This is 3

Arthur,

For months now you have been telling the world that you are 2 and 3/4. But today, my boy, you are 3. Now you are officially the big boy you have been trying to convince me that you are for such a long time.

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(You are still my baby.)

Itchy Chin

You are a whirlwind. You are unpredictable and brave. You fall, and you get back up. You seem afraid of nothing and no one, and there is no ledge you won’t climb, no jump you won’t take. Sometimes I think you are convinced you’re 5, and not 3. You chase after all of Julian’s friends because you consider them your friends, too. And you are always accepted and included, and they all treat you with kindness. Only rarely, when your legs won’t carry you as fast as theirs can run, will you stop running and call out for them to wait for you, and your voice will shake a little bit.

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You are a very funny boy. I’ve known from when you were a baby that you would grow up to be a child with a great sense of humor. You make us laugh all the time.

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You’re not the best sleeper. After having a child like your brother, who will go to bed without complaint and stay in bed until 7am – and who still takes a nap most days! – I didn’t think that I’d be blessed with a kid who comes out of his bed 7 million times between 8pm and 10pm requesting anything from cream on your itchy wrists and feet to help in retrieving a dropped toy from behind the bed or one more kiss. Also, you love coming to my side of the bed in the middle of the night, and you’ll whisper “Mama” and gently touch my face or arm and urge me to move over to make room for you. Sometimes you just sneak in and I wake up hours later with you warmly cuddled up beside me. I could pretend to be annoyed, but most of the time I love you next to me. The other night I woke up and found you next to me, breathing so peacefully, and the rain outside was beating against our windows, and it was the most wonderful feeling to have you so close by. You are always so busy during the day; it’s nice to steal a moment with you in the middle of the night.

Sometimes, you sleep in a pizza joint…

This year has been a year of many developments. Your speech has progressed amazingly well. Last year around your birthday you had but a few words. And look at you now! You work so hard with your speech therapist, Katie, and with us. I am so, so proud of you. The other night, at bedtime,  Julian and I each told a made-up story, and then you offered to tell one as well. It was a story about a dog named Nep who got on a spaceship and flew to outer space to Ceres, Makemake, and Haumea, and then Haumea exploded. The end.

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You can spell your first and last name, and you’re starting to write some of the letters. A and E are big favorites. Other than that you mostly draw lightsabers and lightsaber fights and destroyed planets. And also “Mondgesichter” (smilie faces).

You know everything about Star Wars. Every character, even the kind of unimportant ones. You know all  the spaceships and planets. Your favorite characters are Kylo Ren and Darth Vader.

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In real life, you are definitely not a bad guy (like the above). You are wild and very loud, you have a mind of your own, and I don’t trust you for one second. As soon as I’ve looked the other way you will pour your water into your dinner. You will climb up the bunk bed, but on the side that does not have a ladder. You will stand on top of the couch table and leap onto the sofa. I don’t trust you with markers, scissors, or anything colorful/liquid/breakable.

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You are always busy. You can play by yourself forever. You engage your little Star Wars people in dialogues and games, and I never get tired of listening to you. Your mind is always racing. You are always two steps ahead, and your patience with anything that doesn’t have your full enthusiasm is very limited.

You are so sweet. You snuggle in bed with me in the mornings or after a nap. You tuck your warm little legs in between mine, and you move your head just perfectly into the crook of my arm. We fit so well together like that, you and I. Your giggles make everything better; for example when I pretend to eat you – but only with lots of mustard, please.

When someone crosses your brother, you are always right there, pushing your little body in front of his, getting into people’s faces. No one can harm anyone you care about; you make sure of that. (We’re working on acceptable delivery methods of your opinions.)

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Arthur. You challenge me every day. You make me shake my head in disbelief, and sometimes you make me tired. But you also bring me such joy. You make me look at things in a different way. You help me keep an open mind. And an open heart. You are such a snuggly, warm, and compassionate boy. You give all of us the best of hugs, and you always sense when someone is in need of a little extra love.

I would say “Don’t ever change!” because everything about you is so special to me. But you don’t need me to tell you. You are you. Arthur, you are such an unexpected blessing for our family, a fresh wind in our sails. You are just the kind of guy we needed.

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I am fiercely protective of you. Perhaps it’s because of the speech delay or your allergies. Or perhaps I just feel that way because you are my baby.

Watching Arthur

I will always have your back, Arthur, and you will always have a shoulder to rest your head on. You are my baby, my big, 3 year old baby, and I will love you forever. Happy birthday, you little wild child.

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