At this point in my life I would have been almost done. Mae is going to kindergarten in the fall and I would have made it. All that free time to teach and do things and watch Netflix all day if I wanted to, but then you came along and now freedom has been pushed back by two years.
And three and a half years ago, when I knew that was my new reality, I took pause.
Okay, I totally freaked out.
But it wasn’t you I was freaking out about it was me. Seriously. I didn’t even know how I had managed to birth and partially raise three kids, let alone throwing in a fourth.
But I did.
And here’s the thing: you were the easiest to add in.
Now, Luca still gets the prize of best baby ever because he didn’t peep, he slept, he snuggled, and he got teeth without making my life hell.
But adding him in was another story. Claire was miserable at first about it. She wanted him shipped back. And while it took about three months for her to get over the fact that he wasn’t going anywhere, the second we showed you to your big siblings, they all melted for you. Especially your big brother. You have been the most loved child ever. So while I was super upset in the beginning about the thought of another baby, knowing YOU and seeing YOU changed my whole life for the better.
Now you’re three. You proudly announced that to the hostess when we went out for lunch today. You were bouncing up and down holding up five fingers screaming, “I FREE!”
You have two volumes: loud and louder. You also have two settings: happy and go away. When you go into your sound making go away mode, dad calls you AB, because the sounds you make rival that of the characters from Angry Birds. But you look him square in the eye and say, “I’m not AB, daddy! I’m Aud-ee.”
Sorry it’s a hard name to pronounce. Not to mention the fact that we hardly call you that, rather, you’re mostly called Podge, Audgie, and AB. It’s okay if you end up with a little bit of an identity crisis because we’re already saving up for future therapy bills.
So in your short, yet very long three years, you have most definitely completed our family. Aside from possibly adding in new animals down the road, we’ve reached our limit. That’s not to say you’ve been awful, quite the contrary; why would we add in another when we ended on a high note?
And I’m okay with the fact that I have another two years before I can do some serious Netflix binges or whatever else I’ll be doing during the day, because we have a lot of adventures coming our way. You’re very lucky to be the last kid. I now see what life is like to have most of my kids away at school and I miss them, so we have to make sure to end your toddler years with a bang. I’m seeing hikes and day trips in our future complete with a single jogger so we can fly.
I never imagined in all my wildest dreams that I’d ever be a mother to four kids, but here we are. And we’ve got our stuff together. You are by and far the greatest surprise I have ever received. Even more than the Skip-It I got for Easter when I was 8. That thing was awesome.
If I could wish anything for you, it would be to continue to look up to your siblings. While you do in fact have large steps to follow, that’s not what I’m getting at. Let them teach you and show you and help you – But don’t let them do for you. You, at three years old, are already more capable than I had ever imagined. The world is yours, anything you want to be or do, you can. How do I know this? Because, dear daughter, you are half me and half your dad, and we work hard and have overcome some big stuff, so we know that there’s no stopping you.
Go out there and smile, and be brave, and be kind, because by just doing those things you could possibly change the world for someone. It may just be you.