I was sick on your birthday, and I didn’t get this posted. Since then, there have been holidays and visits and so many things… and I wanted to make sure I gave myself the proper time to write this.
The bonus of being late is that I get to write about some of the things that have happened since your actual birthday, as well.
You’re at the point where you are SO interested in interacting. You want us to be involved all the time. You want us to read to you, to play with you, to watch you do things. You also have the attention span of a gnat sometimes. It’s not unusual for a conversation with you to proceed like this:
“Daddy, can you wead me dis book? I want to pway da fishing game. I’m hungwy. But I want to watch Bubble Guppies fuhst. No, daddy, da book. You fuhgot to pway da cahd game wiv me. Can I have pancakes for bweakfast? Watch me do a pwincess twuhl. Daddy? Teww me da stowy about when I was bohn. I miss Gwamma Cawol. When I was a wittle baby, I couldn’t walk. An’ I couldn’t eat pwetzels because I had no teeth. Can you wead dis udda book?”
It’s simultaneously fun and maddening, and I understand it’s a lot like I must have been as a kid.
You’re old enough now that we can play games with you. We have Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Cootie, Go Fish, and Old Maid. You need help to play them accurately, but you follow directions very well and you have so much fun playing. So far, you don’t care if you win or lose, as long as we’re playing. I hope you can keep that feeling for a long time.
You often ask me if you can go with me to do a show and “make peopuh waff.” I can’t wait until I can start teaching you improv games! You do like making people laugh, too — you know about six knock-knock jokes and you love telling them all. Every now and then you ask me to teach you a new one, and you focus hard and practice it over and over, asking me to remind you of the trickier parts. It’s awesome watching you memorize the lines… and even more awesome because I have seen you consciously change the delivery. You don’t deliver the punchlines the same way that I do — you absolutely deliver them with your own panache. And at the risk of sounding like the totally biased parent that I am, your sense of timing is phenomenal.
You continue to amaze me, every single day. Your memory and enthusiasm are the most exciting things to watch, and every day you say at least one thing that makes me laugh uproariously.
Today, while you were napping, we took down our Christmas decorations, and it looked like it was going to break your little heart. But you’re nothing if not determined to find joy: you asked me moments later if it was time for me to open my birthday presents yet. My birthday isn’t for two more weeks.
One thing that has really surprised me: you haven’t told me what the presents are. You were with your mom while she shopped for them, and she told you that it was a secret. When you got home, you told me you had bought presents, and Mommy reminded you not to tell me — and I agreed that you shouldn’t tell me. Despite the fact that you’ve asked about them several times, you have never given me even a hint of what was bought. That’s not a normal skill for a three-year-old. Secrets are hard things. You’re doing great.
So, advice. I’ve given you a lot of advice in the past three years, and it’s not always easy to remember what I’ve said, so I’m sure I may repeat myself sometimes. The most important piece remains: be who you are. I promise to do my best to support that as you grow up.
My advice for this month is maybe a bit practical. Eat well; sleep well; exercise. I’m hoping by the time you read this that I’ll be setting a better example at this than I do right now. For a long time, I thought about my body as irrelevant; I grew up concerned only about the mind and the soul. I also always pointed out that anyone could, you know, get hit by a bus or something. I thought of life as too short to worry about such things. The truth is, for most of us, life isn’t short. Not really. And if you can find ways to eat, sleep, and exercise so that you’re enjoying it, you’ll have found a major key to living your long life happily.
There are so many things I want to say to you. I could stay up for a week writing here and never tell you enough. But in the next few years, I suspect that I’m going to have just as much fun listening to you tell me what you think about things. You’re the most amazing little girl I’ve ever known, and you get more amazing all the time. I love you SO MUCH. Your mother and I both do.
On most days, you tell me, “You’re my best fwiend. And Mommy is too.” And I get to agree that you and Mommy are my best friends, too. And you two really are. And that’s important for you to know, too: as crazy as I am about you — and I am madly in love with you, my daughter — I am just as crazy about your mother. I could never have imagined our wonderful family before it happened; now, thanks to you two, every day I feel a connection to infinite love.
I love you, Sage. Three years passed by in a flash; I can’t wait for more!