Happy 3rd Birthday, Girls! It seems like you have been a part of my life so much longer than three years. And it also seems like you joined us only last week. You both love to hear the story of your birth. Luce, you especially like the part about how my friend Stephanie brought you your very first cupcake to the hospital (I have conveniently left out the part that you didn’t actually get to eat that cupcake. It makes for a story you much prefer).
This birthday of yours, you two turning three, has made me weepy. It’s probably at least partially related to pregnancy hormones, but I also am very aware of the fact that you two are no longer babies. Not even toddlers. You’re in the official “preschooler” category, and more and more, you’re my little girls. Don’t get me wrong. That’s so wonderful. I love this age, this stage, the things you do and say so much. We talk. The other night at dinner, Lucy, you said, “Mama, let’s have a conversation”. Seriously. So I love it, but I also miss you two as babies and toddlers. When you hold my face with your hands, they aren’t chubby anymore. You want to be snuggled, rocked, and held much less often these days. You have both become independent in so many areas, which is absolutely as it should be, but also absolutely difficult and tear-inducing as I learn to be a mama who is willing to let you grow up. So be patient with me, little meatballs (you will always be my little meatballs). We’re learning a lot together as you two grow.
Things I know about you:
Lucy. You like to snuggle –deep under your covers, you like to feel the weight of something (or someone) around you. You are sensitive – you get these beautiful big worried eyes if you think that someone isn’t being treated fairly (a real someone or a book or movie someone). You also cannot handle it if your sister or your dad or I talk to you sternly. You’re convinced that if you are corrected, it means you’re in trouble. You take off running and through your tears, you tell us that you’re running away and “you’ll never see me again”. You are a leader. This is more than being bossy (yes, it’s true, sometimes you’re that, too!), it’s something quieter and more confident. You are content to be dropped off at preschool and quickly start doing your thing. You give me a hug and a kiss and you’re off. You love stories – books, but also the made-up ones that your dad and I tell you. You have a mind like a steel trap; you routinely correct us on facts (“no, Shawna gave me this”), and you also memorize your books so you can “read” them to me and Janey. You love the color purple, cupcakes, washing dishes, and chicken (plain, of course). You’re such a little nurturer – you happily cover Jane up with her blanket when she can’t get it right, and I’ve seen you stroking her hair when she’s upset. You completely dress and undress yourself, usually insisting that we don’t help you, even when this ends in tears because you just can’t get your shoes or that one sleeve to cooperate. You still have the best full belly laugh I’ve ever heard. You love to sing and dance (dancing involves one elbow being thrust into the air and then you basically spin around that point) and do projects.
Jane. You love animals. Ralph is your favorite (along with the concrete cat that you carry around and the ceramic bunny and the bronze lion), and you often holler at Daisy when she’s being too rough with him. Speaking of Daisy, you started calling her Daisy Jr. completely out of the blue. You hate to be covered up in bed and either sleep spread eagle on your back, or curled into a tight ball on your stomach with your arms directly underneath you so your hands stick out just under your bottom. You have such command over your body. I love to watch you at the park as you race up stairs and ladders and climb any- and everything. You jump or run or gallop almost everywhere you go, and you never seem to tire. You adore your sister, often telling her that you love her (unprompted!) and going in search of a toy for her when she’s otherwise inconsolable. You refer to her as “my Luce”. You are willing to eat almost anything, and you like most of it. You also hate to stay seated at the table. In fact, I don’t think we’ve had a meal since not being strapped in your high chair where you’ve been able to remain in your seat the entire seven minutes. You prefer to eat fast, jump down, dance, run, and hop around, coming back for a bite every now and then. I think you would be perfectly content to let me dress and undress you for the rest of your life. You are adamant about picking out your shirt, but other than that, you’re pretty hands off. You are the one who is a bit reluctant to let me drop you off at preschool, and you’re also the one who gives out hugs to all the kids in your class when I pick you up. You are not afraid of anything.
Lucy and Jane, you are two of the most wonderful people I know. You are funny and kind, smart and inquisitive, beautiful and creative. I truly couldn’t love you more. Thanks for letting me be your mama. Oh, and Happy Birthday!
All my love,