Well, kid. You made it this far. You turn three today, and you're more than I ever imagined.
You've been the source of many laughs, more tears than I'd like to admit, a fair amount of frustration, a ridiculous amount of parent-pride that only mommy-goggles could provide, and in the quiet moments a sense that Austin and I have done pretty good with you. You haven't made it easy (and really, I wouldn't expect or want you to), but you're still the best thing I've ever done.
When you get older and see all of the pictures, hear all of the stories, and read all of the words that involve you, I hope you know you were loved from the moment we saw your little egg (weird, I know, but you get to see your little one literally from the very beginning when you have to do IVF), and even during the times that we want to sell you to the gypsies (we don't really mean it, well mostly). You and your scratched feet, marker covered fingers, and ear to ear grin... You were what I needed, when I needed it most. At every turn, you've been exactly that. What I needed, even if I didn't know I needed it. On the days that you're especially willful, it's a reminder that maybe I need a lesson in patience. On the days that maybe I'm feeling overwhelmed, your giggle reminds me what's important again. When I thought I'd never have child, here you came along. Exactly what I needed, right when I needed it.
So for your birthday, I'll give you a hug and a kiss, but I'll try not to hold on to you too long... You're a big kid now, and have places to go. Just promise me you'll come back every now and then and tell me about all the things you're discovering and doing. And I'll make a promise to you. I'll be here, I'll get in the picture, I'll help you remember all the times that you spent with family, friends, and all the people and animals you love.
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