Hi Sweet Bro!
It’s your turn to celebrate turning three! And what a year we’ve had to cherish you. You may find this letter has the word “sweet” many times throughout it. If I could choose one word or theme from your stage in life right now, it would be sweet. You have the sweetest spirit about you, and I truly count it a delight to be chosen as your mom. As much as you have grown physically this year, I still find myself calling you our baby bro. You might be big, but you are still snuggly, smoochy, and sweeter than syrup.
I’ll be the first to say that you are polite beyond what we’ve taught. Words like please, thank you, excuse me, you’re welcome, and I’m sorry all come very naturally to you. I am hoping this baby trait will be morphed into chivalrous character as you grow into a man. God has big plans for you, I can already see that through the unique personality he’s gifted you with. Gentle, kind, loving. You are different than many, if not most. I’m praying that God has set you apart for a task that uses your gifts in a rich and full way, both now and in the future.
You might be sweet, but you are also all boy. There’s no doubt that your manliness is innate. Throwing balls, swinging bats, being strong, running wild, iron crossing, playing cars, loving big machines, being a hero… You didn’t need much guidance to be in love with all these things. I am impressed that you’ve got sweet and tough down pretty well.
With all of that to say, with age comes fear. I’ve already witnessed some of that in you: fear of being left alone, fear of being hurt, fear of sounds. Something I want you to remember is that in the midst of your fear, God is ever-near. You can be brave because he is fighting on your behalf. I am praying that in fearful moments, that you would feel the presence of the Lord with you. This year marks a time in your life that you haven’t yet experienced. This year, you’ve begun to function without the surveillance and protection of your big sister for the first time in your life as she goes on to conquer the world in kindergarten each day. But I am asking God to hold you up. It has already been a year of intense change for us all (you can bet that it may be scary at times), but with change comes growth. I look forward to watching God make you strong in your weakness.
Oh, Olan. I just love you so much. I could smooch and squeeze your cheeks all day. And ya know, I might just do that, because I know soon you’ll be four, then five, then twelve, and you won’t let me squeeze your cheeks anymore. You won’t have those jiggly puffs forever. You won’t have that soft squeaky voice for many more years. You won’t call out, “Momma!” each morning to get you out of your crib for too terribly much longer. You won’t invite me to play cars with you every waking second of every single day. You won’t need me quite like you need me right now. Watching you grow up is so fun, and so bittersweet.
I am just soaking and savoring you as you are: my sweet three-year-old baby boy. I can’t get enough!
Happy third birthday, bubbaloo.