little la la,
yesterday, in chicago, you told me your name isn’t la la. i’m not sure if you rolled your eyes, but i rolled mine. my jr. high self meeting yours. no, your name is ella. would have been eleanor. beautiful fairy. light. grace. and, as amy says, queen of the sea. but, you are still ella bella ding dong, lolli-pop, ella grace with the pretty pretty face, and la la (as your little brothers started calling you – well, that and butthead). you can’t take your names away – not even from yourself. and, one day, you won’t want to. you’ll laugh with your brothers, bigger then you, when they, in man voices, call you la la. if you are lucky, like me, they will even have new names for you. just as i have jumbo for jay.
it’s an interesting thing becoming ourselves.
Nine is just fine, Lukie (as long as i try not to think about ten). it’s that year where you can be a kid in all kid glory. you’re big enough to have adventures and do things you couldn’t do just last year, but still so much kid that you don’t have to waste any thoughts on all that being older business.
you can run, jump, play, and play and play the day away. yes, there is homework, but the real homework at this age, buddy, is to play. you’ll learn more from playing and imagining then from that monstrous math book hidden in your desk (don’t tell your teacher, i said this). read, draw, make and create. these are the days that you will draw upon in your tomorrows. you don’t know it now. and, it probably doesn’t even make sense when you read this, but it will be all kinds of crystal clear when you are fresh out of sense.
i also want you to be able to look back and remember that you are a tender hearted toughie, you might forget this from time to time as you grow and when you are grown. this is who you are. it’s who you are at 9, and who you will be at 90. you feel things deeply and love deeply. it’s not by accident. it’s by divine design. this is how you were weaved together in my womb. it has something and everything to do with who god created you to be and the beautiful unique plan and path that he has set out for you. don’t ever forget you are a tender hearted toughie.
so for now, get to drawing more robots (you are the best robot artist i’ve ever seen), going on backyard adventures, reading more books about predator animals, sports and maybe just a good old story or two (just for me, please), and keep on dreaming about your one day sports car and your some day career as a sports super star.
play the day away, boy.
+ you have to be on the bunk bed ladder to give goodnight hugs
+ high tops are still the only shoes for your feet
+ it’s all about the trading cards right now. football, especially.
+ you mastered a flip w/ a twist this summer on the trampoline
+ you like spicy food + sour candy
+ you ask us what kind of car we want because when you are a millionaire you are going to buy it
+ you are obsessed w/ cars. taking pictures of ones in parking lots + yelling out their names as we drive down the road
+ you shot a rabbit when i was out of town (wahhh), but you also rescued two baby bunnies from a hawk (yahhh).
+ you go to work every saturday morning with your dad and then stop at sonic’s for nerd slushies + tater tots
+ you’ve watched all episodes of wizards of waverly place with your sister
+ your favorite team is the Atlanta Falcons
+ you still like to sneak snacks and stash the wrappers in the weirdest places
+ you like to patrol your siblings
+ your smile is infectious and your eyes pure light
+ you are so strong and athletic
one. two. three. to me, three is that last year before you turn boy. and while, i love boy, i’m clinging to baby. it’s not that i don’t want you to grow up. it’s just that i don’t want you to grow up. i like your chubby hands and your sentences that need my interpretation. you have the most sweet expressive face. in fact, at times you close your eyes and raise your eyebrows when you are talking and i see my grandma. 89 to 3 and how would you know? but, that is how this family thing works and how we carry each other in us. when i see you and then i see her, i see wonder and magic and life in the fullest kind of way that carries innocence and wisdom hand in hand.
+ whenever i come home you say, “mommeeee you back!!!!!” even if it’s just from the store.
+ you still call liam “EEum”
+ just like all the other boys, you love to yell, “hulk smash!” always with your shirt off, of course.
+ your favorite shows are caillou, batman and daniel tiger.
+ when it comes to getting dressed, it’s aways the red or green jeans with a superman shirt.
+ there is no way for me to make breakfast, lunch or dinner without you helping me.
+ you will only eat and drink from the orange ikea bowl and cup. orange is your favorite color.
+ you call theo the cat, “lilo.”
+ i always catch you saying hello to people. you are so friendly. and tell me, “dat my friend.”
+ “whats up roc?” “good!”
+ you like to eat frozen waffles. still frozen.
you are the exclamation point to our family (which is appropriate since most of your sentences end in them!). you are relentless and rest. and, all that is sweet and good and heaven breathed i see in your eyes. but then again, your middle name means of the king, so why should i be surprised? you’ve brought more love to my heart and i’ll give it all right back to you.
