My baby, my big girl. In our three years together, this is what I know to be true about you.
* Your life is an exclamation point. You fully experience all of life. You are simply all in. You feel every moment fiercely, you live each day fully.
* You are adventurous, and always have been. New food, new situations, new friends: no biggie. Long slides, mountain climbs, barefoot walks: all yours. What I used to think was you being a “difficult baby” was really just you experiencing this world. There is nothing “difficult” about you. I could spend the entire day watching you, laughing with you, cuddling you. You simply venture out much more than I thought a baby would, and that makes our life so fun.
* You are social. Even when surrounded by kids 3 years older than you, you take the lead: “C’mon kids! Let’s go down to the playroom!” “Bye, friends!” You have never met a stranger; everyone is a best friend. We’re working on that. 😉
* You observe, and listen, and take it all in. You like to know what it is we are doing and label our world. “Are we eating cereal, mom?” “Is that a white ball?” “Are we holding hands?” “Did we just go on a walk?”
* You love others. When passing strangers, you make sure to say hi first. And then, you cheer yourself on right after the moment has passed. “Mom! I was friendly!” You empathize, you include, you love.
* You are a free spirit. As we say, the world is your stage. Not much is going to hold you back, my girl.
* You are love. You are sweet, you are passionate, you are caring.
And this, this my babe, is what I hope for you.
* That you take a fierce hold of this life, this faith, this way of seeing and interacting with this world. That you know who you are and whose you are because of it.
* That you see your daddy and how he loves me and that you settle for nothing less. Let him be your guide, your standard, as you fall in love.
* That you let me and your daddy be your mirror. Don’t see your reflection in the magazine covers, in the make-up ads, in the commercials. See your reflection in us and know that you are priceless, are beautiful, are perfect just the way you are. That you absorb our words and lean into them so fully that any noise the world makes is drowned out by the truth you hear every single day from our lips. You, my dear, are breathtaking. You are beautiful. Your smile lights up an entire city block. Listen to that, my girl, nothing else.
* That we allow you to be who you want to be, not who we want you to be. That you feel the freedom in our home to be creative, to be loud, to dance, to play, to pursue your dreams and stand on our shoulders to see as far as you can.
My dear, my Brennan Gracie girl, you turn three years old today. Go get ’em.