You want a brother. You want to know how babies get in ladies’ bellies. You’re absolutely furious that you can’t grow a mustache. Some days you’re scared of your underpants. You want to swing higher than physics allow, and laugh hysterically when I can’t keep up with you on foot when you’re riding your bike. You’re hungry – always so hungry. You want to know what bees eat. When it’s chilly outside you instruct me to call the Fire Department and tell them to warm it up.
For a week you sported a giant tattoo that said “bookish” which I adored because I grew up with my nose in a book. You were so proud of that tattoo and showed it to everyone. It left a HILARIOUS tan line. You planted a flower bulb in preschool and sang to it the whole way home, coaxing it to grow and promising it water and sunshine. When we go to a park, you’re a little reserved at first and then make fast friends telling them, “You’re so cool,” “You did a really good job,” and, “Be careful, I don’t want you to get hurt.” You can now ride a pedal bike!
I am so proud of the creative, courageous and kind Little Man you’re becoming.
You are starting to look a little more like your dad, but you’ll always be my Mini Me. You know you can crack me up by saying, “Don’t let the beat mmmmmmm….drrrrrOPP!” in Beastie Boys style. You manipulate me with your ability to make me laugh. You manipulate me, period.
You can write your name. We had no idea – you kept coming home from preschool with artwork signed by a very shaky hand, but we assumed your teachers were helping you because you wouldn’t draw so much as a circle for us. And then I offered to write your name on Oma’s Mother’s Day card. You became enraged and yelled, “I CAN DO IT MYSELF!” And you did. You wrote your name very clearly on that card and everything else you can get your hands on.
You love to wrestle. Violently.
You are growing tall and your legs are long. I think you’ll take after your mama and earn the nickname “bird legs” by the time you hit elementary school. One morning you told me, “I growed up to be a man last night. I just did that.” I thought you meant that you grew taller overnight, but you were using it as a negotiation tool. “So I can have fire, Mama? Just a little bit of fire?” No, Little Bear, not even a little bit.
You are honest. Brutally honest. When your dad sang a little song for you in the car you announced, “That was a really terrible song, Dad. Awful.” And after I had a particularly difficult day and your dad was comforting me by reminding me of all the people who love me, you sidled up to me and (very creepily) whispered in my ear, “Your mom is dead.” Ummmm…NOT HELPFUL.
For all of your rough and tumble, you are equal parts tender and perceptive. You worry about people. One day after leaving Papa Bear’s house you said, “Papa Bear doesn’t have a friend up at the house. He doesn’t get to have Nanny anymore, so he’s lonely. Maybe Nanny will get better and come back from heaven.” OK, so it’s possible that you misunderstood the whole Easter/resurrection thing and applied it to everyone in general. But it is so incredibly sweet to hear that you’re thinking about other people and how they might be feeling.
And you don’t have to worry about Papa Bear – he has YOU as his little buddy.
You are resilient and adaptive and have handled all of the crazy changes in our lives with far more grace than I have. You and your dad were bachelors for two weeks while I was in Africa, and then you spent time with both grandpas while Daddy and I were in Belize. Although it causes me great anxiety to leave you for any length of time, you are so blessed to have such amazing role models in your life.
However, with our parenting, you pretty much have ZERO chance of fitting in at school (in our defense, we’ve started a therapy fund). When we’re home alone, I raise you on a steady diet of Janis Joplin and Elmore James. You’ve picked up your dad’s weird Tobyisms, you think it’s OK to fart on people, and you use gigantic words that no three-year-old should use. You are so completely, emphatically and defiantly YOU. And although I could do without the defiant part, I hope you never completely tame that personality of yours. It’s a keeper – just like you.
I love you, Little Bear. To the moon and back, times infinity. Plus a little more each and every day.