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To Calvin, who is 3 years old today

Oh my, how the time has flown.  It would be a cliche for us to say that we remember your birth day like it was yesterday, and the truth is, we don't really.  We don't remember the sleepless nights really (perhaps because you were a pretty good sleeper all along), and we don't really remember the time of ten diaper changes a day (that is conveniently blocked from minds).  We do, though, remember those early days filled with pride and joy; days that were bright and sunny and cooled by a soft whispering breeze; the days started us off as a family and filled our lives with a love we'd had no previous capacity for understanding.  Three years ago.

Today our days themselves might be just the same–bright sun and a cool breeze–but quiet and soft are rarely part of our descriptive vocabulary anymore.  Over the past year your loves have not changed–you still love animals, books, nature, and your blanket–but the volume with which you express your love has definitely increased.  So, by the way, has your vocabulary.  Sitting at the breakfast table the other day, finding that we were short of kiwi for the morning, you expressed your disappointment eloquently with "that really irks me," and your myriad of words has never ceased to amaze your devoted public.  You have made friends all over our little village, from Miss Terry at the bakery, who gives you your twisted pretzel before library every week, to Mr. George at the camera shop, who develops our plethora of pictures, and even the ladies at the grocery store in our neighborhood.  You are a kind and friendly child, and have a fine grasp of manners that endears you to all you encounter, or at least to most.

It is hard for us to know what achievements of yours stand out anymore.  You know your alphabet and can count to eighteen (except that you miss fifteen almost without fail).  You can recognize and spell your own name successfully, and although you have yet to show interest in drawing the letters themselves you love drawing just about everything else.  You have a way with puzzles, and are very good at sorting anything and everythign within reach.  You are a wonderful help around the house.  You still have your own daily chores, such as feeding all the pets and setting the table, and you also assist with general household chores, like collecting the garbage, sorting the laundry to be washed, folding the laundry that was dried, vacuuming up after meals, watering plants, both inside and out, and helping with general straightening.  We each have our favorite times with you–daddy when you play the piano with him (you can now play twinkle twinkle with the aid of color coded music!) and me when you help me cook or bake by measuring ingredients and counting amounts. 

Though you are clearly a 3 year old, prone to your own bouts of willfulness and resistance, you are a profound little thinker and can usually talk your way through (though not out of) a difficult situation, come to your own conclusions, and, even though you don't get your own way, come to terms with the end result.  We love to watch your mind work this way–the thoughtful look you get on your face, the determined set of your mouth, and the hard look of concentration in your eyes.  This is also the look you get when you try new things, like reading, biking, or gardening (making sure you pull only weeds), and it is a strong contrast to the look of pure gaiety and youth that you wear when you play with your your favorite toys, or watch a rabbit or bird in our yard, or simply run around the center of the house singing at the top of your lungs.  Imagination, concentration, growth, and learning, these are the key ingredients to the joy in our lives today, and you are the source of them all.  We have loved watching you grow and change over the past year, and we look forward to the many challenges and opportunities that will come our way during the next.  Thank you for being who you are, for the joy you bring to our lives, and for the way you push us to become the people we have always wanted to be.

We love you, mom and dad

In a foot note for the blog, I will tell you that we celebrated his birthday with a family party on Saturday night, punctuated by presents (a Calvin sized broom, cool flashlights, balls, new favorite books, and a play grill),homemade pizza, and fresh strawberry shortcake.  We celebrated on Sunday by going out for ice cream.  Then today, on his real birthday, we celebrated one last time with grilled steak and shrimp (his actual dinner request!), cupcakes from our local bakery, and a walk to the mailbox to pick up birthday cards (which did not disappoint!).  We also grabbed some family photos.  We really wanted just one, but how many do you think it took to get there?  See for yourselves.  The full pared down collection can be seen in the Happy Birthday Calvin photo album.

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Reader Comments (3)

Fantastic !
What a well loved little boy and his wonderful mom and dad.

Thanks for sharing,
June 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermom
Happy Birthday Calvin!!! Have fun being three!
June 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
He is such a handsome guy, and that last family pic is so perfect ;)
June 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShasta

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