Every mom believes that their babies are the cutest and the sweetest and the most precious and the best. It's our privilege to love our little ones in this way, one of my favorite motherhood perks!
Charlie really is the cutest and the sweetest three year old little guy on the planet.
Honest to goodness, he really is.
Yesterday we celebrated his big leap into three year old territory. Steve and I were up early, sipping coffee, catching NCAA basketball highlights, pressing wrinkled pants and cuffs and collars for Mass attire, when we heard the faintest little squeal from around the corner of the kitchen...
You were on your hands and knees peeking in on us, flashing your tiny teeth smile, rosy cheeked and bright-eyed. You had no idea it was your birthday, I'm not sure you really understood the idea of birthday until your big brothers woke up and smothered you with hugs and big happy birthday cheers. Then, you knew that March 23rd was special, it was your day.
Many moments throughout the day, I was really caught up in an emotion of gratitude, thankful that it truly was a day of joy, a celebration your life, of remembering the feelings of elation that we all had over your birth, and every moment since as you bless us all with such deep down goodness. I really needed the infusion of happiness into my heart, the kind of happiness that is strengthening. With a little more than two months to go before your new sibling arrives, I'm beginning to struggle a bit to get through the days as the dreaded sciatic pain, leg aches and swelling has arrived earlier than usual. You, and the blessing of your life to our family, remind me to keep going, that the present pains - every little sacrifice, every little discomfort will be more than worth it when the day you become a big brother arrives.
We kept your birthday simple this year, a home cooked meal, family around the table, little gifts and lemon cupcakes for dessert. You aren't much for television or movies, but if Little Bear is on, you are in heaven. I love the way you sing along to the songs. You like to tell anyone who will sit beside you the names of all of the characters: owl, duck, cat, mama, papa. And, oh how you well up with excitement when you know just what will happen next!
All afternoon, you climbed up and down from the table, at least a dozen times, just to point to the cupcakes and ask me, "Did you make those Lil' Bear cuppy-cakes just for me?" And, when I would affirm your question, with great enthusiasm your response was always, "Oh, fank you, Mommy!"
Everyone around the table wanted to see you take a huge bite. We were convinced that you would try to conquer the cupcake in one big chomp, like you usually do when something tastes sooo good. But, you didn't. You took your time and asked us all between bites, "Is it good? Do you wike it?" nodding enthusiastically after each question in agreement.Each one of your brothers bought you some small gift. George was the most proud to give you his present. He bought it weeks ago and miraculously kept it hidden in his room until your big day. He also insisted on wrapping it himself and helping you unwrap it, too.
Although the battery-powered bubble gun was a big hit, your favorite present, by far, was your new very own Hot Wheels case and a few shiny new cars.
You've given your older brothers plenty of grief by sneaking into their Hot Wheel collections, accidentally losing a few of their favorites and scuffing up too many to count. We could all see how proud you were to finally have your very own set.
The one person whom you wanted to share the excitement over your new cars with the most was Benedict. You two really are like peas and carrots, so similar in your temperament, your sweetness, you even look very much alike. I remember how disappointed Benedict was that you weren't born on the same day as he was. We missed honoring his requests by 12 hours. I guess you and I just couldn't wait!
This morning I found you sound asleep with your little case resting securely right beside your pillow. You give me so many reasons to smile.
After breakfast, we found you perched up on a stool in the kitchen looking through the stack of cards you were given yesterday. You sat for the longest time enjoying each one. I felt like you were savoring the memory of yesterday.
I was savoring it too.