When I wrote to you a year ago, I said that you didn't know what birthdays were yet. I think you have an inkling now, since you've been to six birthday parties in the last month alone, including your own. You tell people "Happy birthday!" when you get to the party, and you know to expect cake. At your birthday party you ate two cupcakes, and you had a third after dinner.
It's been a full year for you, and for me. You had your first trip to the hospital in September, for your ear tubes, and I learned that I could worry more than I thought possible. In October you had your first trip to the dentist, but only because you almost knocked one of your teeth out when you fell on your face. And in May you had your first stomach flu, which I think may have been almost as upsetting for me and your mom as it was for you.
It hasn't been all bad stuff, of course. You had your first Christmas in Big Sur with your Nana and Abba. You had your first trip to Virginia to see your Grandma and Grandpa. You went to your first baseball game, which you liked. You went to soccer class for the first time, which you didn't (and don't) like. You've really started to love the pool, and you're almost swimming on your own now. You're so brave that it takes my breath away.
You've always been independent and full of energy. You've only become more so this year. Sometimes that means you're squealing with joy as you play with me or your mom, or your friends. Sometimes it means you're screaming at the top of your lungs and kicking your heels against the floor in a full-on temper tantrum. It's given your mom and me the opportunity to really learn how to be patient. You've made us better parents. You make us better people.
As I write this, you're off at SeaWorld with your mom and your Nana. I wish I could be there with you--I know you're going to have a great day. I can't wait to see you when I get home.
I love you.