You’re three today. And I’m tired, short on words. That feels unfair to you, but then I realize it’s precisely the same kind of unfairness you deal with in general… I’m tired and scattered—too much to give you the attention, discipline, teaching your siblings got at this age.

You’re a champ. Also? you bring so much delight. If I were to pick a single word to sum you up, that would be it: Delight. You are generally so happy just to be alive, and you bring us all along.

This year, you’ve learned to talk. You went from random vowel sounds in August to a confident chatterbox in April, when you graduated out of speech with Miss Joan. I still don’t always understand you, but now it’s because you haven’t yet learned to give context.

So, in reflection of your hilarious self, I will give a few snippets from life now, without much context.

“Why you lookin’ at me with that big eyes?!?”

This. No reason not to be fabulous on the toilet.


“Katherine hurt my feelings……. I want Papa to come throw me out the window!” [“throw you out the window” is Smith parlance for “put you to bed.”]

“MAMA! Pull yo’ hair back and put yo’ glasses ON!”

“Yo’ not a bad mama. Yo’ a good mama. It’s ALL. YO’. FAULT.”

Darling girl, you’re my favorite Lilly Mae. I love how genuinely happy you are to see people you love—you smile, squeal, and happy dance like someone just offered you an ice cream cone… for breakfast. You’re growing up just right. I love your compassion. Yesterday, you had my full attention (the only reason you ever volunteer to use the toilet, I’m pretty sure), but when you heard Brian crying, you released me, saying simply, “Boyboy is sad. He needs you. Go help him.” I love that you still call your brother “Boyboy.” I love the way you grab my cheeks to rub noses with me. I love that anytime you’re sad—even if it’s because of me—your impulse is to reach up to me and say (with your huge, forlorn brown eyes), “I need you luffs!”

You have all my luffs, all the time, baby girl. Thanks for being mine.

Published by robininalaska

Robin Chapman is a part-time writer, editor, and birth photographer and a full-time imperfect mama, wife, Jesus follower, and normalizer of failure. She’s trying hard to learn how to do this motherhood thing in a way that doesn’t land the whole family in intensive therapy. She has a heart for helping other mamas buried in the little years with hope, humor, and solidarity. You can find her hiding out in the bathroom with an iced dirty chai, writing and editing and making spreadsheets for where she is a cheerleader for mamas, or online looking for grace in her mundane and weird life. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with her four delightful (crazy) kids—some homeschooled, some public schooled, some too young for school at all—and her ridiculously good looking husband, Andrew.

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