Yesterday you turned three. In a matter of moments you left toddlerhood to become a little boy. As if that wasn’t enough, you spent the day insisting that you were older than that. “How about five?” you would say. Then, at one point, “How about sixty-two?” It is good to know that that Jarboe drive to push the boundaries is coursing through your veins, though I do think three to sixty-two is a little far of a jump.
I call you my Elder Muse because, until you were born, I had no real compelling reason to pick up my camera, other than the occasional flower and the owl that lived in our backyard. Then all of a sudden my days were filled with this incredible little person who never ceased to inspire wonder and amazement on my part.
This is because you are AWESOME.
There is so much I could write about what I’ve learned being your mom–about fear and faith, about true joy and what is really meaningful in life, about humility and original sin and the boundless grace of God, and what it truly means to love and be loved unconditionally.
I love your unbridled enthusiasm. (It makes up for the unchecked outbursts of temper that you surely got from my side of the family.) You are charmingly swift to rejoice with someone’s fortune or to celebrate their achievements. (Even if this means loudly congratulating Mama on her, um, bathroom accomplishments to an entire public restroom full of people. I appreciated the offer of a marshmallow reward.)
You love people, and are always willing to strike up a conversation with anyone nearby, whether they are listening or not. The world is your friend; waitresses and nurses and people in the aisle at the grocery store are long-lost comrades that you greet with enthusiasm and leave with sweet farewells like “See you later!” and “Have a good snoozy!” You chat up the family cat like she’s your best bud, even though she generally avoids you like the plague. One day she’ll catch on to how much you adore her, I’m sure.
You always ask Mama to hold your hand before she kisses you goodnight.
You are on a real tool kick right now, always looking for a way of “fixging” things, just like Daddy. You try to “fixg” what’s out of order around you, too, and like a good older brother you are always willing to boss Clive around if he isn’t behaving up to standards.
Of course, like a good younger brother, he generally ignores your correction.
I wish I could bottle up this time–your sudden over-pronunciation of r-words and your crush on Maid Marian, your continued obsession with drums and how you always want me to run with you (and I remind you that I can’t with baby Anselm in my belly!), your impersonation of Anselm’s heartbeat and how easily you memorize the books we read together, how you love to dance and sing and how music just seems to make your world a better place. Your sweet tooth and sweet face and how you spontaneously announce to Daddy and Clive and myself that you “wuv” us, and how even when you’re at your worst you are so near and precious to my heart because you’re just so much like me.
Happy Birthday, Ephraim. You are my favorite Big Son, this year and next year and when you’re five and sixty-two, too.