He's three.

Happy birthday, Babyspawn!

Three years ago today, you came into this world at 11:38 PM after three weeks of on and off labor. It took two nurses and a doctor, and you're our third child, so I'm thinking three is your thing, and this is your year!

The first day of your life, your daddy wouldn't let anyone else hold you except when you nursed. He slept with you on his chest. I'm not sure you saw the inside of your hospital crib except for when they took you away for your bath--and that other...er...procedure. Your daddy doesn't get overly emotional about much of anything, but he was the happiest I've seen him the first time he held you. He insists on bath time being his time, and for a man who said he wouldn't change diapers, I can say with confidence your daddy has changed 90% of yours. You see, the second you were born, you were a daddy's boy whether you wanted to be or not, because you are your daddy's everything. 

That's not to say you're not mine, too. You are rather spoiled by the whole family. Your sisters let you get away with murder and I think every rotten thing you do is adorable. We love you so much, which is weird because you're our meanest child. You hit us, kick us, chunk your toys at our faces, and it makes you laugh. You have never liked being kissed on the lips, but that's okay because I love your double-cheek European kisses. You love being outside, bath time, horses, ketchup, and airplanes. You hate fireworks and your car seat. You can out hike any of us, and I'm sure you're bound for greatness. Not typical greatness, either. As in, you'll be an Olympic skier or some part of Colorado's Fire & Rescue. You'll be a hero,  I just know it, because you're so good at being mine.  

I'm fairly certain you were Thor in a former life, because when you feel you're finished with a meal, you throw  everything on the floor instead of simply saying, "I'm done." It gives you immeasurable pleasure to hear someone say, "Ow". We all tolerate your abuse because when you're loving, it's worth it. At night when you caress my face until you fall asleep, or wallow Daddy and mash his nose with your ginormous but adorable head (88th percentile!), we forgive every bruise and bite mark. When you love us so much you can't stand it and push our cheeks together and you grit your teeth and your whole body shakes, we melt. You live and love intensely, which simply means there is no doubt that you're our child--except for the potty training part. That's all your dad. The girls and I were out of diapers before we were two.

I love to hear you discover new things every day, and hear the new sentences you put together. "Don't be sad and cry, Eden," after you hit her in the face is, so far, my favorite. Your compassion, even if it is after you've walked up to stomp one of us in the head for no reason, is so sweet to see. You push little girls down and then help them back up. You're so rough and tumble, and then will touch someone gently on the face and it's the most precious moment. You're just like your dad in that you have a gift in making the person in front of you feel so incredibly special. 

I didn't know what to expect when Leslie the ultrasound tech told me you were a boy. I remembered feeling so much joy that I cried. Now I cry hoping I'll get through you being a threenager, because the terrible twos were nearly the death of me. I cherish these days and I look forward to when you're taller than me, and to feel your man-sized arm around my shoulders just as much as I fear it. See, your sister was three years old just a week or so ago, and now she's sixteen. You're only little for a blink or two, and that is why I ignore Daddy when he says you need to start sleeping in your own bed.

So happy birthday, baby. I'll read this to you and you won't care, but I'm going to write this, anyway. Maybe someday you'll stumble upon this while on the Internet, and know that we're so grateful that you chose us, even with missing patches of hair and knots on our heads from tiny metal airplane wings that you've chunked at us. You are mean, and your are sweet, and are the best surprise in the history of surprises.