I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
March 14, 2011
Too quickly, another March has rolled around. It doesn’t seem like 12 months could possibly have passed since the time I was watching my two-year-old baby become a three-year-old boy.
And yet, here we are.
Three has been a year of major changes for you. Before my eyes, you slowly outgrew the tantrums and meltdowns that dotted your toddler years (thank God). You became… rational. Reasonable. And I have to say, my back is much better for it, not to mention my emotional health!
From the moment you turned three, you began insisting that you were a “big guy,” with “big feets” and “BIG muscles!” You began making it painfully clear that you were all boy, and I began learning how to use that fact to my advantage.
For much of your third year, though, we could still see traces of baby in you. From your pinchably chubby cheeks to your chunky legs and round belly, I delighted in each remaining vestige of your babyhood (well, almost each vestige), winced each time it was time to give up another of its tangible reminders from your highchair to your board books to your crib, and hugged and held you as often as you’d let me, knowing that a chapter of motherhood was on the verge of ending.
At three, you became far more independent. You took your first solo pony ride, started learning to swim, and rode on your first roller coaster. You potty trained… in your own strange and hilarious way. And you became a first-rate storyteller (which is a nice birthday word for, erm, fibber.)
You grew old enough to play with your sister and neighborhood friends in the backyard without me hovering over you the whole time, making sure you didn’t try to eat rocks or small bugs. But I still watched you like a hawk from the kitchen window, mindful that at three, your newfound independence was very, very limited.
Three was full of other new experiences, as well. We spent a week at the beach for the first time in your life(and you’ve been asking to go back to “the BIG water” ever since). We went through three days of heavy rains and no power during Nashville’s thousand-year flood. We took a trip to Chicago, where you met your new best friend. We dedicated you to our church.
We attended festivals. We chose our favorite fruits and vegetables at the farmers’ market. We baked. We went to all kinds of Halloween events. We read books at the library. We went sledding. We had snowball fights.
We went on nature walks. We painted and colored and drew. We played with Play-Doh and Moon Dough and Bendaroos. We went to art classes and made collages. We filled the year with as many activities as we could, and you loved every minute of it. Well… almost every minute of it.
I’m referring to that fateful day when we signed you up for your first soccer team. Our hopes were high, and we were encouraged when you bravely endured your first game, despite temperatures that hovered near 100. We didn’t know it then, but that would also be your last soccer game. After two more games spent unsuccessfully trying to coax you out onto the field, we decided to retire your jersey for the season. What could we say? You were three.
You were also the most loving and affectionate at three of any of our children. Everyone adored you at three, Bruiser, despite your occasional tantrums, your proven stubbornness and not-so-occasional naughty behavior. You loved all of us. Deeply. Loyally. And with great affection. You didn’t reserve your love entirely for family, either. You were a first-rate playmate at preschool and on playgrounds, always willing to cooperate, always showing enthusiasm for whatever it was that your little friends wanted to do.
You charmed many a stranger as well (and more than one Santa), walking right up to them at airports and in supermarkets, showing them your toys, telling them your stories, and listening very seriously to theirs in turn. I was so proud and happy to see you in these moments, because I could tell at three that this was going to be a lifelong characteristic of yours. You have a way with people. And your time here on earth is going to be much happier and more fulfilling for it.
And this only grew more evident as you approached four. In the last few weeks, your daddy and I have noticed that the tantrums have all but disappeared. You’ve stopped putting toys in your mouth. You’ve become more rational, more reasonable. You’ve started sleeping through the night. WE CAN TAKE YOU OUT TO EAT.
You were ready to turn four.
This morning, you woke up a four-year-old. In honor of the occasion, you and Punky got to sleep in our “big bed.” When you woke, Punky said, “Stand up, Bruiser.” You did so. “You’ve gotten taller!” she said, impressed. You walked on your tiptoes for the rest of the morning, a huge smile on your face.
You are four and I’m so excited for you, and so looking forward to all that’s in store for us this year.
You are four and you love your family, and make us all feel so loved in return. You are four and already, you’re so brave and strong and loyal and loud and completely hilarious.
You are four and you’ve grown a mustache!
Time flies, doesn’t it?
Happy Birthday, Bruiser. I love you forever and then some.