As I reflect upon the last three years that I have been able to share with you, dearest blue-eyed wonder, I am astounded at all you have taught me and I find myself earnestly anticipating what I have yet to learn from you in the years to come.
From your tiniest (and just to be clear, you've never exactly been "tiny" - you've always been off the charts in every way possible) moments, you have been insistent upon the importance of physical touch and close proximity to the ones you love (Mommy and Daddy, in particular). You were so adamant in the matter that I purchased a carrier when you were 3 months old to enable me to complete my daily tasks and responsibilities with you strapped onto me, snuggled in as close as you could get. Those days/weeks/months having you next to me, feeling your gentle breathing, kissing your insanely soft head are some of the sweetest of my life.
You're a boy full of mystery, and thoughtful reverie, and overflowing with joy.
You don't readily share your emotions, but when you smile and let out that prodigious laugh, all the joy inside you is overwhelmingly/beautifully evident and brings so much joy to those around you.
You're a complicated and complex combination of so much that is meaningful and you reflect the depth that is humanity and what it was created to be.
Your love is never bold and rarely overt, but it is fierce and steady. "Steady Jevy", as your Uncle Crease so aptly labeled you.
You are loyal and your love, once earned, is dependable and relentless.
You find life in what has been created around you, and your delight in it is unrestrained. You can be quite terribly pesky and obnoxious when you are denied what you feel you are entitled to: entire day spent outside reveling in all that is to be experienced in it's wonder, or having to continue onward down a trail leading away from a beloved water hole (perfect for tossing stones and making great splashes),
You are determined and not easily deterred from any task you set your mind upon - so much fortitude of character and resolve is embedded deeply within the core of who you are. I know this will bring you tremendous strength as you grow into the man you are to be and face the challenges of life. You will have the resolve necessary to weather those storms and hold your feet steadfast to the course that you are to walk.
Even in your (often stubborn) determination to do as you wish, you are receptive and eventually willing to adhere to our guidance as we endeavor to teach you right from wrong, or even just a better way of doing something.
Once you master a challenge (the slide, climbing onto every high(est) surface possible, a game, a lengthy hike) you tuck away every morsel of knowledge you gained in the process and look eagerly to/for the next challenge that awaits you. Keeping your active mind engaged/stimulated is one of my full-time jobs.
You play an integral, albeit subtle, role in this band of brothers. You lead, you follow, you work as part of the team, and you work independently - all as you see fit.
You find joy in simple and in complex things and you express that joy with no reservation. I often find you and Kelty sharing together at the kitchen table, giggling at one another or mimicking each other in some silly antic, or romping about the house in full gallop, one leading the way and the other following. Currently, you're both going through the kitchen cabinets, trying bowls on your head for size.
You are magnificent and I adore you. You have challenged me beyond measure, helped me see the limits of myself, given me new insight into humanity and it's complexity and shown me that love is truly most powerful.
Happy birthday dearly beloved three year old!