Sometimes all you need is a superhero.
Or a bike track.
Or a bunny rabbit from hell.
Sometimes you just feel like hell, and so you puke your fruit juice - every last bit of it - all over the pristine couch of the house you have rented to enjoy a weekend away with family.
Sometimes you are ready for a first. Like a first face painting to become a ferocious tiger...
...along side a cunning pirate.
Sometimes your sister-in-law looks so precious when she is pregnant that you make her pose for pictures and she humors you because, well, that's just the rock star that she is. Or Miss America. Whatever you prefer.
There are times you finally work up the courage to extend your hand and give a little goat a little something to nibble on.
And then there's the one who has to ruin it all. The one I may have affectionately named "Tina Turner" just seconds before. Come on. Look at her hair. I loved her. Then I hated her. Because that little boy, who had worked up so much courage to extend his hand, was subsequently spit on by this one and then he was officially done.
But sometimes you still need to suck it up and smile. 'Cause it makes your mama happy.
Sometimes, as luck will have it, you will be hanging out on your front porch when the guy from the city comes along to water the city's plants, and he will let your cousin take a turn (which you miss because you have to run inside to get the camera) and then let you, too.
And your little brother.
And then your uncle will be wanted by all three at once, and because he cannot disappoint, he will make a valiant effort to make all of you happy, almost dying in the process.
Sometimes you need a little trek in the mountains to burn off some steam. So you cling to the one you love the most for dear life.
Or join forces with the leader of the pack.
And try oh-so-hard not to share your Tia because you say "Mine."
But so does your brother, so Tia shares and gloats that she is being fought over.
Sometimes you need a stick to help carry some of the weight.
And sometimes you are the idiot of the family who brought absolutely nothing to wear to participate in a hike through the woods, and so you plow ahead in a dress, a cardigan, and a pair of Nikes.
Because you can't fathom missing moments like this.
Or like this.
Or like this, either.
Only one time do you turn 3. Three-whoppin'-years-old. And so you must celebrate with cupcakes and singing and presents galore.
Sometimes it is best to celebrate all three birthdays at once. So everyone gets a candle.
And everyone gets a present.
And everyone says, "Well, that was fun. Let's do that again some time."