Three.

Three.

Three years since you were born.  A quiet, beautiful, surprisingly easy birth after a raucous, petrifying, shockingly difficult conception.

Three years since I couldn’t focus on anything else if you were in the room.  Not because you are demanding (even though sometimes you are), but because I can’t keep my eyes off of you.

Three years since I have found the greatest of joys in doing the simplest of things. Singing, reading, coloring, dancing, joking, playing.  But mostly, observing.

Three years since laughter has erupted from me so often, so loudly, so purely.

Three years since I have learned to take better care of myself, so I could take better care of you.

Three years since I remembered that kids know what is fair, what is funny, what is right, while adults often do not.

Three years since sleeping in has been an option.

Three years since I’ve tried (and so far, failed) to stop involuntarily emitting the “guhhhhh” sound when I encounter a frustration. Three years since you soaked this up like a sponge and picked up my bad habit.

Three years since touching someone else’s poop, pee, puke, snot, and other things I used to think were disgusting, have disgusted me.

Three years since I have understood why other people like their small children.

Three years since going on “vacation” meant going to the grocery store by myself, or sitting in silence for an hour.

Three years since I could listen to news stories or movies of violence, accidents, or death without holding my breath and holding back tears because in every scenario I pictured your face.

Three years since I could listen to success stories, happy-ending stories, everyday stories, without holding my breath and holding back tears, because in every scenario I pictured your face.

Three years since my body is no longer mine.  And three years since I’m okay embracing every imperfection the new me possesses. Even the torn hip labrum, and separated pelvic joint.

Three years since your struggles are difficult for me and your triumphs elate me.

Three years since your eyes, your nose, your mouth, your mannerisms, your voice, has been branded into my brain.  Three years since I can’t stop looking, zooming in as close as you will let me. Every day I notice a slight change, and I am astounded by it, excited by it, delighted by it, ridiculously surprised by it, and I don’t want to forget it.  I picture every bit of you vividly in my mind while my eyes are squeezed shut, but I want to study you even more with my eyes wide open to make sure I don’t miss anything new.

Three years since I have felt like I am the luckiest lady on the planet.

Happiest of birthdays, Toddler Grouch.  Three years!

A lifetime for you.  A life-changer for me.

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