This picture gets me every time…it is so YOU. Moving, jumping, bouncing, alert, awake and living life to the full. Have striped sweater with hood? Will Travel. You have had such a year…age three was one of settling in to our new “digs” in Corvallis, cementing some new friendships, diving into swim lessons, preschool and life in new ways. You have spent most free moments playing LEGOS or coloring (sometimes even furniture and other off limit items), dressing up in costumes, kicking a ball, helping cook in the kitchen…not really wanting anyone or anything to boundary you. That is such a “gift” of age three….exploration. Testing limits. Finding your voice. And desiring to shout it all from the rooftops. When things unfold in YOUR way in YOUR timing, you are in your element. If anyone else suggests it?!? No way, no how. Sometimes this means we butt heads. Sometimes this means we yell. We experience time outs. We get frustrated. But, you, my dear Drew? You are a reconciler. You have to make it right. You need snuggles. Hugs. You put your arm through mine, squeeze in tight and say, “I’m sorry.” You always come back and remember.
I love watching your independence. Your humor. Your mind. You can sit and color and write letters for hours, calm and focused. You love looking at books, absorbing stories and plots. You observe, watch and remember. You seek to engage with others. You are busy, always on the move. My little energizer bunny. As your mom, I feel like it is all just a bit too much out of my control, sometimes. It’s the delicate balance of push and pull. Going out and coming back in. And Bud, it’s not always easy. I pray that in the year ahead, you continue to learn to use your voice. To invite others in. That we might all loosen our grasp on what we want and embrace what could be (or what NEEDS to be….aka…washing hands before a meal or NOT coloring on the NEW couch…or a bath once in awhile!).
It is my prayer that as Year Four unfolds ahead that you will take these words below to heart. I found them in a book I’m reading, but they originally come from the Book of Common Prayer. And really?! They are about bravery. You define bravery in so many ways (except your current fear of mosquitoes in the bathroom requiring our constant presence with you!!). Anyhow, it says:
“This is another day, O Lord.
I know not what it will bring forth,
but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be.
If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely.
If I am to sit still, help me sit quietly.
If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently.
And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly.
Make these words more than words,
and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.”
These are hard words for anyone, let alone a busy, curious and impulsive now four year old like you….but I pray them over your life and my own, nonetheless. May the Spirit grant us bravery. Patience. Quiet presence. Gallant waiting. May you be ready and listening, curious what God has in store. I know you’re only four, sweetie, but God’s not limited by that. It’s my hope that you will know you are deeply loved and needed in our family and in our world. May you understand that love deep deep down and may it be the energy that pushes you as you jump and leap through life.
We Love You So MUCH! Happy Birthday!
Mom (and Dad and Alex)