happy 3rd birthday, sweet boy.

Burke playing outside

We’re late to be somewhere, anywhere. You approach me and ask, “Mom, will you put on my shoes?” I bend down, wrestling to force your limp foot into submission while supporting your weight bearing down on my head. Internally I want to scream, feeling like somehow you’re intentionally working against me, conspiring with your siblings to make us late; I know you’re not. Just then, at the exact moment my impatience might reveal its ugly self, you lean close to my ear and whisper, “I wuv you, mom.” “I love you, too, Burke,” I respond; my impatience dissipates in the presence of these four tiny, but powerful words.

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It’s so hard for me to believe that you’re three, filling up with more words, independent thoughts, imagination, and of course, opinions, as every day dis/appears. I remember 996 days ago, as if it were last month: the anticipation of whom you would be/come, what you would look like, what I would learn from you and teach to you. And now…Burke, I simply delight in you. The little dialogue above is only a glimpse of the many wonders and blessings of being in a family with you.

You have but one pace through life: slow. And while someday, others may ridicule you or accuse you for it, because of your unhurried nature, you recognize the details of life, when others rush by. You are gregarious, yet without the need to impress or entertain; you simply want to be snuggled and receive/enjoy the entertainment of others (especially Liam). You wake up most mornings still wanting to crawl into bed with me and Dad for morning cuddles, and tell us, “It’s a gird day.”  And while you greatly enjoy other people’s company, you still require having “alone time” to play or read by yourself. Right now you are mostly content to follow your brother’s lead – wherever that might take you, but I know that won’t be forever. You are sensitive and gentle in nature, but also resolute: at times, firm and uneasily moved or persuaded against your decision. I love this about you, and I love – well, you, Burke.

And today, son, I celebrate you: happy birthday.

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