My sweet, smart, silly, serene, spectacular baby boy, you are three years old! Happy Birthday to you!!!

Moms are always saying stuff like this, but it’s true… It seems like just yesterday that you were born. Seeing you for the very first time, my heart grew a thousandfold, and just when I think I can’t possibly love you more, I do. Every day, I do.

Here you are, my little big boy… Walking, talking, being my best friend, cracking me up, and having adventures with me. You are everything good in this world. You are the sunshine, the moonshine, and a thousand rainbows all rolled into one. You’ve come a long way in this past year, and it’s truly awesome to witness you becoming you.

You started school this year. It was our first ever separation. I cried as much as you did.

You went to your first funeral this year. Neither of us cried because we were being strong for daddy.

You know how to spell your name and even how to write it. I hardly have to translate your toddler speak anymore when you have full conversations with our doorman about where we’re going and where we’ve been.

You still love trains, although less Thomas and more the real trains we ride on. You’re no doubt the MTA’s number one fan, always ecstatic when a train is coming, feeling for the breeze and listening for the rumble, squealing happily when it comes into sight. When we get off the train, you insist that we wait and watch it drive off into the tunnel, as you excitedly shout, “Bye-bye Q train… Bye!” and smile and wave wildly to the driver.

Oh, and you can give subway directions like nobody’s business. Your teacher told me the other day that you gave her directions to Rockefeller Center. I laughed and asked, “were they accurate?” and she said, “of course!” You’re a riot.

You’re also enamored with parking garages and you actually have a favorite garage down the street from our house. We walk past it every afternoon when we walk Ziggy, and we play a guessing game of predicting if it’ll be baz or basteh (open or closed in Farsi, which Mamani taught you). You’ve even talked daddy into changing his dog walking route to check on “my favorite garage!” late at night and early in the morning. You wake up excited to find out its status (if you’re asleep, he texts me a photo of it to show you).

You have yet to have a tantrum. You’re hugely opinionated. And you’re impressively reasonable for your age (for any age, really).

You sleep every night snuggled between daddy and I in our bed. You always manage to rotate yourself horizontally, your feet at daddy (kicking him every so often), and your head nestled into me. Dad and I have talked about three being the age when you’re a big boy and it’s time to sleep in your own bed, but secretly, I don’t want you to go. Waking up to your warm little body and crazy bed head is the best way I could ever start my day.

Your favorite food is still rice and beans. In one of your classes, the teachers asked each kid to say their favorite fruit and before your turn came up, you whispered to me that you were going to say rice and beans. And you did. And everyone laughed. The next week, when they asked each kid’s favorite food, you said of course again, rice and beans.

Your favorite color is red. Although lately you’ve been saying your favorite color is red and blue, because blue is my favorite color. You are such a sweet heart.

You are a champ with potty training and have graced some of the most landmark thrones in the city, including Grand Central Station and The Met. And you’re really good about not touching anything in there (thank you!). The only thing you don’t like, which you don’t like with a passion, are hand dryers. It’s because they’re too noisy, you say. Especially the Xlerator, you say.

You’ve recently taken an interest in yoga after I told you I was going to a yoga class, and now you ask me every day to roll out the yoga mat so you can do “Squish the Fish.” I can’t but help but smile and laugh at your antics. You are hilarious. And your down dog is 100% better than mine.

You still adore music, and you’ve recently taken up the harmonica, which you have three of (two Cs and a G). You keep a couple at home and travel with one, which you often play while we stroll about town. You’ve come up with the best original song called “Buses and Trains” that you and daddy practice on Friday nights when you jam together. You sing other songs too. My favorite one is my special bedtime song:

“Go to sleeeeep little mommyyyyy…

Yellow submarine, green submarine, purple submarine…

In the land a’ life a’ weeks, any one of us’s all we need…

Sky a’ blue, submarine….

[A bunch of made up words that lately includes spiders], alway concluding with…




And you throw your arms around my neck and give me a big bear hug! If you ever fall asleep before you sing me my song, you wake up in the morning asking, “Mama, did I sing your song last night?” You make my heart melt.

We talk about when you were a baby, and that you’re a little boy now; that you’ll be a big boy one day, and then a man one day. You tell me tearily that you don’t want to be a man, because you want to be my baby. I tear up too, because in that moment especially, I wish I could freeze time and make growing up slow down.  Because one day you will be a man, and you’ll want to be a man; and I’ll be so proud of the man you become. But you’ll know and I’ll know that you will always be my baby. And I’ll love you then as I love you now… With all my heart… and then some.

Happy three, my forever baby!

One thought on “Three

  1. Well said!!! This made me cry all the way through the end. Atlas is a special little boy and the sweetest, kindest, smartest and well behaved baby which all the credits goes to you! Every time I look at him, he reminds me of you at that age, he is a male version of you. He will be a fine man when he grows up and I’m sure he will be someone who can change the world for better! I wish him happy 3rd birthday and many many more to come! With love—grandma Azar

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