You've turned 3 years old. Three!!! I was looking through pictures of the day you were born, and then a few months later when you had your wild, wild hair, and it felt like it was just last week. In so many ways you remind me of myself. I feel like I'm looking at a mini-me from 27 years ago.
Early in the morning I gave you your birthday gift from me- a purple princess outfit, complete with the tutu, shoes, wand, tiarra, and fur-lined purse. I had to take you to the store for some last minute items for your birthday party and you insisted on sporting your new look to Walmart. I had never seen you look so cute as you clomped loudly through the stores in your shoes that were too big, wand and purse in hand, as you flounced around with your chin held high. Several women had to come to comment on your beautiful outfit. Over the past few months it's as though the "girl gene" in you has just been switched on and we are now in full princess and ballerina mode around here. All of a sudden you have discovered that all things pink, purple, and frilly are marvelous.
We have a routine on Sunday mornings as I try to get you dressed. The only way I can get you to sit still while I fix your hair is to turn on Angelina Ballerina on PBS. The other day I was fixing your hair just as the show was playing it's introductory theme song and you started squirming and whining. When I asked what was wrong, you kept saying, "I want to twirl, I want to twirl!" So I had to stop, and let you twirl in circles in front of me as the theme song played before you sat back down so I could continue.
Your dad and I agree that you usually have more energy than our two boys combined. You also have an unbelievable knack for finding mischief. Little lady, you are exhausting... but oh, how I adore you! One of the saddest things in life for me would be to ever see you lose your spunk. You are almost always happy and cheerful, eager to help, and eager to show affection. You are sweet and thoughtful with others, especially your parents and your little sister.
You are remarkably coordinated and were ready to have your training wheels taken off your bike before you turned 3! (even though we haven't gotten around to it yet, you're definitely ready) You can hold your own on just about anything physical that your brothers can do. You can also out-eat them at just about every meal! Now that appetite, I must say, you inherited from your momma- sorry sis. One of the most adorable things about you are your stout little legs, especially when you wear a swimming suit. Oh, there aren't many things cuter than little girls in swim suits! Again, that stoutness is something you inherited from me- sorry again.
One of the things that has been nice over the past few months is that you finally decided to start speaking in sentences and using the right words! It was as if you just woke up one morning and said to yourself, "Hmmmph... it's been long enough. I guess I'll start speaking now." And all of a sudden you're using full sentences and you are oh-so-expressive...to say the least. You also potty-trained recently, and quite quickly. It just came down to you deciding that you wanted to do it. And just like that, there were no more diapers and no more accidents. That stubborn streak has an eerie resemblance to your older brother. I'll let you guess who I'm referring too.
My sweet, little princess- I can't imagine what this family would be like without you. You bring a vibrant energy to this family that is irreplaceable. I felt a special bond with you the moment you were born. You are my little girl! There is no comparison in the world to the feelings a mother has for her daughter. I love you sweet, Lauren. Happy third birthday.
This birthday is a special one as it's the year you turn eight. It's hard to explain the feelings I've had leading up to this birthday. They are ones of anticipation and excitement, but also of trepidation and dread. You aren't my little boy any more. You're a little man now. You've reached what we believe to be the age of accountability. It's sobering and scary for me to think that with all of my imperfections (and there are many, many, many) that the mantle of accountability has been lifted from my shoulders and placed on yours. While my work is far from over with you, this is a new chapter in your life.
No matter your age though, to me you will always be the little boy that first taught me about being a mother. There's a special bond between a mother and her first born. You were the one that first brought that explosion of love I felt for a little person who relied so entirely on me for those first few years. From the second I saw you, I was smitten. No matter how many sleepless nights, or colicky evenings, or trips to the doctor's office, my love for you has never waned, not even for an instant. It was you who first taught me to love the way a mother loves and for that you will always have a very special place in my heart.
|Our ward went on a pioneer trek the day after Camden's birthday.|
This picture was taken the evening after our first day on the trail.
He walked all 9 1/2 miles that day and did wonderfully.
Camden, while these are things I love about you, this is not why I love you. I love you because you are my son, and that is something that will never change. Some of these talents and gifts may fade away and you may develop other interests in life that take you down different paths. Life is a continual process of waxing and waning, but hopefully one of always growing. I don't know if anyone really grows into the exact person or leads the life they had envisioned as a child, and that's alright. In the end, I love you because you're you. I love you for being you, no matter what form that takes.
Thank you for your patience with me. Thank you for loving me despite my short-comings. I'm excited to see what the future holds for you, as I have no doubt that it is very bright. I love you, Camden, more than these little words can do justice. Happy eighth birthday.