To Oliver, On Your 3rd Birthday

My sweet Oliver Scott,

Golly. We survived the terrible two’s but after the past few days, I think the threenager might be the beast.

3 years ago, I thought I knew what to expect. I thought I knew what motherhood was. I thought I understood unconditional love and what it was to sacrifice for someone else. But it turns out that changing diapers and sleepless nights and loads of laundry and all the spit up- that’s the easy part of parenting. For me, anyway.

Now we’re getting into the stage that’s hard. So much fun, and so hard. Teaching you right from wrong, how to be kind to others. How to be strong but to listen to others. I pray that your bossiness leads you to be a great and wonderful leader one day. I pray that your stubbornness leads you to be strong and to question things, not just accept what you’re told (I mean, if you could accept what I tell you right now, that’d be great).

I’ve loved this year. It’s been so challenging, but there is nothing I love more in life than watching you become your own little human. Developing opinions and interests, becoming creative and imaginative. I love that I can have a conversation with you. I love that you can tell me about your day and who your friends are. Your obsession with dinosaurs has taught me more about dinosaurs than I ever thought I would know. I (mostly) love your attitude, the way you nod and say “yeeesss” so seriously. Your pronunciations are seriously my favorite thing ever. Alligators and spiders are fascinating to you, and you are constantly wanting to go, go gooooo! You still love reading, and I love that so much about you!

You’re so sweet. Independent and daring, curious and inquisitive. You love your sister so much, but you are fiercely protective of your toys. Bear is still your favorite thing, and you’ve become the worst backseat driver. You repeat what everyone says, and you love working out and stretching with mommy. Daddy is your fun time, but mommy is your comfort.

We’re working on stopping you sucking your thumb. You’re going to start to learn to write (trace), and you’re going to start soccer in the fall! I’m so excited for what’s ahead of you, baby boy. I know it’s such a cliché, but I miss you so much as a baby. Nothing can fill my heart with nostalgia more than looking back at your baby pictures. But I am SO excited to see you grow up. I can’t wait to see the type of man you’re going to become. I hope I can be the mama that you deserve and are proud of. You have taught me more about unconditional love and grace and fear and life than I ever could have imagined I needed to know. I know I can’t protect you from this world, so I pray constantly that I can raise you to be strong enough to not only live in this world, but fight to make it better for others.

I love you so much, kiddo. Happy third birthday. Thank you for being such a joy to parent.


mommy (not mom)

Now, forgive an overload of Oliver spam from the past year…

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