Today is Cullen's third birthday. He is three. How did that happen so fast? During dinner with a friend last week, we were discussing why this birthday seemed so big. My little baby is a little boy now. He talks, he walks, he has an opinion. It is beyond difficult to put into words.
I will never forget the day we found out Cullen was on the way. After so much waiting, so little patience, and an awful lot of heartbreak, we were going to have a baby. And I knew from day one that this baby was our baby for good.
I will never forget the day we found out that we were expecting a little boy. James was working in Houston, so one of my very best friends sat next to me in Austin with her two little girls while James was on speakerphone so that we could find out at the same time. Snips and snails and puppy dog tails. A boy.
I will never forget the day Cullen was born. A no-big-deal checkup to find out that I was already in labor, and he was on the way. James got to the hospital as quickly as he could, and Cullen was in our arms just a few hours later.
In my mind, Cullen will always be this little boy.
Tiny, wide-eyed, constantly alert. And finally, he was ours. I remember wanting James to drive faster when we left the hospital. Just in case someone noticed that we had taken off with a little baby not even two days old. Sure, I signed the discharge papers, but it didn't seem likely that anyone would be okay with us just taking him home like that. Like we knew what we were doing.
Cullen has taught me so much over the last three years. He's taught me more about love than I ever could have imagined. He's taught me about the important things in life. He helped me learn that a child's laughter is the sweetest sound I could ever hear. That his tears could bring me to tears. That the love a mother feels for her child cannot and will not ever be replaced.
I love that when Cullen should say "thank you," he sometimes says "you're welcome." And if he does say "thank you" first, he will race you to try to say "you're welcome" before you have a chance.
I love that Cullen is telling people he is three and a half today. Close enough.
I love that when a stop light turns green, he yells, "Go Baylor! Sic'em bears!"
I love that he is an affirming and loving little boy. When I say, "You're my best boy!" He responds with, "You're my best mommy!"
I love how smart he is. How he won't let us pull the wool over his eyes. Last night, Cullen asked James to go upstairs to get a toy for him. Not because Cullen was too lazy, but because Cullen knew that James would turn off Cullen's movie if Cullen walked away.
I love how passionate he is about the things he loves. His first request this morning was for his Lightning McQueen birthday party. He'll have to wait a few more days, but you can't blame him for being excited!
I love that he is thrilled to have popovers instead of cake today for his birthday. What three year old loves popovers? My three year old. Especially when you add sprinkles.
I love that he was over the moon to receive a book as his first birthday present this morning.
I love that he knew the mouse as soon as he saw him. He knew that it was the same one from If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. It's his birthday, too!
I love that he saw the birthday sign outside of the school and knew that it was time to celebrate.
I love that his entire class broke out into song when he walked in this morning. And little Michelle gave him a big hug and told him she loved him.
I love what being a mother has done for me and for our family. And I hope that I can use that experience to love Cullen even more. He will always be a highlight in my life, and I couldn't be any more proud of the little boy he has become so far. I can't wait to see what the next year brings us.