“Mama! Why so many balloons out there?!” The little face standing beside my bed whispered. I could feel his breath on my eyeballs.
He had just walked through a small sea of balloons across the living room floor to get to my bedroom.
“It’s your birthday buddy! You’re three now!” I answered with a grin as I forced my eyes to open.
He gasped, as though the talk of all the days leading up to this moment had never even occurred.
“It’s my birthday?!” He said with 95% wonder and 5% disbelief.
“It’s YOUR birthday!”
And what a birthday he had.
We threw him a party and told him he could invite three friends; brother 1, brother 2, and brother 3. Then we took that party to ‘Go manas’ (AKA Go Bananas) to run wildly through tunnels, mazes, and slides with his best friends until his hair was sweaty, and his cheeks were flushed.
And then we watched as he fell asleep in the car precisely 14 seconds into the drive home.
He happily unwrapped his Lego Movie 2 Duplo monsters set that he had been told about by his ‘not so good at secret keeping’ bigger brother a month ago, and yet he still acted oh so surprised.
We made him a cake with extra cream cheese frosting, and we laughed as he tried so hard to blow out that third candle that just wanted to remain lit.
We sang repetitious rounds of Happy Birthday until the very end of the day, up to the last moment of tucking our now three year old into bed with his new LEGO Batman books.
It was a good birthday. We all said so. And now, he was three… at long last.
The next day big brother was staring at little brother from across the room, and as he looked pensively off in the distance, he said…
“Aw, I remember when he was still little and oh so cute… like his skin was still so soft and he still looked like a little boy…”
Big brother was talking about 48 hours prior… back in the olden days of yore and yesteryear… when his little brother was two.
Birthdays. They’re like a life lesson in time appreciation. They’re a notification to remember to take notice of the gift of years, of growth, and of this rapid but beautiful aging process called life.
“I’m bigger now.” The newly turned three year old says to every stranger we meet in our elevator. All of these tall adults just trying to ride their elevator in awkward silence usually end up looking way down at him while saying, “Pardon me?” (Mostly due to his hefty toddler dialect.) At that point I immediately enter into my speech of him just recently having a birthday, and being three now. And mostly everyone leaves the conversation smiling, and perhaps reminiscing a little about their own past childhood birthdays.
He also occasionally says, “I’m gonna be four soon,” as in approximately 360 days from now. He even holds up his four pudgy little fingers with a sparkle in his eye.
Happy birthday little man! You’re such an important part of this family unit, and we love you to pieces. Lego pieces, cake pieces, all of the pieces…