Someone, somewhere, decided that Sundays were the first day of the week. Our calendars are laid out that way; so visually, that's the way we see it. But in every other way, Sunday is the last day of the week before. That may not be the way we see it, but it is the way we feel it.
This Sunday, you turn 3. It couldn't land on a more fitting day.
I've always thought that infants, 1-, and 2-year-olds were all basically babies. But a 3-year-old? No one calls a 3-year-old a baby. A 3-year-old is little kid. A teeny, tiny, little kid, but a kid, nonetheless. I never really thought of it happening overnight or anything that dramatic, but in the grand scheme of things, it kind of has happened that way. Over the past couple months now, and very much so over the past two weeks since you've been in school, you have grown up so much right in front of us.
Sure, you'll always be my baby. But not really. The baby in you is barely recognizable. You have blossomed into a fun-loving, dirt-covered, book-relishing, "unicorn"-wearing, stunning, little girl. Just as I can see this Sunday as the end of an era, the end of your baby days, I can see this Sunday as the beginning, the beginning of your childhood.
Your first long-lasting memories are about to be formed, if they haven't already. Your school days have begun. Your role as big sister is firmly set in stone. You dress yourself. You have opinions. You have questions. You have answers. You have the attention and heartstrings of every person you meet.
I must constantly fight to keep you little, keep you young, keep others' expectations of you and your time appropriate for a baby, or a toddler, or a brand-new preschooler, and I will do that forever. I will always be in your corner. I will always fight to keep you comfortable and happy and just as you are. But even I have to admit now that you are getting older. And it pains me to think of losing you as a baby.
I have honestly held a bit of dread for time when my kids grow into themselves as children and aren't the pudgy, adorable babies and toddlers I've always dreamed of. But now that it's starting to happen, I am enchanted at how fun it really is. I can't wait for your birthday party this weekend. Not because I have some Pinterest-worthy set-up planned, far from it. But because you get it now. You are excited for your presents. You are excited to blow out your candles. You are excited about turning 3. Halloween will mean something to you this year. Yes, it will be CANDY, but that's perfect. Halloween is candy. And costumes. And real, kid fun. I can't wait to hear what you say you are thankful for around the Thanksgiving table. Christmas will. be. magic.
But most of all, I will get to know you even more. You will learn and grow and change and not change. And I can't wait. In your first year, I learned to be a mom. From 1 to 2, your raw, wild child, tomboy personality burned brighter and brighter every day. This past year, you've held strong to your core self, but you've also become so much more layered, so much more intricate. I can only imagine that becoming truer and truer from here on out.
My sweet, curious, rambunctious, outdoorsy, quirky, powerful firecracker, you have changed me more than you'll ever know. And one more way to add to the list, you make me look forward to Sundays. You have shown me that the end of one thing may be bittersweet, but the beginning of the next thing is even better.
Love you forever,