You're three today! It doesn't seem possible, but here you are, so grown up. You have changed so much over the last year. Let me see if I can put into words a little bit about you....
A stranger might describe you as shy, but we know better - you are talkative and playful and affectionate most of the time, but when you feel uncomfortable around new people or in uncertain situations you get quiet. You are reserved with your affection and slow to form your opinions - you take your time to decide what you think about people and what you want. Once you have made up your mind you aren't easily swayed. You are thoughtful and careful, and suddenly aware of so many dangers in the world. There are things all around you that are scary to you, but I watch as you deliberately confront all of them - venturing down the big slide, picking up creepy bugs, crossing the high beam in gymnastics class, visiting a new bible class by yourself, poking at a new food until you work up the courage to taste it, quietly talking to new people. I know just how you feel, sweet one. You are so much like me as a child. I know that you don't like being scared of things, and my heart bursts with pride every time you decide to face a fear. You are brave.
If someone asked me to describe you in one word I might choose "creative". Your mind is powerful, little one, and your imagination never rests. You are always telling stories, or asking us to tell stories to you. You build things and play pretend games constantly. You love to get lost in good movies and books and you always play them out in real life and assign roles to all of us too. You love music, and you love to sing along and dance. Your Dad has made you a special mix of all your favorite songs and we all love it - they're all precious to us now, because you love them so much. You don't miss details, and you remember everything. I'm in awe of your mind, and a little intimidated too.
You've started talking about God and talking to God, recently. When we eat lunch on the porch you like to walk out into the sun to talk to God. "Here I am, God", you say. You talk about Jesus, too, and how, in your words, we should be "kind and loving like Jesus". We're growing a garden and you are so delighted that God makes the seeds grow into plants. You love to "check on the plants" several times every day and water them in your boots and cowboy hat. I can't wait until you actually get to pick the fruits and vegetables and eat God's good gifts! When you are scared at night you ask me to pray about it with you, and this always comforts you. There is no line between the visible and the invisible, for you, and your faith is a wonder to behold. I pray that you are always so sure of God's love and protection over you. I pray that you will always marvel at His hand in creation, and that you will never hesitate to walk into the sun, look up and talk to Him. If we get anything right, I pray that we will foster this faith that is in you.
You love to have adventures. In the yard. In the neighborhood. To the store. On the road. Anywhere. You love to be outside all the time. You are in the trees, in the grass, barefoot, covered in dirt and grass, and supremely happy when you are outside. You always play the hero and you always stop along the way to pick me some flowers. You want to be funny and you are always watching to see if you make me smile and laugh. You want a pet. You have asked for a cow, a horse, a dog, a cat, a duck, and a lizard. (You have a fish named Nemo, but he is not as fun as you had hoped he would be.) You love Sam, or "Sammah" as you call him. You two crack each other up. You love to hug and smile and talk. You splash each other in the tub and you even share your toys sometimes. He's so blessed to have you.
I feel at a loss to try and put you into words but I will say this: sometimes we'll be enjoying a meal together, or listening to some good music, or traveling with you and it will occur to us that you are the kind of person that we like to hang out with. That, Michael, is one of the happiest feelings I've ever felt. I know we will have plenty of differences over the years, but I pray that you will always talk to us the way you do now, enjoy good food and music with us, share adventures with us. Knowing you brings us so much joy, Michael. How could we have known three years ago what a smart, creative, cool person you would be? I can't wait to see what God has in store for your future, sweet boy. We love you completely and forever. xo