As a first time parent you do what you can to prepare yourself for the little bundle of baby that is to come. From gear to parenting magazines and books to babyproofing and toys. You hear stories from other parents out there, both new and seasoned. All of this, however, can never prepare you for what is to come. Three years ago I learned exactly this.
Three years ago today my life changed forever. Landon Douglas made his grand entrance into this world and made me a mommy. In those three years life has been completely transformed. Sleeping in is a thing of the past, I kiss owies, dance to silence, tend to others' needs before my own, I now keep milk in the refrigerator at all times, leave dishes in the sink longer, have a load of laundry in the washer or dryer all the stinking time, get mad if the phone rings after 8pm and can tell you where every single park within a five mile radius is from our house. I can't remember what life was like before parenthood began and I'm not sure it matters.
Not only has my life changed completely but Landon has gone from a tiny, squishy newborn to a teetering, babbling toddler to now an articulate little preschooler that makes my heart swell with pride and smears a smile across my face. He speaks in full, complete sentances and has a crazy vocabulary. He will try just about anything you put on his plate and asked for the broccoli off my plate when he finished his at dinner the other night. He's quick to give a hug if one of his friends is feeling sad or hurt. He loves to help in the kitchen cooking dinner or baking treats (his favorite job is licking the beater). He's great at using his manners and will start with "please may I..." and end with, "thank you..." almost every time. His smile engages his entire face and his belly laughs are magical. He cries with his entire body but very rarely throws tantrums; when he does they are doozies. He is inquisitive and careful but brave and stubborn with toddler style selective hearing. His excitement and enthusiasm is fantastic and I wish it could be bottled. Landon loves to be outside and will spend hours in his sandbox. Such a huge difference is the 30 pound guy of today from that six pound ten ounce little wonder of a baby three short years ago.
Landon really understands birthdays this year and is SO excited to have his own special day and party. I asked Landon what he wanted to do on his birthday this year to make the day special. He wants to, "go pick cherries off of the trees and go for a BART train ride." I love that kid. I asked him what he wanted to eat for his special birthday dinner, he wants, "soup." What kind of soup, you ask? "One with LOTS of noodles! And ralaolies (raviolis)." Cake too, I asked him what kind of cake he wanted..."green cake." What should it taste like? "Apples." He definitely knows what he wants.
Landon, thank you from the bottom of my swollen heart for shaping me into the person I am today. Because of you I'm more patient, compassionate, inquisitve, nurturing, helpful and silly. You have taught me to savor moments that I probably wouldn't have given a second thought to before, to love without borders or conditions, to trust my intuition, to leave the dishes in the sink in favor of more playtime and cherish snuggles and eskimo kisses. Thank you for the abundant joy and craziness you have brought to our lives. May you continue to sparkle, to ask questions and soak up the world around you. If I could keep you like this forever I might consider it if I weren't so excited to continue to watch you grow and learn and become even more fabulous.
I love you SO much! How much is so? Way, way more than you know.
Happy birthday, my son!