We talked about you before you were even here, you know.
Every single night, and in a thousand spaces in between,
while the spark of light & stardust & high fives that was you quietly flipped and swirled just under my ribcage,
slightly south of my heartbeat,
in the tiny-infinite space between us and you.
What we knew then was as much as you can know about someone who’s with you every day, every moment, but who you’ve never met:
That you liked 10-p.m. dance parties and snacks every two hours,
walks in the morning, not the maternity jeans with the stupid band at the top,
and always, always pizza.
What we didn’t know yet was that it’d be possible to simultaneously love someone so much and also be sobbing from exhaustion because of them;
how you’d sleep just like your mama, your top leg bent out and up like a perpetual dream-hurdler;
how, suddenly, every single line of our lives “before” would blur in a way that felt like you’d been here always;
how you’d love-weave this entire world together, starting with the first thread of your first breath on your first morning here.
We still talk about you all the time, you know.
Every single night and in the thousand spaces in between,
the beautifulchaos of three-and-an-almost half settling around us in the form of grass-stained 3T jeans and a landscape of Nerf darts,
your red Cozy Coupe (which, depending on the day, is also a fire car, a police car, and occasionally the Spider-Car) parked in the living room, a trail of snacks and Hot Wheels foreverin your wake.
What we know now is you’re absolutely the raddest adventure we’ve ever chosen;
that you still like snacks every two hours, adventure walks as often as you can get them—
and still, of course, always, pizza.
– The way you pronounce “oatmeal” as “OIT-meal”
– “You blew ‘dem to PIECES!” – Your dramatic reaction to a wayward bullet straight to the junk, courtesy of daddy’s Nerf gun
– “Mmmm! This tastes like beers!” – thoughts on a root beer sucker
– “I think this is terrible.” – Initial thoughts upon hearing a cover of Elvis’ Can’t Help Falling in Love
– (midway through pooping) “… hmm. It stopped. My poop must be sleeping.”
– “‘dat is ‘skusting… can I have some more?” – Thoughts on my impressive fail of a Pinterest strawberry bar recipe
– “Well, first we need to get some rices. And ‘den cheese, to make it really stretchy.” – Your plans for making Rice Krispy treats
On April 7th, you rode your very first bike for the very first time.
This was one of Those Moments, man.
There you were, just pedaling away in all your little dudedom, and suddenly, we were right in the middle of it:
A rad little milestone we’d talked about for years, watching families pedal by us at the park as you snuggle-napped against my chest, or even just passing by the tiny-sized bikes at the store.
Every time, your daddy and I would look at each other and be like, “Dude, we get to teach OUR kid to ride his bike someday“—
and then there we were,
watching your little legs pedalpedalpedal their way down the sidewalk,
the two of us looking at each other and barely even believing we were already here.
Prior to catching your first fish, as your daddy tells it,
you joyously invited every single someone you saw—
from the cashier at the store, to random strangers in line nearby—
to join you, your daddy, and your new fishing pole at the lake later that day.
When I got home, you were busily casting with your new pole in the front yard.
“I’m practicin’ my skills, mama,” you explained, barely looking up before expertly launching the tiny plastic fish on one end of your line well into the middle of the yard next door.
Not too long later, we were setting up our spot on a sun-warmed dock, swapping out your plastic fish for a hook, some bait, and a red-and-white bobber.
Then, as you tell it,
“Well, I was bein’ patient. And ‘den, the fish was hungry, and it smelled my bait, and it bited it, so my bobber went down, and ‘den, I caught the fish!”
My absolute favorite part of this picture, my love, is that I can’t tell who’s prouder or more excited:
You, or your daddy.
A room away from where I’m writing to you, you’re dreaming in Spider-Man jams—
tucked in with a crown of forehead kisses, wrapped in the cozygood of weekend-clean sheets.
Earlier, as we were snuggling down together, I marveled at the way the landscape of your little face has changed so much since you were new, and yet, there’s places that still look the same—
the sweet curves of your forehead and nose,
the squish of your cheeks,
the lines and rounds of you I’ve read over and over since your first day here.
That’s what makes being three such an adventure, I think:
The balance forever shifting between “there’s my baby” and “there’s my boy,”
every day bringing us just a little bit closer to the moment it shifts in favor of the latter.
It’s never been a wilder or more wonderful time to be your mama, my dude.