Saturday, April 30, 2011

A letter to my son on his 3rd birthday

Asher, yesterday you turned 3 years old!  Wow!  Hard to believe that I've been blessed with 3 glorious years already with you.  It's been such a wonderful journey.

This year is definitely the year you became a boy!  A real playing in the mud, jumping in puddles, running and chasing, rough and tumble little guy.  For your girly girl mother, this has been a year of growth for me too.  I'm still learning how to wrestle - something you are really starting to get into - but for some reason, even I have fun splashing in puddles when it's with you!  A few weeks ago when we were playing outside, the snow was melting leaving puddles everywhere, and you played with a stick and shovel in the puddles for a whole hour straight without stopping for a minute.  You love this kind of play.  Chasing with your friends - especially Marek, Maaike and Josiah - is a regular part of your play routine.  I love watching the boy in you emerge!

You continue to love cars, trucks, tractors, and trains but this year you started a love affair with Lightening McQueen from Disney's Cars movie.  The characters from that movie are either; on your t-shirt or pull-up, a toy or puzzle in your hand, on the book we're reading, or a part of our conversation.  I can't tell you how many times you've watched the movie - and you still don't tire of it.  We will take you to the movie theatre for the first time this summer when Cars 2 comes out - I can't wait to see the look on your face.

You also began a fascination with jigsaw puzzles this year.  You started out with 4 and 6 piece puzzles, and quickly moved from there to 12 and 24 pieces.  You would do a puzzle over, and over, and over again until you knew exactly where each piece went.  You became so good at putting them together.  You are now mastering 48 piece puzzles, and love the challenge of it.  You will work for quite a length of time on a puzzle, and then once you have it completed, you will usually very quickly take it all apart and start putting it back together again.  I'm glad you like the work involved in such tasks, and take your time to figure it out.  You are meticulous Asher, a trait you come by honestly.  Last week when you were at your swimming lesson, your teacher asked you to put the boat and ring away.  Being the little boy that you are, the boat and ring had to go in just the right spot - with the other boats and rings.  Your Papa looked at me when you did that, saying "he gets that from you!".

Speaking of swimming, we have continued lessons all year this year.  You are still in the small pool, but have started doing so much this year.  You can do back floats and front floats with help.  You mastered back glides in an instant and enjoy doing these!  Blowing bubbles has been fun, but teaching you to try to do bobs (where you dunk yourself under water) took a little convincing.  You are learning, but it's not your favorite thing to do just yet.  Soon we will move up to the big pool now that you are 3, and there may be some hurdles to cross as you get comfortable and adjust, but we will learn to have fun there too.  Each week when we visit the big pool, you are reserved and a bit scared in there, but always remember little boy, I promise I won't let you go until you're ready.

Some major changes happened this year in your life, as you can see here:

You became a big brother and started potty training!  Such big changes - no wonder it's taken you some time to figure this out.  You love your little brother Levi so much.  Although at first this transition was a bit tough, and there was some hitting involved, you have come to be the one little boy who can make your baby brother laugh like no one else can.  It's beautiful to see.  You always ask "Mama, where's Levi?" and comment "Mama, Levi's really sad, can you fix it?".  Lately, as you copy me, you have started to give Levi the words to objects in a way he can grasp - as you hold up a block to him, you'll say "Block.  Block, Levi, block".  It's very sweet.  I am so proud of you for loving Levi the way you do, for learning how to be gentle, and for remember to have fun together.

This year you started potty training around October/November -  and, well, it's April and it's still a work in progress.  This has been one of the biggest challenges so far in your little life - figuring out how to control this process.  In typical Asher fashion, we take 2 steps forward, and then 1 step back.  It's been frustrating for both of us at times, but I like to think that through this process we are both learning some big lessons.  In your life, Asher, when you are struggling with something, like you're struggling with this now, I hope you will remember to keep trying; hard work is sometimes required in challenging moments, but persistence will pay off.  And I also hope you know that it's OK to struggle, it's OK to not get something right away, and it's OK if everyone else is doing it and you're not.  Be gracious with yourself - you are learning and it's OK for that to take time.  Some things just come easier than others.

Speaking of somethings coming easier,  the other day your Aunt Ange - who works daily with speech therapists - said, "Wow, Asher can say the "th" sound - that usually only comes closer to age 4".  You've always been a good talker, Asher, that has been your strength.  And this year, you have come to say many, many sweet things that I will not forget, "I love you" being my all time favorite.  At bedtime as we pray together, you often say your own little prayers, often for your friends; "Thank you God for Maaike/Marek/Josiah/Roxy...".  My eyes fill up with tears each time I hear you express thankfulness for the people in your life.  Currently when I put you to bed, we have a little rant that we say to each other.  I say "Good night Asher", and you echo "good night".  I say "Sweet dreams", "I love you", and "I'll come check on you later", and you echo each one in turn.  It makes me smile every night. 

You can sing many, many songs on your own now, and the music from "Amy's class" - Kindermusik - is what you ask for every time we are in the car.  You can remember the lines to songs that we haven't sang in months.  The other day I said to you "The carpenter's hammer goes rap, rap, rap" and you finished "and his saw goes see, saw, see.  He hammers, and hammers, and saws and saws as he builds a house for me".  You ask me to sing "The Lord loves me" every night, and often join in singing with me.  You have learned several bible memory verses, and hearing them to song has helped with this.  You can now sing Philippians 4:6-7 and say John 3:16 on your own.  You know many of the lines in your favorite books, and if I leave a line out, you will say it for me.  Your Papa and I often play little games like this with you as we read books.  Your memory is impeccable.  You can now "read" some of your favorite books on your own because you've memorized them, "Does a Kangaroo have a Mother too?" being the most recent one.  You still love the Llama books, and the Wombat books, and anything to do with McQueen or Thomas the train.

In addition, this year you've continued to suck your thumb at bedtime and when you're upset or tired, moved into a big boy bed, visited the dentist for the first time, began learning how to dress yourself, enjoyed playing with stickers and trains and cars and tunnels, learned to recognize all of the letters of the alphabet - including knowing the sounds that most of them make - and started going to preschool 2 mornings a week (Roxy's school, as you say).  You continue to be slow to warm up to new situations - my reserved boy - but let it all out once your settled and comfortable.

I love you so much, sweet Asher.  Age 2 has been so fun, and such a year of growth.  I'm so happy to get to stay home and experience much of that with you.  I can't wait to see what age 3 will bring.  As long as I'm with you, I know we'll have a blast.  And always remember little boy, I promise I won't let you go until you're ready.

your Mama

1 comment:

AIM said...

I am weeping. Mandi, you write from the heart it gets to me every time. This will be so special to Asher when he gets older. The depth of your love for him shines through this post! It's also a great reminder of ALL the reasons we stay home with our kids. Thank you for that!

Both Asher & Levi are super lucky to have such an awesome Momma. And I'm also super lucky to have such an awesome friend. Love you. xo