Oliver, Age 3

Turning three. There is just something about turning three. I mean, he started out this past year with a paci in his mouth, a lovey in his hand everywhere he went, and a diaper on his bum. 

And now this.

This is the year we left our babyhood behind and became a child in a Superman cape riding on a bicycle.

It is amazing and alarming and beautiful what three years can do to a baby boy. 

Oliver, buddy. This year was a sweet spot for you. You literally soaked up information, just like daddy. You love letters and words and telling us what letter words start with.  Your favorite thing right now is to ask us "What does that car mean?" (and by that you mean, 'What kind of car is that?') Anytime we have a visitor in our home you greet them at the door, and immediately ask "What does your car mean?" And you are by no means satisfied when they telly you "Oh, I have a blue car." You want the make and the model. Thanks to you, I can now pick out a Jeep Rubicon or an Audi A4 from a quarter mile away. 

You favorite activity these days is to get in your Cozy Coupe and drive on the roads that daddy and I draw for you with chalk. You tell us what buildings you want and where and we draw places for you like Chromatic Coffee, Soccer Class, "Hadwee's House", Stan's Doughnuts and Trader Joes. If left to your own devices, you would do this until the end of time. You've had a bit of trouble with being aggressive this month, which means you've had to earn time in your blue car... and oh man, is that a powerful motivator.

Not only do you love cars, but you have a special spot in your heart for the Lumineers. So  much so that you often choose to thank Jesus for them at night before bed, in addition to "Fank you Jesus for Mommy, 'n Daddy, 'n Me, 'n Miwoe." You have a sticker chart on the refrigerator and you are earning stickers to watch the music video to "Ophelia." And oh do you light up when you get a chance to watch it. You spend so much time with a tamborine in hand, or a guitar on your hip, singing "Oh-Oh-Phelia, you been on my mind, gwirl, since da fwah." We are all thankful you have good taste in music.

And you and Chap. Your brother friendship is so precious. You are fiercely protective of him... and nothing breaks your heart more than having to watch him be disciplined while he's learning what he cannot touch in our house. You love to grab him up and aggressively love him into your lap. You two have just discovered wrestling... and its arms and legs and feet and giggles going in all directions. And you love to make him laugh. You have a silly, made-up language and anytime you scootch up by him and say your silly words, or pretend sneeze, we lose him to a deep belly laugh. Out of the deep kindness of your soul,  you try these tricks when he fusses while getting into his car seat or waiting for his food in his highchair. 

A few phrases we hear a lot in this house coming from your sweet face:

"I'll do it ALL by-a myssselfff."

"No, Chappers! No! Dis is spwecial to me. Dis is spewecial to meee!!!"

 "Spwecial awert. Spwecial awert! Whoooaa Whoooaaa Whoooaaa!!! It's all part of da pwan. More less."

"Can I hab a duicey?"

"Daddy, do you wanna pway wiff me?"

"Can I hab a snack?"

"Ohhh-chaaa-whaaa Chappers!!!!"

Your personality, though sweetheart. You feel things so intensely, a trait shared by most three year olds. You love friends, but prefer them in groups of one or two. You are cautious and careful with new things... And while you love going places and having fun, you crave down time in the house. Nothing beats laying on the floor in your undies and driving cars on the floor. You have such a big vocabulary, and surprise us all the time with new phrases you pick up. You love to chat it up with people while we are hiking or at the grocery store.  And you love to cuddle and snuggle and be held and be carried and scootch your chair right up next to daddy or me. And we love it. We will snuggle you as often and as much as we can, lovey bug. 

You are so very precious to us, sweet boy. We loved having your two year old self in our home and we can't wait to experience and love and teach and play and shepherd your three year old self.

And this is our prayer and our charge to you sweet boy, as you run around nakey in the backyard, as you navigate this world as a three year old, as grow into a teenager and then into a man... 

"Be on your guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be a man of courage. Be strong. Do everything in love."   (1 Cor 16:13)