She's Three.

Dear Lucille,
Photo Credit: Horseshoe Hill Photography

Today you turn the magical number three. Three. I’m going to let that rest on my tongue a minute, and slowly digest this fallen snowflake of amazement because I can hardly believe how far we’ve come since your birth. Three is a lucky number according to the Chinese, partly because it sounds like the word that means life – and life, my sweet Lucille, is what you radiate.

You are a full-blown little girl who still loves to swing on the swings at the park and has developed a passion for riding the “carouself.” The purple dragon, on our favorite carouself, is your steed of choice. I’m pretty certain that if we allowed it, you’d eat “broccomole” and chips every day for dinner, and guzzle down chocolate milk (cut with regular milk: “…first we add the chocolate, then we add the milk, and that’s how you get chocolate milk!”) by the gallon. We still, every night, read two books, and I sing you two songs. The books are on rotation, but the songs remain constant. It’s always out of your favorite, four: Somewhere Over the Rainbow, You Are My Sunshine, Go to Sleep You Little Baby, and Hush Little Baby.

Over the past year your imagination has exploded, and I mean, really taken off. It’s fascinating to see you create scenarios with your toys, talking about where you and your “children” are going. You have named all your stuffed animals, and while some include obvious monikers of Piggie for a stuffed pig, there’s also Roberto (a dog), Dorothy (a unicorn), Becky (a monkey), and Margaret (a tiger). To date, Tiger, the original, remains your absolute favorite. You named your three baby dolls, Sara, Ella, and Audrey.   

Of note, you’ve also added to your extensive vocabulary, the most notable word being fucking. Yes, that’s correct – fucking. Your Dad and I are clearly the ones to blame, that’s no secret. I suppose we have to try a little harder in the potty-mouth department, but fuck damn, it’s hard. The good news is, if there is any concerning such language, that you use it in correct context, and only at home around us. That’s a plus, right? Frankly, I’m a fan of words (shocker), and I do believe words, all of them, have a place in our vernacular. When used in a well-timed manner, they can give power and punctuation to ideas and meaning. We’ve never admonished you for the use of the F word, because we don’t want to make it any more seductive than it already is. That’s as far as we’ve gotten on that front. Hold your applause.The end.

Music remains a constant development in your life and your current top three favorite tunes are, All Through the Night, Run the World (Girls), and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. Television shows include Daniel Tiger, Doc McStuffins, and Sofia the First. The most notable addition has been the 1970s Wonder Woman series. To say that you’re obsessed with Wonder Woman would be an understatement of gross proportions. The Wonder Woman outfit that Nana sent you is worn SEVERAL times a week. Just the other day, we were watching an episode we’ve all now seen twenty-two thousand times, and you looked at me and said, “Mama, Wonder Woman is going to save herself because she’s strong.” #momwin #wwscreentimeallday

My sweet Lucille, for all the good and growing you’re doing, we’ve stomped right into the treacherous land of Three. Your independence and need to do things your way is in full bloom. We are growing alongside you and are working hard to meet you head-on as these challenges appear. Sometimes following directions requires multiple redirections and the threat of taking something away, but in the end, more often than not, you make the right choice. Your energy is boundless, and we’ve recently enrolled you in gymnastics. You LOVE it. And I love that you love it. It matches your need to be physical and active, and provides such a wonderful healthy outlet. I don’t know if you’ll be doing this for a few months or a few years; I have zero expectations. My only expectation is that you enjoy what you’re doing, and when it becomes un-enjoyable, should it ever, we’ll reassess and move on if need be.

You are an undeniable and unavoidable mirror. It’s because of you I have had to learn, and continue to learn, to manage and reshape my innate temper and call upon the grace of patience and understanding. You are a chimera; a little girl with so many facets and faces, that sometimes, I’m certain breathes fire. Even when you are at your worst, my dear, I still love you with an explosion that is unrivaled. It is because of you I am becoming a better person. That I think about what I’m doing, and saying, more than I have ever considered in my life. And I’m learning to take better care of myself, an important part of being your mama, something I take very seriously. This world can be unkind to women, and I want to arm you with a tower of confidence, strength, and an awareness. I can say all the things, but if I do none of the things, then it’s all for nothing. You are watching me closely, and I know this.

Friday was your final day in the toddler room; you were Queen of the hill. On Tuesday, you will move to the preschool room, whiplashed back to the bottom. As with all starts, I expect there will be a transition, but I think you’ll find this new room to be fun and exciting.

Your birthday falls shortly after the autumnal equinox; a time of transition and reflection, a phase of duality where both light and dark exist, and the ushering in of the long shadows of winter. Some fear this darkness, this silence, but this is where we learn and reflect upon the harvest reaped. Right now, this is you, my love, and my most favorite time of the year. While I am challenged by your shifting moods, it has also forced me to look inward, and I’m pacing myself to keep up with you.

On this birthday I wish for you more discovery of the world. You are everything I never knew I ever wanted, and needed, in a daughter: a fierce, furniture-climbing, armchair-jumping, somersault rolling, happy, determined, strong, twirling, imaginative, bright-eyed three year-old.

Happy Birthday, my sweet Lucille.

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