Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Letter to my son on his 3rd Birthday

Today you turned “fweee yeez ohd”. It seems yesterday you were but a wide-eyed pink pooping machine I had no idea what to do with. But today you are three. And Mummy is so proud of you.

Of course I’m proud that by the miracle of humanity, in the past year, you learned to run, sing, find new ways of expressing yourself and have almost mastered peeing and pooping in the potty. But I’m most proud of the little person you’re growing to become and am privileged to be your steadfast guide and comfort through this wallop of an adventure that is our life.

You’re resilient. I want to apologize to you my son. For all the change you’ve had to endure this past year. Plucked from your life with loving Mary Poppins to a school full of foreign kids and too few teachers. From daily strolls along the seashore to daily drives around town. From the warm Adriatic waters to a backyard pool. From a language planted in you from 3 months old to having to start all over again with new sounds and words. From the comfort of a loving, supportive circle of friends— who became family to, luckily, a new, smaller circle.

But I want to Thank God for your wonderful ability to adapt and thrive, lay down your roots somewhere new while still cherishing the faces from your infancy. I admire this quality most in you baby boy. So perhaps I won’t apologize fully. Your Dad and I brought you to this new country for opportunity and the way you’ve blossomed will ensure you’re that much stronger on your journey to manhood.

You’re happy. I often wonder how many parents can say their toddlers are really happy. But you truly smile from the time you jolt me out of dreams with “Mama, wake up!” to the time we say goodnight after prayers (and you continue screaming “Goodnight” “See you soon!” as I’m on my way down the stairs). You cry when “Mama, I huht maseff (I hurt myself)” or when you know you’re in deep doodoo. But God that smile...I’m thankful for it every day.

You’re smart. I had no idea you could speak Swedish until you surprised me by singing along with your little Swedish troup at your daycare performance. There you were, in the front row, covered completely in muck, in the rain, singing your little heart out. I had no idea what you were saying, but I cried anyway. You know your colours and the alphabet, your shapes and have even memorized the words to your favourite books. You’re a little parrot, repeating everything your teachers say to learn to speak their language.

You’re loving. From stopping to chase and pet the “KAT-TEN” on our nightly walks to those big open-mouthed kisses to asking where your brother is if he’s not sitting in his usual spot when you come home. You may not be an entertainer when the family Skype Shows begin, but your grandparents and far-away family should know that you ask about them at the oddest times: On the car ride to and from daycare, in the grocery store with a mouthful of ice cream cone or usually five minutes after a Skype call has ended. People are drawn to your spirit little one. I saw it today. The two high school helpers assigned to your school were waiting for YOU to arrive. You’re a little charmer, just like your Dad.

You’re beautiful. My favourite part of everyday happens sometime around 5am. I open my eyes instinctively to see your sleepy eyes hovering by my pillow. I don’t always remember the part where I pick you up and lay you next to me but I wake up every morning to you snuggled in between your Dad and I. Your hair has gone from black at birth to white blonde to a now darker shade, marking the moments of change in your life. I miss your face during the day and enjoy that very instant you see me, stop play and run with arms wide open. We could never make another one like you.
So today your father, brother and I will trek over to your school at 2:30 with a lactose, strawberry, kiwi and plum FREE “Lightning McQueen” cake and we’ll join your class in singing Happy Birthday. We won’t have your grandparents, aunts & uncles or cousin with us to celebrate, but we will have each other and best of all, we have you.
Happy 3rd Birthday my son.
Love, your Proud Mummy xoxo
July 30, 2009


Mon said...

Happy birthday Joseph!!

Can't believe it was THAT long ago thatw e attended his 2nd birthday party! wow.

Lovely words too.

H F W said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm glad to have found yours, too. Happy birthday to your son. We'll be singing the same tune in 9 days to my little guy.

SwedishJenn said...

@ HFW: Happy Birthday in 9 days to your son and thanks for becoming one of the first people, besides dear friend Mon, to comment on a post! It's exhilirating knowing that your voice is heard. Looking forward to your posts HFW!

julia said...

aww this text almost made me cry. very nice reading.

SwedishJenn said...

@ Julia. So glad you enjoyed it Julia. Thanks for visiting :-)