Our son Everett joined my wife and I on this day three years ago. His first year molded us into parents, while the second year allowed us to take the smallest of steps backward to watch him bloom. As I wrote last year, the pace of life is disquieting. As I reflect on his third year, I am once again astonished at how a single year can seem like a second.
Three years. In a flash.
If the second year was an unspoken transition, then the third was a year of growth.
Everett’s knowledge has grown so much this year. Every time he proudly shares something that he learned at preschool, each problem that he diligently solves, whenever he speaks a long sentence using words that I was unaware he knew, the times we catch him singing a new song, or when he understands that someone is feeling bad and tries to cheer them up - those are my Christmas morning. I had a lot of Christmas mornings this year.
Growth is, of course, most apparent physically. It is easy to miss incremental height changes in your child, but occasionally you look away for a second or you reminisce with old photos. In these moments you are forced to add up all of those small changes. I know it must be one of those things that non-parents find so very annoying, but when you fully appreciate the sum total of that growth, your brain quite simply cannot believe it. No matter how many times his new shoes or clothes let slip that he was growing, I always found myself stupefied.
Just as Everett grew this past year, so did our family. We welcomed Campbell on February 2, 2017. It was the joy of a lifetime to watch Everett share in the process. He loved to hear Campbell’s heartbeat and look at his ultrasound photos, he was fascinated by my wife’s growing belly, and during the third trimester he developed a sympathy pregnancy. One of our favorite memories was introducing Everett to his baby brother. Although he was initially unimpressed, “Hey! Campbell’s not talking!” (exit stage left), he is proud to tell us everyday that he is a big brother. Watching Everett’s love grow beyond the two of us has been a wonderful experience.
No matter what the next year brings, let us grow together.
Happy Birthday, Everett.