To Liam on His 3rd Birthday


This morning, you and I went to bookstore. You had a free coupon for a cookie or a cupcake at the cafe, but you wanted a blondie. So I sat across from you and ate your free cupcake while you happily munched on your treat as you bobbed your head back and forth. I sometimes wonder if there's a song inside of your head when you do that. It's like you're dancing to a song.

You tore through the bookstore, zigging and zagging. The workers thought you were adorable in your hat, which you are. They and other customers would talk to you and you would bury your head in my leg. They would ask how old you were and I would say it's your birthday. They would wish you a Happy Birthday and ask how old you are. Then you would pop your head out and proudly announce that you were "Fuh-ree!" while holding up four fingers (because holding up three is still kind of difficult at this point).

Three is an interesting age. I don't know if you have heard about the Terrible 2s by the time you read this, but 3 is definitely a lot more difficult than 2. If it makes you feel better, I learned this from your brother. But to be fair to him, pretty much every parent I've talked to agrees that 3 is more likely the age to get that "terrible" moniker.

It's not that you are terrible. Not by any stretch. You are wonderful. But you test boundaries, you want to be more independent, and you're learning how to push people's buttons (You already are an expert at pushing your brother's buttons). All of these are normal parts of growing up. And, Liam, you are growing up fast. You're a wrecking ball. You bounce and spin all over the place. You jump off of couches. You barrel through your brother. Pound for pound, you're probably stronger than me.

But let me get back to the part where you're wonderful. I love your heart. I love the cadence of your voice as you talk. I love how you get so excited sometimes that your voice speeds up into this delighted chatter. You are in awe of the world. And love pours out from you. You love to give hugs and kisses. You still believe that they will make everything better. Whenever your mom or I say we feel bad, you offer to kiss us.

It seems somewhat odd to apply this term to a preschooler, but you are passionate. You get passionately upset at times, but you also passionately care about things from your people to your favorite cartoons to whatever games you and your brother are playing. Just like you zoom around the house at full tilt, you fully put yourself in whatever you are doing.

I hope that passion never fades. I hope that it serves you well rather than you serving it. I pray that you will continue to care about people passionately. I hope that you continue to have that pure, unbridled joy about whatever you are doing. Though you may not physically bound all over the place, I pray that the energy that captures people's attention will not fade away. But know that I will love you even if it does.

Tonight I did not get to go up to bed with you. I was feeling under the weather this evening and was laid up on the couch. You fussed a bit when you found out that I wasn't coming up, but then you came over to the couch to kiss me. You wanted me to feel better. My three year old boy. You are wonderful.

So I want you to remember one thing. Your mom and I love you with our whole entire beings. We are so incredibly proud of you and we will always be here for you. And I pray that you know that. I pray that when things get difficult in life, as they do, that you will remember how loved you are by your mom, me, your brother, your grandparents, family, friends, and God. Never forget that. And if you do, I will be glad to remind you a million times over.

Happy Birthday Liam. This next year is probably going to be a little bit crazy, but I would not trade it or you for the word. You are incredible and I am so lucky that I get to be your father.

Your Dad

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