My dear Nico,
Today you turned 3. And 3 seems so very big to me. It seems surreal, actually, that this fall you will go to preschool and probably play soccer and probably make all sorts of friends while I sit back and take it all in. Because, you see, as much as I sometimes wish I could slow down this whole "growing up" thing, I also know what a gift it is, each and every day, to watch you grow. In fact, that is exactly what you are, my love - a gift. And I hope you never, ever forget that.
You have grown by leaps and bounds this last year. You are so good with your "pleases" and "thank yous" and "you're welcomes." While there are still scuffles between you and your brother, you have become quite the gentleman, often walking up to complete strangers and extending your hand with a "Nice to meet you!" That kind of makes me melt, just so you know, and is so much more pleasant than taking a big bite out of someone's arm, which you used to be known to do. Often times you announce "I have to go. I have to go to church." And you grab your purse, fill it with floss, and head for the front door. I wish I was joking. I'm not. And it makes me laugh every time.
But do not be mistaken, my love, that this gentleman-ness of yours in any way negates your will. Oh, your will is strong and fierce, and as outgoing as you can sometimes be, you can also be quite timid and shy. You know your people and you stick to them. And I love that about you. I really do. I particularly love that your favorite person of all time is your brother. The two of you make quite the pair. You adore each other - and then want to kill each other - and then adore each other all over again. He is still the first person you ask for every morning, and you have started to embrace the role of big brother. You protect him and console him and live to make him laugh. I love this about you.
You continue to go, go, go...soccer and basketball and baseball and football; riding bikes and, as of today, riding your scooter; climbing and jumping and running; drawing and painting; building towers with your Legos; digging in the dirt and helping papa work; reading; playing with your cars, trucks and trains; Dora the Explorer, Little Bill and The Fresh Beat Band...your energy is never ending! I didn't even know it was possible to go that hard!
Oh, and then there's music. Music, music, music! From your drum set to your keyboard to anything you can get your hands on to make some sound, you are a music machine. You sit in the back of the van, instruct me to turn the radio louder, and then proceed to name the artist of every song...Bruno Mars! Taylor Swift! J. Lo! Lady GaGa! It's your thing, my love, totally your thing. And if it were up to you, you would watch Shakira's "Waka Waka" video 100 times a day. We are trying to learn a little restraint here, but that doesn't seem to be a really simple lesson. We tend to want what we want when we want it. We are working on that.
I adore you, my love. WE adore you. Watching you grow and thrive and become exactly who you were meant to become is our greatest joy. Never, ever doubt how deeply you are loved, how capable and strong you are, or how many people are behind you, every step of the way.
Happy, happy birthday my boy.
I love you bigger than all the mountains and deeper than all the seas.