Congratulations! Today you are 3.

It’s your birthday and you’re three whole years old today! Three years ago today, you emerged from the moist comfort and safety of pre-life and came into the world cold and crying while your mother was frozen and sedated, and strangers with degrees prodded and cleaned you of your detritus while you, helpless, were forced to endure all of this manic, chaotic attention from people whose faces you were only seeing for the first time, feeling the unpleasantness of foreign air and foreign germs and foreign substances all around you. You were returned to your mother in a state of newness and bored acceptance and tiredness and she rocked you to sleep, which was disturbed nightly and often by your own state of consciousness and upset and hunger and neediness. You were unaware then of how helpless you were; all you could do was cry for things and hope you received them, but you didn’t know who would give them to you now that you were out there in the world. You didn’t know what could hurt you and you felt hurt and perturbed enough already, even just from lying in your cradle.

Your first year consisted of the motions of eating, crying and disturbed sleep, and wondering subconsciously when you would be able to venture away from being forcefully doted on. Gradually, your eyes changed; your hair changed; your perspective changed. A moment came when you grasped your tiny hand around your mother’s and held tightly and confidently, and demonstrated your own strength… you took steps. You walked. You held a bottle with your tiny, chubby, soft little feet. Everyone marvelled at what a perfect young lady you would be. Your confidence grew every day. You could comprehend and appreciate the simplicity of summer afternoon picnics, incomprehensible play dates with your stuffed animals, birthday parties on the front lawn. Soon you were talking; and the sound of your voice demanded both needs and wants; they were not the same as they were when you were born. Just before your third birthday, everyone surrounding you realized and was amazed by your incredible maturity and growth; you seemed YEARS older than three. You had grown leaps and bounds and were only showing that you would continue to progress and grow into someone who had outlived the darkness and misery and cold of that first year when you stumbled out, helpless and silent and afraid.

Happy third birthday to you. Make a wish, blow out the candles, and I am confident your wish – all your wishes – will come true.

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