I was to dispel with a common misconception about these letters…they are most certainly for you as well as for Jeremy. I address them to Jeremy more as a convention and tradition going back to the fact that I started writing them before you were born. I make it very clear as I write them that they are also for you, concerning you, and about you. That said, this letter, while certainly accessible to your brother is addressed to you. Today is your third birthday and I am amazed at the little big person you are…and also at how fast the time has gone.
It was not that long ago that I was writing about–experiencing–your arrival. While I nervously live tweeted the events transpiring int he maternity ward of Nassau Communities Medical Center, your mother prepared to have her body slice open to remove you. And out you came, like you had always been there before. Its impossible to imagine that there was a world before you and that you never existed in our lives…and even more amazing to note that you came out almost fully formed in terms of personality.
You have an unreal ability to size people up and cut through to their very soul. It’s a shocking trait to be summed up and digested by a baby…and somewhat moreso from a toddler because the act cannot be dismissed. You’re incredibly independent, determined (stubborn), and insightful. While your brother is undeniably a show stealer you play behind the scenes…you get what you want, and you make others do it for you in ways that can only be described as the three-year-old equivalent of cunning and guile.
Though you prefer to play it quiet, you certainly refuse to be overshadowed by anyone. It doesn’t matter if Jeremy is off being the affable ham, or if some other child needs holding, you make certain that your mother and I give you every ounce of attention that you are due. You solve problems and create them at an every impressive rate.
You are a girl of few words–though you know many. It is an inherent quality…as we witnessed at your birthday party. You might answer a question or pose one entirely with body language…or you might bang out a complicated sentence such as “No Daddy, those are my presents, they are for girls; you’re not a girl!” as you did during our unwrapping event. You’ll just as soon belt out the verses of “Let It Go” as you will say singly “juice!” with a finger pointed to the refrigerator. Ayla Grey is careful with her words, and they carry enormous weight.
Even at this early age, I worry very little about your abilities. You are resourceful–overcoming serious obstacles like batteries removed from remote controls, hidden apps in your tablet, or building a sophisticated ladder to get to your favorite candy. Nothing can stop your ingenuity and your drive. You literally stop at nothing to achieve your goals.
All parents, of course, think their children are exceptional–but I don’t have to think it. I know it quite well. You aren’t showy, as your highly capable brother is, but rather you smolder with intelligence…you calculate, assess, and never fail to impress. Even at three.
I eagerly await your growing talents…you are exhibiting all the traits of an artistic spirit and the marks of leadership. You will go far, you will never be diluted, and you will succeed on your own terms. I know this and don’t even have to preface these qualities by adding how beautiful you are–your striking features are besides the point. You are an immeasurably special young lady, and I’m proud to see you blossom into someone phenomenal everyday.
Happy, happy, happy birthday. I look forward to many more.
PS- For your third birthday, your mother and I toiled on your big girl room. We retired your crib, and put together a princess’s boudoir–complete with lace canopies and heart shaped crystal chandelier. When you first stepped foot in the room, the look of shock on your face allowed for only one question to come from your mouth, “Where’s my Nook?”. Once you knew your beloved tablet computer was safe, you immediately fell in love with the room, fixing your fair at the just-your-size vanity, pretending to wash your hands and feed the baby dolls, and picking your favorite books from the book shelf to browse at your leisure. You have spent every possible moment since then playing in there…and we are so thrilled that you have your own little haven, a place all your own. And we are especially glad that you took to sleeping in the bed so well. You hopped right in and went from so small to so big. I only wonder how small the bed will look in comparison to you as time goes on…