For your third birthday: a brand new life!

Someone asked me today about the CFM logo emblazoned on my laptop, and I dismissed it as a little software project of a bored, housebound mutha. I don’t know why I did that. It’s not little. And I’m not bored. In fact, I am so far from bored at the moment that I think I might have to stop sleeping so I can pursue every single interest at my fingertips this year. Even as I do that, though — even as I explore a new city, take classes, attend seminars and read, read, read everything I can get my hands on in this intellectual mecca — I will keep writing in this space. I have to. Because I do not scrapbook, and I do not want to forget.

In the midst of our harried move North, The Belle had a birthday. And when she asks me who she was at three, I will remember.

I will tell her:

You are tough. You demand a dress every morning, and it must be one that twirls. All those pink bows and ruffles adorn a powerful little girl, though. You’ve had strong fists for sometime, but now, you are just as likely to gun for someone with strong words. I am grateful for this, and I’m sure the parents of all your classmates will be grateful, as well.

You are happy alone. You do just fine in a crowd, my confident girl. You’re happy to play on the lawn with the big kids, but I’m just as likely to find you lingering along the edges of activity, singing to yourself and picking flowers you have been forbidden to touch.

You are trusting. It took less than a minute for you to hug the new babysitter who showed up this morning. You were certain the adults you met last night wanted to hear all the details about your Pooh Bear. You know everyone you meet loves you, and you are often correct in this assessment.

You are confused. We live in a new apartment now, but to you, it is the hotel. You refer to our home this way so often, I am waiting for you to order breakfast delivered to your room.

You are growing up so fast. The list of words you mispronounce is dwindling. It is a thrill to see you grow, but if anyone pushes you to “fix” your few remaining toddler words, I will not react well. I like getting you ready to go totweep at night. I like hearing you sing Happy Birfday while you wash your hands. I like the way you morph into a skilled game of charades whenever we fail to immediately grasp your meaning.

You are amazingly adaptable. We have asked a lot of you over the past weeks. Tonight, you are asleep in an unfamiliar bed in an unfamiliar room. Tomorrow, you will be cared for by an unfamiliar  person, and next week you will go to an unfamiliar school. And you haven’t regressed to wetting your pants. You haven’t started biting us in frustration. You haven’t threatened to hitchhike home to Alabama. For your birthday this year, we gave you a brand new life, and you gave us acceptance. Thank goodness for the three-year-olds.

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