Dearest Addison Weeks,
How are you?
What’s that you say?
It’s your birthday? You’re 3 years old today? You’re having a party with balloons and chocolate cake and you’re going to eat pasta with just sauce for your birthday dinner? And Momar and Doda and Kimmy are coming? And we’re going to sing to you? And, yes, you have mentioned that you’re having a party. Oh, yes, balloons, of course they’ll be balloons. And bessert. Yes, lots and lots of bessert will be consumed.
How could I possibly forget any of these essential details as they’ve been the running narrative ever since you bore witness to my birthday celebrations one month ago. You have been looking forward to this day with much enthusiasm and longing. Everyday we’ve had to remind you that, no, today is not yet your birthday. But this morning, oh boy, your look of delight and pure pleasure rivaled that of any joyous cartoon’s expression when you trotted into our room and Daddy and I proclaimed, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Daddy and I snuggled you into our arms and we snapped silly pictures and I lay there thinking, How is it possible that she is three? How is this beautiful, smart, funny little girl mine? How did we ever get so lucky?
You are such a bright spot in our lives. Your sister thinks that you’re the cat’s meow, which is fitting given that when you play pretend, 9 times out of 10 you impersonate a kitty cat. It’s as though you sense your parents aversion to felines, and are trying to change our minds with your adorable imitations of this potential addition to our dependents.
Fat chance, kid. Mama’s getting her baby chicks next month. There’s no room for chicken poaching felines in our midst.
Oh, but the chickens. You are intrigued by the prospect of chicken ownership given your love of the film Chicken Run. You and I have decided that we will name our chicks after the characters in said movie. Babs. Mac. Ginger. Bunty. Edwina. Rocky.
Although, admittedly, we’re not getting a rooster. Because they are almost as terrifying as you find ants, and flies, and bees. You don’t discriminate. If it’s creepy crawly, you want nothing to do with it. Since moving to the farm we’ve been inundated with creepy wildlife and often you’ll sit atop the slide of your new swing set demanding that Daddy or I remove the offending bug from your sliding trajectory. Even if it’s a ladybug. No amount of cajoling will convince you to head on down that slide and knock the bug from your path. I think you’d take up residence in your swing set were we not to clear the runway for you. But we’re trying to show you that most bugs are actually quite harmless and that you better get used to ‘em because, um, we live on a freaking farm now. Weird wildlife is part of the package.
Yes, even that beetle the size of your sister’s head that greeted us the other morning for breakfast in the kitchen. Even him. We must learn to not panic and hide on top of the kitchen table the next time Sir Beetle comes to visit.
While we can tell that three is going to be an unbelievably challenging age as you are more defiant and stubborn and free-willed than ever before, it also is going to be filled with such thoughtfulness and make believe. Watching you engage with the world is a truly magical experience. If only we could hold on to our preschool lens for life. The world would be a far simpler, more beautiful place. We’d take time in the evening to listen to the frogs outside our window. We would revel in the simplicity and joy of a balloon or a swing or our bare feet in a cold stream. We’d dance like no one’s watching, even in the middle of the grocery store. We’d ask why. We’d be curious about the world around us. We’d sit around the dinner table as a family and talk about our day. We’d even ask the dogs how they spent their day. We’d turn old boxes into castles and pillows into clouds. Our greatest concern would be what bows to put in our pigtails and what crayons to pack in our backpack. We’d spend our days drawing and reading and swinging and snuggling and eating Gold Fish and splashing in a nightly bath. We’d say I love you, freely, all the time. Whether it be to our blanket or our doggie or our favorite stuffed animal or our party shoes or our Mommy, Daddy and little sister.
There are moments when, out of the blue, you’ll look at me with such sincerity and declare, “Mommy, I love.” It’s as though you’ve stopped time in its tracks to process the gravity of such an emotion and understand the weight and significance of those words. Above anything else your Daddy and I teach you, we hope that you will hold on to this ability to tell those you love how you feel, often and unabashedly. Because my dear girl, we love you. Oh we love you so much that the pit of my stomach aches, so tightly bundled with love am I for you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I will never be able to tell you enough in my lifetime, but I’m sure going to try.
I love you, my Sunny girl.
Happy 3rd Birthday!