Today you turn three years old. I know, I don’t believe it either. How could we have gone from this…
…in only three years. It’s insane. I truly believe I may just be dreaming and I will wake up in our old house in the West Plaza covered in spit up at any moment.
I struggled to write this letter, Lulu, mostly because there is just so much to say, and no words will ever be enough. This is the first year you’ve been really excited for your birthday and you understand what is about to happen. “I get presents! And pink flowers! And pink balloons! And a pink pinata!” In fact, I think our house may look like it’s been covered in a thin layer of Pepto Bismol considering all the pink that will permeating every nook and cranny. You love pink, it’s your favorite color (besides green and red and black and did I know that black in Spanish is negro? Why yes I did, Lu, thanks) and you will not allow anyone else to say it is their favorite color as well. When someone dares to say, “You like pink? I like pink too,” you will quickly and sternly correct them that pink is YOUR favorite, not theirs. My little Lu, a dictator in the making.
Other than your love of pink and dancing and baby dolls, you are mostly a tomboy. You love soccer, and are the youngest kid in your soccer class at school. I debated on whether you were too young to be already playing a sport, but you love it and since it’s during school it doesn’t seem to wear you out like I thought it would. Your favorite friends at school are boys, particularly one little dude who tells people you are his girlfriend. You just smile and laugh and tell him “Nah, I’m not your girlfriend, you’re my BEST FRIEND.” Then I go in a corner and cry because you just told me yesterday that I was your best friend, but I was quickly replaced by the three year old boy with the big brown eyes.
But truly, you do tell me I’m your best friend on an almost daily basis, and even though you now tell everyone that, I will never forget that you told me first. And each time you do, I thank my lucky stars that my kid loves me so very much. Then you usually ask for a “huggie” which means you will squeeze me until your arms hurt. Seriously, little dude, huggies are the best.
Lulu, we’ve been through a lot in the last year. The biggest change was our move from the city to the suburbs, something you handled way better than I did. I mourned the loss of an old life, old friends, our old house, but you were more excited about the new than the loss of the old. You loved your NEW ROOM, NEW SCHOOL, NEW FRIENDS, and that excitement is what got me past my sad phase and in to my happy place, where spending a Saturday afternoon at the Home Depot doesn’t make me want to vomit. You love the Home Depot, and when you play pretend at the park like you’re driving someplace, you always say you’re going to the Home Depot and then to Dora’s birthday party. Sounds like a nice little Saturday.
Oh, kiddo, you are the best thing on this planet. I don’t know what else to say. The person you have become is so charming, so hilarious, so fun, you are everything I always wanted to be as a kid. You are cooler than I was at twenty-three years old, let alone three. You are the most wonderful combination of your father and myself, a true nerd with no qualms about telling the world what’s what. I know that someday, probably sooner than I want, you’ll be influenced by your friends, your peers, to be something you’re not, and I want you to know that who you are, right now, is the most fantastic person. Your light shines brighter than you will ever realize, and your pride in who you are is one of my favorite qualities. You think you’re the coolest, and you’re totally right.
Thank you for singing me songs when you think I’m sad and for dancing with me in our empty living room. Thank you for liking good music and for asking me to turn the radio up whenever you hear a song you know I like. Thank you for running up to me at the end of a long school day screaming “Mommymommymommy! That’s my MOMMY!” and then hugging my legs tightly. Thank you for storming off in a huff with your arms crossed saying “You’re not listening to my words” when you’re mad, as it cracks me up.
When you were an infant, and wouldn’t nurse even if you were starving, I made up a song for you using the letters of your name. For some reason, though I have no singing voice and the words are totally lame, whenever you heard this song, you’d calm down, eat and drift off to sleep. Lately, you’ve begun to sing this song all by yourself, and though it may be the dorkiest song in the universe, when you sing it, I feel my heart jump. You’ve been listening. This whole time, when I thought what I was saying or doing didn’t really matter, it turns out, it did. I am molding this gorgeous little girl in to a real live person, and so far, so good.