him ice cream for breakfast - how fun! (And now I totally want some - gee thanks!)

I can't believe he's 3 already - wow, time flies!

Haphazardkat said...

Argh! Your love letters to your little man always make me cry! (in a good way--but still! argh!)

I can't believe how big he's lookin now. He's beautiful.

Oh..and? The 2nd Zazzle pic? He's totally flippin somebody off.

So your kid. hehehe :D

Morgan said...

Awwwwwwwwww! Happy Birthday, Little Man! :)

susan said...

Happy Birthday ~not so~ Little Man! He's brilliant & gorgeous & we have to hang out more so Katie can date him one day. :D

Hot Mamma said...

I think the letters you do are so sweet. What a neat way to reflect back also. Your son is adorable which you already know :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!!

Kathryn said...

Aww. Happy Birthday, Little Man! Such a stinking cutie!!!!

Bren said...

*sniff* I did not need to read that letter right now.

Beautiful portraits! I just love PP and always spend a fortune there. I mean, seriously, how can you be expected to just take one pose and leave the others behind. I can never do it.

Susan said...

That was just beautiful! What a lucky boy. And what a great mom.

Nina Diane said...

wonderful letter to little man. They just grown up too darn fast. Our little grandson Maddox will be 3 on Sept 12th! I can't believe it.

That Chick Over There said...

He's just precious. Word.

Jesse said...

HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY LITTLE MAN! I always love your letters but this one made me tear up because you said everything I've been feeling for the past couple of weeks.

Anonymous said...

Fine I'm a couple of glasses of wine into my evening... but nowhere near PMS'ing... and yet... YOU MADE ME TEAR UP!!! I'm sitting here with Michael, looking at (gorgeous!!) pictures of LM, and you're reminding me that these days are not going to last forever!!! ACK!! My guy is only two, and still... it's too fast!!!

Happy 3rd Birthday LM!

(BTW, really? A uniform already?? And also... they really teach French in Texas??!)

CPA Mom said...

My God. You are an amazing writer. That last paragraph? Should be copyrighted.

Where did the pictures get made? PRECIOUS!

And Oh.My.God. I thought it was just me. My daughter went from Mommy to Mom and to Mama in just a few months. I'm glad were on Mama right now. The "Mom" can take a hike!

beach mama said...

Happy Birthday Little Man!!

That was a wonderful letter. And I remember all those feelings when the Kid turned 3, now he's 4 and it's just going way too damn fast!! I just want to put him in a time bubble and keep him safe and just this age forever.

LaskiGal said...

Dang it. Tearing up. Great. I'm a sap. I was just looking at J's pics from the day he was born.

In only 12 short months he's turned into a whole new little person.


Seriously . . . the best letter.

I just wish there was a PAUSE button.

A's Mom said...

The portraits are to die for... how cute is that kid?!? (coming from a mom who thinks their kid is the cutest that is a great compliment!)

I absolutely love your letters to Little Man. I really hope you are printing these off and putting them in a book to cherish for years to come. I'm positive that he'll be laughing and smiling at these letters... when he learns to read of course. Which with the way he's growing will be next year. Let's hope not for your sanity.


Marmarbug said...

Your letter made me cry. Damn you!

But it was so sweet. WHERE does the time go??????? I hate it.
HE looks so adorably grown in those pics. (I know I know I am NOT helping!)

Happy Birthday sweetie!

Poltzie said...

Oh Mom, happy brithday to your sweet little man!