There is so much to love about you at three.
I love that you're never bratty in social situations, but instead play the perfect hostess, formally introducing people to your family (and each other) and showing them around the house, holding your hand gracefully to show "My garden" by the houseplants.
I love that you didn't even care that your birthday party consisted mostly of adults with only your sister and six-month-old Daisy to play with.
I love that you held your own among those adults. And you were so very sweet and gentle and good.
But not at all shy. I love that too.
I love that you dug your fingers into the cake. Before dinner, even. Unabashedly. (Encouraged by Grandpa, of course).
I love that you opened your presents one-by-one, taking time to appreciate each. No ripping through every package in two minutes for you. No, you opened one, and were happy to go play with that one, until I encouraged you to open another.
In the same way, you take life as it comes, enjoy the moments, live completely in the present.
I love that you are sure of yourself. Of what you want. I realize that you are too young yet to allow the insecurities and doubt creep in as I am already beginning to see in your big sister. But I love that for now, at least, you know who you are. That you will announce your presence with a firm, loud (but not obnoxious) voice: "I am Barrett!"
I love that you are larger than life. That you fill a room with your energy and spirit.
I love how you adore your sister. Greet her happily, follow her around, talk with her, ask her questions, play with her, ask about her when she's away from you. I even love how you steal things from her and run away, just to get her to chase you.
I love to hear you playing with Daddy. Giggling, squealing with delight, teasing, joking, chatting. I love that you don't take his guff.
I love how cuddly and snuggly you are. How you say "I want to hold you." How you always want to be touching someone, prefer to be in my or Daddy's laps whenever we are sitting down.
I love your greetings at the end of the working day. Running running full force and all smiles into our arms, calling "Mommy! Mommy!" or "Daddy! Daddy!" Often dashing off then to show us something, anything, just happy to have our attention.
God forbid, I secretly love that you always want to sleep with me. I love the way you curl your body toward mine, scoot your feet under my legs, touch my face, look into my eyes, then drift off to sleep.
I love the way you smell, the softness of your skin, the lightness of your touch.
I love the red streaks in your hair, the deep deep jeweled blue of your eyes. I love your dimples like your Daddy's.
I love that you love music. And singing. And dancing.
And performing. I love to watch you perform, whether it's with a plastic coat hanger for a saxophone to a living room full of guests or singing to me in the car or dancing for the three of us at home.
I love the way you close your eyes and bow, deeply, arms outstretched when you're done.
I love that you remember and sing to yourself the made-up versions of songs that I sing to you at bedtime.I love the way you say the ABC song, and "Wheels on the Bus" and "Old MacDonald's Farm" ("with a baa here and a baa here, everywhere, everywhere, everywhere, ei ei o"). I love that your animal sounds are pretty realistic.
I love to play with you. To pretend to eat when you bring me all the play food from the play kitchen or a bowl of sand "soup". To sit at your tea parties. To "try"--as you put it--to be a dinosaur or horse or elephant.
I love your voice, the sweet words you say, the endearing mistakes and quirks of language all your own.
I love how you say "I love this!" about everything, asking "Do you love it, Mommy?" in return.
I love that you are so very clearly a happy happy child.
I love that I have the privilege of knowing you.
I love you, my baby no more and yet always my baby Boo Bear.