Of course, that calm didn't last long. Oh, you were the hardest baby. You had horrible gas pains and you never slept more than 2 hours at a time after sundown. You were incredibly hard to feed, no matter where the milk was coming from. There is a clearly worn path in our carpet where your father walked laps with you on his shoulder just to get you quiet enough to keep the neighbors from calling Child Protective Services on us. And you were a projectile vomiter. I kept burp clothes every 4 feet in our house and always held you facing away from nice objects because you were exceptionally good at sudden eruptions that could ruin dry-cleaned shirts and new sofas. Fortunately, though, right around the time we thought we might have to return you, you started to get more comfortable in your skin and by your first birthday, it was quite clear you were going to be a delightful person.
Your first word was "Da." For Dada. But it worked well for the dog "DeanDa" and also for "yes" when you used it with a more Russian accent and quick head nod. You started walking by 11 months. Firetrucks and bulldozers were your passion from the first time you saw them. In fact, everything is your passion. You are the most enthusiastic person I have ever known. I used to think it was just your age, but as I get to know your daycare friends, I see that you are truly unique in your ability to find the utmost joy in the smallest of things. I pray you never lose that. It is one of the things I love the most about you.
You are infectiously joyous. Your smile can melt the worst of my moods in seconds. You are also incredibly tenderhearted. Even at 18 months, when your sister was born, your compassion was far beyond your years. Whenever she would cry, you would sit nervously by her side and cry too, as if her hurting was contagious. You are incredibly affectionate and love to snuggle up next to me wherever I am, no matter what we're doing. You are shy, too. Most of the world has no idea how adorable you are because you usually spend most of your time around others with your head buried in my clothes somewhere. You wear your heart on your sleeve and can find almost everything both hilarious and terrifying. You are not a daredevil. You are dumbfoundingly generous. You always share your cookie with your sister. You do not have the ability to intentionally hurt others. It just isn't something you are capable of. I pray you never lose that either.
It has been three incredible years since that morning in the hospital when we first met and every day I love you more than the day before it. I never thought it possible to love someone as much as I love you. I am so proud of you, Jack, for who you are and what you have brought into our lives. I am so lucky to be your mother and am having the best time watching you grow up.
Happy birthday, sweetheart.
I love you.