Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Letter to My Three-Year-Old

Since I've been so bad at keeping a baby book, I've tried to write an occasional letter to Sawyer to keep for him to read some day. Here's my letter for his three-year birthday that happened over the weekend.

My Sweet Sawyer,
Today you are three! I can't believe how fast you have grown from a helpless baby into a little boy who does and says and knows so much. I'm so proud of you every day and I can't imagine our life without you in it. I remember when you were born and I wondered what kind of person you would be...who you would become. It's amazing that some of that is already revealed to us in such a small person. Here are some things I know about you that I hope you'll continue to grow into and hold onto in your life.

You are empathetic. You have such an empathy for people, and that's not something a lot of three-year-olds possess. Even when you were a baby you seemed to sense when someone was sad or just not right...and your expressions gave away your emotions. I think kids getting scolded or others being sad or worried breaks your heart more than it does anyone else in a given situation. You're a sensitive soul and I don't want you to lose that awareness of people's feelings. In life you will need to balance your care for others with care for yourself and your own feelings, and I'll do my best to help you learn how and when to do that.

You are active. I believe you are an extremely calm, manageable boy, and I thank my lucky stars every day for've made parenting seem easy to me. What's great though is when you have the opportunity to play and be free, you relish in it. To see your toddler arms and legs move and go brings me such joy! Not every child is blessed with physical strength and capability, so I want you to not take movement and play for granted. I hope you'll continue to take care of your body by using it as much as you can.

You are handsome. Now I know every mom thinks her children are the cutest, but really, you ARE! Sometimes I am struck by what a charmer you can be...your big green eyes and your small, perfect chin make me melt. To me you are physically perfect in every way. Remember though, that what makes you the most handsome is your kindness and love. I've met many attractive people who were jerks and they very quickly lose their appeal. For all I know, you'll end up turning into an awkward, nerdy teenager who is below-average looking, but I doubt it. Don't ever think you are better than anyone or more special because of your looks because that is not true.

You are silly. I love when you laugh and don't hold anything back. I can't think of many things that are better than tickling a little boy who is just beside himself with laughter! I love when you do a funny dance or make a funny face and look up at me or your dad with a look that says you know what you're doing is hilarious. I know - to a certain extent - that the coming years will see a loss of your inhibitions as you develop an awareness of yourself that will inevitably be influenced by your peers, but I hope you will practice feeling free to be silly and uninhibited. Experiencing joy without being self-conscious is priceless and I would think nearly impossible to get back once lost.

Oh Sawy, I'm so hopeful for your future! I'm excited to see the boy, teenager, and young man you will become in the years that will pass all too quickly. I pray that I will do my best to teach, guide, and encourage you in life...through both joys and that when you leave the comfort and shelter of our home you will trust who you are and thrive! I think that's the best gift I can give you in life.

And even though I know that it will just get better and better to know you more fully, it breaks my heart that you are no longer two. Time has gone too fast and I can't stand that it doesn't stop sometimes. I just want to pause you where you are right now, but I know that won't work.

When I was growing up, my parents had a picture on their wall with a mom rocking her baby with this poem. It never mattered much to me, but now its words ring truer than ever to me.

"Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow.
For babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep,
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."

I love you so much,
Your Mama


Jessica said...

So sweet Sar! Happy Birthday Sawyer!!

Merely Human said...

Oh gosh, the last paragraph killed me. How is it I've turned into my mother? I can only imagine how quickly these years have gone by...
Happy Birthday to Sawyer!

Heather O'Neill said...

Happy Birthday Sawyer! Beautiful letter Sarah!

Amy and Andrew said...

Sweet boy. Sweet mama.