I love how you look after you first wake up — red cheeked, eyes squinted against the light.
I love how your voice shows the wear of the day.
I love that you want desperately to do things on your own. And yet still want my help.
I love when you snuggle, and lay your head in my lap.
I love that you always want more choices.
I love that you test your limits. And mine.
I love that I couldn’t have known who you would be, and yet here you are, and I couldn’t be prouder.
I love your love of puzzles, in any form, at any time of day.
I love how happy lollipops make you.
I love that you try to figure out the lyrics of songs, and often do (though that Stornoway lyric is actually “Here comes the blackOUT,” not “Here comes the black cow,” but whatever, you’ll find out soon enough that songs are what you make of them.)
I love that you have an apparently limitless capacity to hear “London Bridge is Falling Down.”
I love that you can recognize Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, The Rolling Stones, Andrew Bird, Orchestra Baobob, Cat Power, Norah Jones, Madeleine Peyroux, and Stornoway — within a few notes. And that you tell us which one you want to listen to at night. And that Stornoway is your favorite. For now.
I love that sometimes, but only sometimes, you let me sing to you.
I love how much you love strawberries.
I love how you hug.
I love that you know which hat you want to wear in the morning.
I love that you want your Halloween pumpkin and Easter basket all year long.
I love that you remember the North End feasts, and can’t wait for them to come back.
I love that having you changed me forever. And forced me to let go.
I love that you look like you. Not me. Not Daddy.
I love that yellow is your favorite color.
I love how you say “Peter.”
I love that I’m Mommy, Mama, and Mom — depending on your mood.
I love how excited you are about the mixer.
I love how your eyebrows reveal everything.
I love how you experiment with words, and phrases (though my favorite, and not by a little, is still: “Well, hello lovelies, how did you get here?”).
I love how everyone seems to know you.
I love how much you love books.
I love that you love to explore, and at the same time, are perfectly happy to just sit and figure something out. Except when you aren’t.
I love that you have a hard time waking up in the morning.
I love that your impatience is a perfect mimic of mine — and that you’ll learn, too, just how much trouble that’ll get you.
I love that you’ve discovered Oreos. And make up songs about them.
I love that, every day, you make me glad you’re here.
I love watching you learn.
I love how much you love to help.
I love how you make people smile.
I love that you’ll keep yourself awake to hear the song you want to hear (and that, as a result, we had to learn to reorder songs on albums so you’d go to sleep sooner).
I love how you deeply you feel, and care.
I love watching you grow.
I love that you’re three, and in your head, that means that you’ll now eat all the things you won’t eat. But trust me, I’m not holding my breath on that one.
I love that, somehow and for some reason, you’re the first son I was blessed enough to have. And that you teach me as much as I teach you.
I love you — who you are, and who’ll you be.