little big girl – – that is who you are at this very moment. caught between the two different worlds that are seemingly connected. like the north pole grabbing hands with the sandy beach or the ocean washing over the desert. that business of wanting to grow up, and yet still loving to play. can i tell you a secret dear daughter and little friend? not the secret about growing up being over rated, which isn’t much of a secret at all, anyways. but the one i haven’t mentioned yet, is that it’s ok to still play. not many will tell you this, or have even figured this out for themesevles, but, the truth is, you will be a better, most creative, and more balanced grown up if you don’t loose the art of play. don’t let that brilliant and interesting imagination of yours wander off into the seriousness we grownies are now being smothered by. god gave you that wild imagination of yours, and the gift of play, not just to be used and then tidied and tucked away after 10. no! he gave it to you to use each and every day of your life. the first 10 years are just the beginning. they are the ones filled with games, and adventures, and far away places. days where you climb trees and eat ice cream covered pizza, for dinner, with a squirrel and a mermaid queen all before breakfast. these periwinkle days are the ones that will color your tomorrows. so go ahead and start your coloring. and, while you’ll want to stay in the lines and make a pretty picture, i urge you to forget all about those pesky bold lines and make a big crazy mess all over that paper. the more colors the better.
dear want to be big girl… i know you so well. i know you better than you know yourself. i wanted my way into big girlness my whole little girl life. and, i got there faster than i figured. only i never really got what i thought i wanted. i never really considered that i might miss all of the good, magical, wonder-filled things that little girls get to do (this is why my bike makes me so happy now, you see). your big girls days will come, no doubt, but i’m wishing for you that you won’t, just yet, let your little girl days go. play school. play store. play mermaids (just don’t put my jewelry in the pool for your treasure, please) until your properly pruned.
you can still play in makeup and talk about what you want to wear. yes, that is fun and part of the playing, too. just pinky promise that you won’t forget to travel in your imagination from here to there. because, when you are older, as you will certainly be, you’ll want to remember how to get from there to here. and, i promise you now, that in still engaging in play you are mapping your way.
+ you are my little baker. apparently all those years of watching giada and nigella have paid off. although, you seem to be a fan girl of the pioneer woman.
+ you are a jr. mommy. thank you. thank you.
+ you’ve started stealing my clothes (and coat) this year. i’m just happy you think my clothes are cool enough
+ you love to ask really deep and, of course, spiritual questions right before bed. good timing!
+ you have a new love for volleyball and sports in general. i never knew my girl would be an athlete and so competitive.
+ you’re favorite way to study is to play school and teach your class
+ instead of, “can we go to mcdonald’s?” it’s more like “can we go to starbucks and get a mocha?”
+ you eat your swedish pancakes with powdered sugar
+ your favorite movie is grace unplugged
+ dork diaries are on your nightstand along with ruby redfort and peter pan
+ making a snack now consists of baking cupcakes, cookies or concocting smoothies
+ you skype with your cousins for hours
+ you still make up songs and i hope you never stop
+ you curl your eyelashes every morning with a pink eyelash curler
four. i’m not sure about four. four is that year where munchkins turn to (little) men. somewhere in the year of four, you go to bed one night a baby, and wake up the next morning a boy. and, the thing is, you never really know which night that might be. you, though, liam have always been somewhat of a munchkin and a man. my old soul. words of wisdom, kindness and understanding, only known by those who have lived life, seem to float out with ease in a mini pitch. while, i know your voice will change with age, i pray your tone never will.
+you’re favorite food is spaghetti and pepperoni pizza, besides chocolate, of course.
+you ask if everything has coconut in it (which you are very against).
+all you seem to talk about these days are four wheelers.
+you say the most hilarious things like”you just got owned like a dog dog on a bun with mustard.”
and you tell me, “i’ll marry you everyday, cause your my wife.” #liambravesays
+you make sure we never miss “best part + and worst part of the day” at dinnertime. and, everyday your answer is : “the best part of my day was going to gommy’s house” and if you haven’t been to her house, than the worst part of your day, obviously, is “i didn’t get to go to gommy’s house + ride 4 wheelers.”
+you’ve started growling like a cheetah, which actually sounds more like a snake hiss. i’m not sure? but, it is your favorite response when asked a question.
+you ask me if you can pray for me, if i’m having a hard day.
+you’re favorite show at the moment is peter rabbit (i love this)
+you’re very insistent on picking out your own clothes, more particular than most girls, and you always want to wear jeans and your tiger shirt. or, anything that you think makes you look like a worker (as you say).
+you learned to jump off the diving board + swim without water wings this summer.
+you are slightly obsessed with duck dynasty + have some how picked up some sort of twang accent. i’m puzzled.
+you love going to chicago. i think you will be my little traveler.
+you think your the boss (you kind of are) and you have no problem speaking for our entire family (like when the fireman came to our house – burnt food – and you answered the door and proceeded to introduce the entire family to the fire-chief).
+this year you asked santa for shoes + a stuffed animal reindeer.
+you’re favorite book is iggy peck architect.
bravey, although you are sandwiched in the middle, i hope you know how much you stand out. you are one of a kind. a kind that oozes kindness and curiosity, which makes for the best personality. you’re little arms uplift my tired ones and your little prayers help me to have big faith. i hope you will grow to know that you can always count on my arms and prayers too. lets always offer this to each other.
happy birthday, liam brave, age 4.
more birthday posts here.