To Anya, on the Occasion Of Your Third Birthday

Filed under: Anya,the day-to-day stuff,thoughts — by Lex on October 21st, 2009 @ 7:09 am

My Dearest Anya,

Mommy’s post right before this one is excellent, and encompasses much of what I’m feeling now that you’re three. You’re an amazing little big girl, and the emotion that’s at the forefront of my mind as you cross this age milestone is supremely easy to summarize:

I am so very, very proud to be your dad.

The things you say, the jokes you make, the insights you have, and the questions you pose — they’re all a delight to hear, and awe-inspiring to witness.

Before you were born, I wrote you a song to try to capture what I was feeling back then. I sang it for you at your baby naming, and I’ve sung it for you many times since — often, by your request!

I don’t want to write a sappy song
That’ll make you roll your eyes

You can definitely be my mushy girl, professing your love for me (and the rest of your family), offering plentiful hugs and kisses unprompted. But there are definitely times you’re not so interested in the gooey, over-sentimental stuff. Sometimes, you just want to have fun!

I just want to write a happy tune
That we’ll both know for all our lives.

Since you’re already able to sing the entire song to me, I don’t have to worry about that last part so far.

Don’t know that I have it in me
To write the perfect song,
But if it’s about you, Anya,
Then how can I go wrong?

Man, was I prescient. The song didn’t have to be (and isn’t) perfect. You are.

‘Cause you’re my baby,
And I’m your dad
You’re the very first daughter
I have ever had
I love you so much
More than I can sing
My whole life I’ll try to thank you
For all the joy you bring

Mommy covered the main points here already. You are forever our baby, even as you become a bigger and bigger big girl. I don’t have the words to express how much I love you. And I really do constantly try to show you how grateful I am for you. Listen, you’re a three-year-old kid: There are times where you can be trying for even the most devoted and patient of daddies. But even when you’re being, shall we say, a challenge, I’m constantly reminding myself how lucky and fortunate I feel to be your dad, and how I want to value each moment with you, even when you’re on your forty-fifth minute of eating the same apple.

Anya, as I try to write something that captures even a fraction of how happy I you are my daughter, you’re sitting here eating breakfast (slowly). You’ve negotiated for a bite of an unseen granola bar, assuming you eat the rest of your breakfast first. You’ve said “Oh, thank you!” in response to my giving you your Healthy Vitamin. You’ve declared: “Daddy, I love you!” — apropos of nothing. And just now, you announced: “I painted my pumpkin in Izzy’s sukkah!” Yes, that’s true. And I love that you have a mind of your own that thinks about things, jumping from thought to thought. Too cool. And now: “Is that your granola bar? Don’t eat the last bite, because the last bite’s for me!”

You started talking so young, and the sentences you construct now are incredible. Getting to know you through your thoughts and words has been remarkable. Seeing your 3-year-old joy at spotting your stack of gifts, with your jaw truly dropping as low as it could as you stood in awe, was awesome. But hearing you squeal: “Oh, look at all the presents for me!” was even better.

You’re a very special girl, and I love you very much. Happy birthday.

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