My sweet Parkie,
Today you are three.
Sorry, Momma needed to take a minute after writing that. Today you are three and I am not ready.
While it’s true, your little life has made three full rotations around the sun, you’ve been here longer than that.
I remember the moment I realized I was ready for you. It had taken years for me to get ready for another baby, and it was a moment I didn’t know would actually come.
I remember the moment I realized I was pregnant. Two positive tests in the bathroom, I walked outside with Maisy in the stroller to get some fresh air. I whispered the news to my friend and neighbor Dani.
I remember being pregnant with you. I remember the stress as Landon got sick. I wasn’t sleeping, Daddy wasn’t sleeping. Our anxiety levels were at an all-time high. I was at the end of my rope. I began my leave a week earlier than planned. I sat on my couch and cried and slept and prayed for you to come soon and cried some more.
I remember when you decided it was time. I labored over you for 24 hours, 21 of which were without pain medicine. (Something I will never let you forget ever.) And you entered this world the way you enter all rooms now, fast. At 11:58 a.m. on September 24, two weeks before your due date of October 5.
I remember meeting you. Weighing in at 6 pounds, 14 ounces and 19 inches long, you were the littlest thing I had ever seen and I loved you instantly. Maisy came to meet you and I remember holding you both as she sang “Rainbow Connection.” You opened your eyes a little, but mostly just snuggled.
I remember naming you. We named you Parker after Spiderman. No really, we did. Daddy always thought it’d be cool to have a baby named Peter Parker Pippin. Peter didn’t seem like a solid fit for the sweet pink bundle in my arms, so we settled on Parker, middle name Jennifer after the obvious sister influences Daddy and I have in our lives. The name suited you. Before you walked, you climbed.
And now you are three and I will remember you like this forever.
You are our wild child, our fearless girl. I’ve seen you scale counters and book shelves, I’ve seen you crawl into tight spaces and build forts. I’ve seen you get nose to nose with a lizard.
Parenting you has been a challenge, mostly because you are fiercely stubborn and also because you are sugar-sweet. You can have me shaking with rage, begging you to listen to me, to giggling about something you said or did.
You can sneak out of your bed over and over until my face is red with anger, only to cool me down instantly with a “Momma, can I cuddle with you?”
You love puppies. You never met a dog that isn’t your best friend. Every dog you see deserves pats and waves and hugs and kissies. Especially Busby, who you call your puppy when Marie isn’t around.
This morning, when I woke you to wish you happy birthday, you said “THANK YOU!” It didn’t matter how much I called you “birthday girl” or talk about your “special day” you always said thank you.
Oh, my little love. We’re thankful for you! We are thankful for every silly, sneaky, goofy thing you do. Thank you for being my dance partner, for calling me your Momma, for giving me snuggles and all the kisses I ask for. Thank you for being my baby and for warming the hearts of everyone you meet. Thank you for loving your sister and your daddy and all the puppies of the world and thank you for thinking, even in your precious three-year-old mind, that you need to thank US for YOUR birthday.
You are as gracious as you are sweet. You are as kind as you are challenging.
And that, my sweet Parkie, my little pumpkin, is what makes you so special.
I love you my baby.