My 3-Year-Old, Part I

Tomorrow we will throw a small party for Isabel’s 3rd birthday. It has been hard to justify in my mind as she had a little celebration up in Black Butte with all of her cousins and then another with our family friends, the Michels, on her actual birthday. On top of that, this week has been tough with unpacking, cleaning, make-up days for preschool, appointments and vomiting and altogether less sleep than usual from all the traveling. So, it has been easy to think, “oh, it’s just a birthday, should I spend time worrying about it?”

And, of course, you know me. I am a professional worrier, so with my few functioning brain cells I finally came up with a plan, especially since everyone chose to attend (yeah!) and am now executing it, with fervor. I just got the carrot cake in the oven and finished cleaning up the toys strewn all over the floor. Which brings me to the inspiration of this post.

Looking at the floor earlier in the evening, I grew anxious. It certainly did not matter that I just cleaned the whole house yesterday. After today, gardening and all, grass clippings were dragged into the house, dirt from potted plants made it into all the rooms and toys were emptied from all the bins. I cursed under my breath, shut my brain to this and told myself “it will get done.” Okay, I was irritable and cranky, too.

But after the kids fell asleep and after I got the cake in the oven, looking at the toys on the floor brought an entirely different emotion to me. My heart was happy and sad. Happy because I imagined Isabel (I could hear her doing this while working around the house) excitedly tossing everything out, encouraging Thomas to play with her, giggling and screaming contentedly. She brought “Candy” and “Jack-Jack” (dolls made by cousins Matthews) to me and said, “come on, Mom, you’re Jack-Jack, play with me!” A second later she ran out chasing and chiding Thomas.

I picked up Candy and Jack-Jack just now and thought, “I should have played with her dolls with her for a few minutes.” (This is not to say I hadn’t played with her all throughout the day, but still.) And realizing how she is now suddenly 3 years old, I couldn’t help but imagine the future when playing with me will not be so cool and fun. That was the sad part.

Picking up her toys in the quiet brings a peaceful smile to my face. I just love being her Mommy. When she laughs, I laugh. And when she cries, my heart cries with her. Cherishing all these moments, good and bad, tough and easy, is what being a mommy is all about.

And I wouldn’t change her for anything in the world.

4 months old, already a voracious eater, LOL

1 Year old, photo by Erika Seress

2 years old

Almost 3 years old

I love you, my little peanut.

And now to start and finish another project. Hey, it’s only 11pm; I’ve got plenty of time. 🙂

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