February 21, 2011

Three

Dear Marian,

Last week you turned three years old. You thought your birthday happened on Sunday past, the day we celebrated with family, and we did nothing to discourage that idea. So on Tuesday, the actual day, it was just me quietly remembering that night you reluctantly came into this world.


When I asked you what sort of birthday party you'd like to have you didn't even hesitate: "An orange party." You gave no further details about your vision of orange, except to request "chocolate cake with orange frosting and sprinkles." So we filled the dining room with orange--flowers, balloons, ribbons, paper cutouts on the walls. We made your favorite meatballs and tucked orange carrots by their side, found an orange cloth to spread on the table and told our guests to dig through their closets for orange to wear. And, yes, there was a chocolate cake with orange frosting and sprinkles. You loved it all.


You exploded into toddlerhood this year. You chatter and sing at home, clamber up onto the couch to listen to books, and slowly but surely climb into your own car seat and dining chair. The first things you look for in any room are baby dolls to cuddle and other people's unattended shoes to try. Away from home you are still quiet and observant. You want us close by, your unofficial bodyguards in a world filled with children and people with whom you aren't quite yet interested in interacting.

Mari, I want to remember the way you bounce up and down like a jumping bean, singing songs you learned at toddler time. I want to remember how you lean your whole self into me when you hug and the way my arms wrap all the way around you. I want to remember your love for rice. I want to remember how you wiggle with laughter and clap your hands when I carry you to the mirror after hair time. I want to remember the way you say "pen-gu-in" with three syllables. I want to remember how wonderfully interesting you find the world, as long as we are there to hold your hand.


I know you won't remember much of these years. The specifics of your days, the routines and items that are so important to you now will fade into fuzzy, half-remembered impressions. But I hope you carry with you always the memory of how deeply you were known and loved by your family near and far, how from the moment you entered the world  you were surrounded by people who became family to each other because of you, who will forever call you beloved.

With love,
Mama

27 comments:

Project Baby said...

What a beautiful post.

Happy ICLW #122

nh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mama2roo said...

she's beautiful, and I can't believe she's THREE! Thanks for sharing!

nh said...

Lovely. That's what I hope to experience, the pleasure of a child growing through childhood...
ICLW

Kristin said...

Whoa! Your growing girl is just gorgeous. Such a a sweet post. (And I love that Swedish sweater!)

Happy belated b-day, Mari!

awomanmyage said...

So beautiful - couldn't see the pics - but I could feel the love.

ICLW

susiebook said...

Oh she's just gorgeous! Happy belated birthday, Mari!

Jess said...

Awww, Happy Birthday to you all! She is gorgeous!

Love that you had an "orange" party! :)

luna said...

what a wonderful tribute to such a lovely girl!
(can't find my passwords, probably packed them, can you pls send?)

luna said...

love the pix! happy girl.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

Maybe it's because it's late, but this post had me sooo teary.

Beautiful!

Lori said...

So lovely. Happy birthday Mari!

Erin said...

Thank you for this today. I'm a regular reader but am officially here for ICLW. Made me feel closer and tender towards my 2 year old even though she's been screaming at me all morning. I can't wait for her to ask for an "orange party."

Mama C/Catherine said...

The syllable break down of penguin got me in the gut.(Marcel says suh-ore for "sure" and I absolutely cherish it too) Gorgeous post. Happiest Joyous 3rd year to all of you.

Sue said...

What a beautiful tribute to your daughter on her birthday. Your girl has good taste - I love orange too!

Meg Weber Jeske said...

Happiest 3rd birthday to Mari! Beautiful post. Loved the pictures. She is growing so big!

Jenni said...

Happy birthday Mari! Loved this post, just the way that it was written, and the love that shone through every word.

Jenni - ICLW #12

SocialWrkr24/7 said...

Your love is so evident in your writing... I can feel it just by reading!

Happy Birthday Mari!

Maria said...

Happy ICLW! Wow, what a very very touching post. It made me smile broadly...I just love your energy in it, and I know that you're going to make sure Mari knows all about her little daily habits when she's old enough to remember all. :-)

Kathleen said...

this is a beautiful letter to your daughter. i hope someday to have one and share theses same memories with my children. simply beautiful :-) happy iclw (#47)

cynthia said...

Oh, oh, oh! My goodness she is so beautiful and sparkling. What a gift to you both that you wrote this down. Its perfect. Happy belated birthday Mari!!

gailcanoe said...

Great post! She sounds like a great kid!

Here from the Creme

St Elsewhere said...

What a lovely letter to your daughter....someday when she grows up into a young woman, this is a letter she will cherish.

Here from CDLC.

Sarah said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this letter. It touched my heart.

dspence said...

What a sweet post. I hope that 2012 brings another wonderful birthday for Marian!

JustHeather said...

Totally beautiful and definitely something you can share with Mari later in life.

Here from CDLC.

Alissa said...

Lovely letter to a daughter that was very wanted and very loved.

Here from CDLC.

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