a letter to liam

to my darling boy,

today, you turn 3. how did that happen? weren’t you just born? wasn’t it just the other day you were waking at night for milk, babbling in baby-speak, learning how to crawl?

the truth is — as much as it pains me to say — while you may still enjoy being cradled and rocked from time to time, you are no longer a baby. you’ve been confident in your ability to walk for over two years now. you run and chase, climb and explore, talk and listen. you really are growing up.

it’s your birthday, and each year on this day, i am thankful. you are the greatest gift i have ever received.

what an honour it is watching you grow and learn and discover who you are. being there for every success and every failure, every laugh and every cry, every moment big and small — nothing in this world makes me happier than being your mama.

you are such a kind, nurturing soul; you care for your family, for your animals, for the characters you meet in books and films. you want everyone to share and be involved. you are seriously sweet with just the right amount of sass. you are the absolute funniest — just a delight to be around. you are bright and so, so curious about everything. you are always eager to learn and experience more. you are playful and, at times, a bit bouncing-off-the-walls wild.

you ask to watch harry potter every morning, afternoon, and evening; you particularly like the “buckbeak, wolfie, dog” one. you love cooking food for mama and papa (and gum and guppa and anyone else who comes to visit) in your new kitchen. your eyes light up when i pull out the giant pad of paper and the box of crayons and say it’s time to draw. you get a kick out of playing pretend; a mighty, roaring lion tends to be your first choice. you are a big fan of bubble baths and reading books in bed. you wiggle and jump and shake your bum like nobody’s watching anytime you hear a song you like. you somehow never grow tired of being constantly covered in hugs and kisses.

eating food is your favourite part of being alive — you’d probably never stop eating if i’d let you — but mama and papa tie for a close second. flipping through the colourful pages of children’s books at the nearby library in search of animals could keep you entertained for hours. nothing makes you come to life more than being one with nature; feeling the grass, collecting leaves and rocks and flowers, watching the clouds pass by overhead, imitating woodpeckers on trees, pointing out every single bug that catches your eye.

you are bursting with energy. you know what you like and what you don’t like and you make sure everyone else does, too. you are full of optimism. you never fail to make others smile. you are heroically courageous. you are forever on the lookout for a new adventure. you have the most sentimental heart.

you bring out the very best in me and papa. every day, you inspire us to better ourselves — to put others first, to be patient and persevere, to choose calmness over anger, to always do our best to show compassion. you’ve taught us that it’s about progress, not perfection, and that the best things in life aren’t things. at times, it seems like you teach us more than we could ever teach you, and i’m so grateful for every lesson you provide.

today, with pancakes and animals and balloons as per your request, we celebrate three years of life with you. it has been the most wonderful time, and it only ever gets better. this next step — age three — is going to be brilliant. you will be brilliant.

“happee birthdae,” liam. you are so very loved.

— mama

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