This year's birthday letter comes a day late. Not that you will notice or even mind its tardiness. Time to you is irrelevant at this stage in your life, but to me, time, it is everything. Milestones have come and gone for you this year. I've tried desperately to cling to each one of them, and yet somehow my grip is not quite tight enough. Time just passes on through my fingertips. And so, here I am, a day late, and sitting in disbelief that you have somehow gone from newborn to three.
You've grown so much this year! You were promoted to big sister! From day one, you've loved on Mae Caroline and welcomed her to our family with your curly-lipped smile and your Evans-warmth.
Your personality I can only describe as bright. Anyone that knows you knows that you are LIFE. Whether you're in a good mood, or giving drama, nothing for you is ever halfway. You bring full speed to everything and I'm so thankful for you. In many ways, you've forced me to be a better person. You make me want to be a better mom everyday. And yet, I also find myself wanting to crawl into a deep hole, blind folded with ear plugs and a bottomless wine glass... but I know your intentions are *mostly* good.
This may be the appropriate time to mention your threenager spell. The other class moms agree, it's definitely an epidemic. Not one of the three year olds you pal around with seem to be immune. The only cure it seems is time. There's that word again. How is it possible for me to want to wish this phase away so hard and yet massively cling to every little moment? Motherhood is insanity. And to it, I am committed. You're both stubborn and independent, and at times more fearless than I'd like. Still unafraid to ask for help, but hard headed enough to try everything yourself at least once.
You've become a picky eater. You sleep like they aren't making it anymore. You potty trained in under a week, leaving me with a Sam's sized inventory of diapers to store away. You love Frozen. You love to be outside. You aren't a big fan of rain or the sprinkler. Or the shower. Or the vacuum. You love to sing, which means our car rides are never quiet. You'll talk to anyone who will listen. You love to dance, but you hated tap class. You love your Amazing Athletes sessions and any sport. You're trained to say "We like Cocky!" and "Go Gamecocks!". You like to tell people they are silly gooses and that Mae Caroline is your best friend. You love your sister. You always ask to go see Papa. You like to tell me how well you're listening and that you need a cookie. You ask to wear a princess dress each morning and a princess gown each night. Queen Evans Elizabeth. And here I am gripping time in my hand, knowing at any minute you'll be too big for Elsa. Too big for toddler tunes in the car. And you won't be wearing your Minnie Mouse dress for the 5th time that week.
I know all of this, holding my hands firmly shut yet. If time is one thing, it is steady. But for this moment, I'd like for it to stand still. Taking in all of your sounds, your laughter, your footsteps. The smell of your hair, your sticky fingers, your little dimples. You.
If I can't hold time in my grip, at the very least I'll be able to look down at my hands knowing that these are the hands that raised you. Made your sandwiches. Got you dressed. Fixed your boo-boos. Picked you up. Bathed you. Read you stories. Loved you. Some things time can't ever undo.
Happy 3rd birthday, Evans! My life would not be the same without you in it. I love you.