At your 3rd birthday party we all gathered around the cake and sang "happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear layla bug happy birthday to you" and then you puckered up and attempted to blow out your # 3 candle (and then blew it out with help from your friends/papa)... it took all of 3 seconds for you to stick one finger up in the air over your hair and yell "ONE MORE TIME"... and we did... one more time... because who can walk away from such a beautiful request for celebration of life. One more song, one more candle, one more hug, one more kiss, one more silly dance, one more minute to cuddle in the morning, one more moment to marvel at what a beautiful little sense of what you love you have already developed.
I hope that your vivacious nature never tames itself. I hope that you always have enough joy and confidence to throw your hands in the air and scream at life "ONE MORE TIME".
You're smart, funny, imaginative, alert, confident and oh so loving. If this is the path you manage to stay on for your life you will be one of the most brilliantly beautiful people I've ever known (both inside and out).
I hope you are always this sassy. I hope you are always this honest. I hope your love is always this pure and that your heart stays open to loving every person you know well. I hope that you never learn what it is to doubt yourself for no reason and that you always love the image of beauty that God has created your body & soul to be. I hope that you know what you want and you go get it and that if you ever find that you don't know what you want you're not afraid to try a few things out and see where you land. I hope you have a give um' hell attitude...at least when it really counts.
Daddy is your favorite person on earth. I think the official earth ranking tally is Daddy, Nannie, Mommy, PopPop and then Anyah. In fact I think Daddy would be your favorite thing on the whole planet, except you discovered Doggies...and now he has to settle for a close second. You love Doggies. You get that Doggy love thing from Nannie. Just like you got your sense of adventure from your Daddy and your love of the kitchen from your mommy.
You are developing into your own little person now and while you take little bits of each of us. You are already uniquely you. You love chocolate milk, movies with music in them, finding letters/numbers/shapes in random places (signs, etc), dancing, playing outside, water, running as fast as you can, playing doggies, playing in the mud, books, flash cards, blocks, trains and drumming. Oh boy the drumming, that's another thing you got from Daddy. You dislike green beans/peas, watermelon, hot concrete in bare feet (who doesn't), the sound of wind outside your window, cats, being forced to sit still, tight clothing, long periods of silence (you talk, talk, talk which I suppose I must admit you got from me), people who put things away in the wrong place, time out, having your hair brushed and having to go home from the park early. Then there are the things that you are still feeling out of which I suppose you haven't decided if the pro's outway the con's on. Much to her relief Anyah just came off that list. You've decided you like having a baby sister. Although having to share blankies and pillows-- that part is just ridiculous.
Tonight your Daddy had to work late. Usually Daddy puts you to bed but tonight because he isn't here I had to struggle with putting both you and your sister to sleep. As I took you into your room to put on your jammies Anyah (or Awnie Sister as you call her) woke up and began to cry in the other room. Your tiny little urgency light bulb went off and you took off like a rocket to her side.
"Oh sister, don't cry" you told her as you patted her tummy (which she hates by the way unless you're the one doing it) and attempted to (a little zealously) stick a bottle in her mouth. You're so protective of her all the sudden. It's like the sibling instinct kicked in with your 3 year birthday. Suddenly, making her laugh or making her stop crying are a top priority for you several times a day.
I can't wait to see what sort of a big sister you are. As brilliant and awesome as you are just as an independent and wonderful little person, I am amazed by watching you grow into someone who learns about having relationships with other people. You're very empathetic for a 3 year old.
In the beginning people compare things about little kids. There is this long list of milestones you check off one by one (she rolls, she stands, she walks) and they tell you that those things are important. Then your child gets a little bigger and there is a list of things to learn and you watch (the list of colors, words, numbers, letters, shapes), an endless supply of vocabulary words will tumble out of your toddler and people will tell you that those things are important. And they are...
But, me... I personally think that now we are getting to the important part of your life, little bug, that part where we nurture you're loving acceptance of others, your sense of adventure, your development of personality, your use of the skills God gave you. Now, that part where we start to see who you will really be. Well that's the important part... and it's the longest part of this adventure.
There is a W. Feather quote I have always loved that says "One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure" and I think you're life, little girl, is going to be very full. Because you view every moment, every game, even nap time as an adventure unfolding right before your very eyes. Any life that filled with excitement, wonder and your Mommy & Daddy's give um hell attitude is going to explode across the horizon for you some day.
And no matter if you succeed, or if you fail. No matter if you take the short path or the long one. Even if you get confused some day on what blessings really matter or what life lessons shouldn't be toyed with... we will always love you. We will love you in ways undescribable with grace unimaginable because you will always be our baby... so we'll help you in any way we can and if that doesn't work (no matter how old you are) Mommy plans to just look you in the eyes, throw her hand in the air over her head and yell "ONE MORE TIME" because it worked pretty well the first time she saw you do it.