Friday, September 5, 2014

An Ode To Three

Three is the bridge connecting babyhood to boyhood.
Three is the color orange. It's your favorite, you say, and you demonstrate this by pulling your orange gym shorts out of the dresser drawer. You've been known to take them out of the dirty laundry so that you can wear them again for the second, or third day in a row. I try to hide them sometimes, but you always manage to find them. Those shorts really are too small for you now, but I don't have the heart to tell you.
Three is a chipped front tooth. You fell hard on the concrete somewhere in the mountains on the North Carolina border. It bled like crazy and scared me to death, but you were tough and barely cried. It made me sad, at first, to see that little broken tooth, but now I think it just adds character to your already irresistible smile.
Three is becoming a big brother. You kind of ignored him at first, but now you desperately want to play and wrestle, but he is not quite ready for that. It leads to some tears on his part, and some scolding on my part, but then I remember my brothers, and growing up with seven of them, and I sigh and just know I'm in for it.
Three is realizing that your Dad is your best friend. Watching you two together has been one of the most amazing things in my life. Two peas in a pod, cut from the same cloth, etc., etc. The analogies don't quite do it justice.
Three is a big, red fire truck bed. You demand that we sit on the mattress with you so we can go put out fires and rescue Goldwyn, your stuffed dog, from the perils of the flames. You wake us up most mornings from that bed, calling out, "Mama, Dada, big day!" It seems that when you're three, everyday is a big day.
Three is saying goodbye to naps. Much to my dismay.
Three is knowing what you like, and don't like. Most of the time. You love the Octonauts and The Wild Kratts. You love ice cream, swimming, ketchup and seahorses. And your teepee. You don't particularly care for cheese. Sometimes you like apples, sometimes you don't.
Three is a sweet, friendly boy who says "hello" to strangers in the grocery store and holds the door open for people, even if it makes us 10 minutes late to wherever it is that we are going. You say "excuse me" when we need to squeeze by someone in the aisle, and you run up to other kids on the playground and introduce yourself, although you often don't ask for their names in return.
Three is a dance party in the living room. We listen to Animal Collective or the Red Hot Chili Peppers or some cool new band your dad wants us to hear. We run around like crazy people and you show us your "dance skills." If we forget to close the curtains, we joke that our neighbors must think we are insane, but we kind of don't care if they do.
Three is full of energy. You've created a track around the coffee table and I swear sometimes you must run five miles a day. I watch you sprint cross the living room as fast as you can, wild curls flying through the air, sweat dripping down your neck. Yes, that is not an exaggeration. You move so much, even in our 69 degree house, that you sweat.
Three is being a big boy and insisting on doing everything on your own, but still needing help for so many things.
Three is asking to snuggle, but then wiping away my kisses.
Three is a growing vocabulary. Hearing you say "pterodactyl" has got to be one of the cutest things I've ever heard. But you also still call your blanket a "beat." And I love it.
Three was so much more than I could ever write here. Three was amazing. Four is going to be even better.
Happy Birthday, sweet, amazing child of mine.