Monday, March 10, 2014


My Sweet Bugsy Boo,

Last Thursday you turned three years old. You'd been looking forward to your birthday since just after Christmas, and you'd tell anyone who would listen, "I'm going to be three at my party!" "In March!" "At the train park!" Lately, you'd added, "And then I'm going to be four, and five..." Let's not get ahead of ourselves, okay, my Mr.?

Earlier last week as I was tucking you into bed (because I still lie down next to you until you fall asleep; I'm not sure how to break that habit, or whether I'm ready to), you turned into me and snuggled, then told me I was your best mama. It was the end of a long day; you'd woken up whimpering because of an ear infection/fever combo and I felt like I was catching your cold. We were both worn out. Then with your sweet declaration, my heart nearly exploded. We're going to be okay, I thought.

Most nights, we tell each other what our favorite part of the day was. You leave out the "favorite," though, and just say, "My part was..." "What was your part?" you ask me. "What was daddy's part?" You make me guess. I always want to tell you my favorite part is that moment, snuggling next to you and talking about our days, but you say, "Nooooo. Your part was prolly..." and you come up with something else. How could bedtime possibly be the best, right?
Getting ready for bed is another story. Teeth-brushing is a battle, but we manage to turn it into a counting game. For now, you're not bored with that, but you still end up clamping down on the toothbrush between your teeth in defiance most nights. Part of me wants to throw my hands up and tell you they're all going to fall out anyway, but I don't want to give you nightmares.

You bargain for more books as often as you can. I love it that you love to read, but right before bed is not the time for all twelve stories in the Curious George anthology.

The point is, you can be stubborn and ornery and you know exactly how to push my buttons.

And you remind me so much of myself in those ways. I remember very clearly putting my foot down about something, anything (everything, probably) when I was a little older than you, and not being sure why except I didn't want to be told what to do. Hell, if I'm being honest, I'm still combative and cranky for no tell-tale reasons sometimes. Cancer hasn't helped. So I try to go easy on you, and keep an eye on your blood sugar and sleep levels (because that's when I'm at my worst, too--when I'm tired and hungry. Aren't we all?)
On the other hand, you are at a magical age, discovering and learning new things every minute. I try to pay attention, to soak it up, to remember all your funny quips and special pronunciations and curious observations. But my memory is terrible (again, cancer hasn't helped), so here are a few things:

Your favorite color is green. You are particular about your clothes. You want to brush your own hair (or not brush it at all).

You say:

"Rethcue copter" for helicopter
"Buzz year" for Buzz Lightyear
"Banas" for bananas

You have trouble with the "sn"and "l" sounds, so "snuggle" becomes "nuggle," "snow" becomes "no,"  "Loki" becomes "yoki," "look" becomes "yook," and I get mad at anyone who tries to correct you. Someday you'll enunciate perfectly, and I'll miss these little imperfections that are so perfectly you.

A couple of weeks ago, I was giving you a bath and told you it was time to get out of the tub. You observed, "There's no clock in here." So I told you I just knew the time in my head, which seemed to blow your mind. "You have a clock in your head?" you asked me, laughing. "I don't have a clock in my head!" you declared. We giggled about that one for awhile. I love watching your wit and sense of humor grow.
Over the long President's Day weekend, I decided I was done with diapers. You'd resisted giving them up on a couple of other attempts, but I was determined and confident you were ready. We went "nudey booty" (and by "we" I mean "you") the first couple of days. At first, you cried for something to "catch my pee," but I am floored at how quickly you caught on to going to the bathroom like the rest of us. Once you warmed up to the idea, you were the valedictorian of potty training--there were no accidents after the first week. There was no turning back, which sort of sums up your approach to life.

You amaze us with your curiosity, your love of the outdoors, your physical prowess. I took you hiking a couple of months ago, and you were off like a mountain goat. And you are swimming like a fish now, so my biggest hurdle is that you are bored with swimming lessons and don't want to do what the other kids are doing. We tried out an indoor rock-climbing place last month, and once you got on board with the idea of a harness, you were above our heads and out of our reach in no time. 
Quinn, watching you become a little human has been the greatest experience of my life. I am so grateful I get to be here to help parent you, guide you, be your friend. I am so lucky to get to know you a little better every day. I hope we have so many more days, months, years together.

Your Mama


  1. Beautiful... simply beautiful!

    1. Thanks, Baron. It's the most amazing, wild experience, isn't it?

  2. there is only one word I think of, looking at the photos of your sweet boy, Quinn - delicious! such a lovely birthday letter you wrote to capture such wonderful memories. thanks for sharing about you little guy - this post made my heart sing.

    much love and light - and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, QUINN!!!

    Karen xoxo

    1. Thank you, Karen! He is the love of my life, that little man. Glad you liked the photos (and the post).


  3. How gorgeous is this. What a precious gift is the love between a mother and her child. You capture it in all its beauty with this letter.

    1. Thanks, Marie. I am so grateful I get to be his mom. I hope he always knows that.

  4. What a beautiful letter! Your son is beautiful, and your letter to him is just magnificent.

    1. Thanks, Beth! I think he's beautiful, too, but I realize I'm biased.