chloe turned three yesterday. i had been rev-ing her up for this birthday over the past couple weeks. asking her, "how old are you chlo?"

"two", she would respond holding up her two little fingers.

"yes! but soon you are going to have a birthday, and you will be three. can you show me how many three is?" i would excitedly ask.

and then she would attempt the tedious task of changing her set of two fingers to three fingers... which is quite tricky when you are two/almost three. it takes some work, because that last finger wants to stick up so badly, and you kind of need to use your thumb to hold it down. but you are only two/almost three and you haven't quite figured out how to do it, and despite how many times your mom fixes your fingers to make the perfect "three-hand", it just won't stay.

and of course you mom asks you to make the "three-hand" at least ten times a day.

how frustrating to be two/almost three.

but it has been exciting too.

when i started talking to chlo about birthdays, and more importantly, her upcoming birthday. she immediately asked about a birthday cake. she quickly decided that she wanted a blue cake. with sprinkles, and balloons, and a hat. i asked her if she would like anything else. she couldn't think of anything.

i told her i would do my best, while inside thinking that this was going to be the easiest that birthdays may ever get. she didn't even ask for presents. or a party. or for anything involving a princess, or clown, or appearance by someone wearing a weird fuzzy costume. no, just three requests which i was sure i could easily produce with little effort.

and so that's what we did yesterday. when we woke up we wished her a happy birthday and told her today was the day. we made her do "three-hand" many times. we got dressed and took the stroller to the supermarket to get cake supplies and bagels, and then to the five and dime to get a dozen colorful balloons. we strolled home, with her holding her bundle of balloons.

and from there the day just was sort of like every other day, except both christian and i were off. and we let her eat whatever she wanted (we did make some healthy suggestions, but ultimately she made her decision to eat a ton of sugar). she received a few gifts from us; a new dining set, a tray of toy cup-cakes, a couple "surprise eggs" (one of the weirdest phenomenons of youtube, of which my child is obsessed), a new olivia book, and a promise for many blocks which are still on their way. she played for the better part of an hour with the eggs. stuffing the prizes and pamphlets, and stickers back inside, and then taking them back out individually, and announcing each bit before proclaiming "really cool".

she took a little rest in our bed before we had some family over for cake and ice cream. she played with her cousins, and stayed up past bedtime. she smiled the biggest smile when we sang "happy birthday". once everyone had left, and she had given lots of kisses, it was time for bed. she gathered up some of her favorite gifts, and loaded them into her bed. we kissed her goodnight and wished her a happy birthday for the last time that day.

it was one of my favorite days. by far the best family holiday we have celebrated to date. it was the perfect, simplest, loveliest of days. this week has not been the easiest. my car was hit pretty badly with chloe and christian inside - thankfully neither was injured, but our car is pretty smashed. my phone decided to just die without me even dropping it - just pfffftt. dead. i worked three, twelve-hour nights in a row, which, at six months pregnant is indescribably exhausting and emotionally draining. and then there are all the really serious things that are weighing heavily on my heart. the things that i am not directly experiencing, and that far outweigh my own "difficulties". however, i think about these things throughout my days, and mourn; for people who have lost their young children long before a parent ever should and for girls who have been taken from their families and may not ever return.

but for one day yesterday, none of those things were my focus. yes, all of those things were still there, but yesterday i was transported into the world of a three year old, and it was simple, magical, and full of sugar. i was full of thankfulness for my little family. for my happy and healthy three year old, and for everything she is. it was a day for relishing what is simple, and being present, and allowing my heart to be a bit lighter.

sometime in the middle of the afternoon yesterday, before we had family over for cake, i was cleaning up the mess that we had made while icing the blue cake.  while i did, christian and chloe danced in the dining room around the table, which is not an unusual happening at our house. at least once a day chloe will ask for music, and then ask us to dance around the table with her. chloe made christian hold balloons while dancing, and she was so sugared-up and excited. and in her excitement, while dancing, she began to say over and over "thank-you mommy! thank-you mommy!".  christian stopped dancing and looked at me to see my eyes starting to well up. to be the recipient of your child's most genuine and glorious gratitude, must be one of the best feelings you can experience as a parent.

i don't know who was more thankful though, her or myself.

yes, it was her birthday yesterday, but it was one of my favorite days.


  1. A magic day... and more to come!!!! happy birthday (quite late...). is the future baby ok?


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