Today, my baby Bean, you turn 3! I can't believe how big you are!
3 years since there were just 2 of us at No63, three years since we had a choice of what to watch on TV before 7pm...three years since I lay there at St Peter's, being told I had a baby daughter and wondering whether it was all over and was someone kidding me??!! three years since I became a Mummy and Andy became a Daddy...where has that time gone?
I know you won't be able to read this little post of mine for a while yet, but I wanted to make a memory of how I feel and what I remember at this juncture...and hope you enjoy reading it when you can.
Being 3 is brilliant - we know you love being 3 and we love you at this age. You never stop talking from the minute you wake up (hearing you singing in your bed as we try and ignore our alarm clock in our bed is one of my greatest joys each day) and you ask such clever questions and never stop enquiring.
This time 3 years ago I was huge, getting very fed up and was desperate to meet you - and I was convinced, as were the midwives, that you were a boy. When you eventually arrived (12 or 9 days late depending on which scan you refer to!) you were a girl and you took us all by surprise! That first Christmas when you were only 10 days old was a bit of a blur and you have kept us on our toes ever since.
In total, we've know you a little bit longer than 3 years - from that first positive test, 6 weeks in, you have been a part of me...and there are so many things about you that I know are 'me' too, mannerisms, habits, ways of reacting...and there are so many things in you that are what I love about your Daddy...you are our perfect mix and a uniquely created individual at the same time.
Here are some things that I love about you:
Your independance - your insistence that you do it 'all by myself' - teeth brushing, toilet, mixing hot chocolate powder into your milk, choosing your bedtime books or clothes for nursery...you name it, you can do it or will try to do it!
Your giggle - when you're being tickled or when you are just tickling yourself with your funny stories or wacky ideas!
The way you accept people - last week at your party, you made sure everyone was OK, introduced 'my grandma' to everyone who came in case they didn't know who this lady was. It made me so proud to see you making space for people in your life and your home - and you definitely see it as your home!
I love the simplicity with which you view life - everyone is your friend, whether you have known them 2 minutes or all of your life. Every new thing is something to get stuck into - no fear here!!
I love that fact that you would eat pasta for every meal because it's tasty and you can have it with peas and ketchup and everyone is happy.
I love the fact that when you play hide and seek you assume that if you can't see everyone, they can't see you...
I love the fact that although you don't always sleep when I put you down for a nap, you never attempt to leave your room - you just potter about and 'reorder' your clothes and books - you call it 'being busy'.
I love the fact that a piece of cake and a babyccino cures all ills...just like Mummy!
I love the way you take such pride in making things for people - cards and crafts, food, even making up a bed on your bedroom floor for your friend in anticipation of that long promised sleepover (I promise, it will happen!!)
I love the way you learn your favourite stories off by heart and read them along with us...keeping us in check more like!
Some of my best times in the last 3 years have been the insignificant times, the everyday things - doing your hair in french plaits for your Great Grandparents Diamond wedding party, helping you articulate your baby prayers at night, helping you make sense of sharing and playing nice...tucking you in each evening, making sure you're warm and smelling the smell of your skin which hasn't changed since your early hours, singing in the car on the way to nursery, having you help me cook and stir in the kitchen, your excitement when the phone rings or the doorbell goes....the list is endless!
You are fiesty and full of fun and opinion. You have a way of infuriating us with your dawdling when you know we want to be out the house or doing something else - you know your own pace and you know the way you like things to be done. You have your own sense of style and coordination - insisting on red tights with a pink dress, along with a spotty coat and tartan hat.
You help me to understand how deep the Father's love is for us - how wide and deep and high and strong, in a way which passes all understanding. You make me grateful for all the things that I have been blessed with and you enhance every blessing in my life by being in it. I seek to put the word of God and the love of Jesus in your heart so it becomes part of you - something that is at your surface shining out but also at the very depths of your being.
You are my miracle - the baby they said I would never have and the surprise to beat all surprises. We cherish you - and we're speechless with wonder so often when you come home having learnt something else new or having had a wonderful adventure that you are excited to tell us about. How did we get so lucky??
You are growing up fast and I wouldn't want it any other way - but when you are all growed up and getting your life settled - who knows who with or doing what? - I want to remember what it was like when you were 3 and I was 31 and we were getting ready for your birthday...if only we could bottle it...? I remember it sweetly and with thanks and with tears too, just a few.
Happy birthday MG - we love you and we know you love us.
Thank you God for this wonderful gift - help us do our job well.