To My Son, on His 3rd Birthday

It seems strange that we are back here again, celebrating another one of your birthdays. Didn’t I just watch you turn 2?

But as I look back over the last year, I am overwhelmed by the differences in you. You, my son, are no longer a baby. I guess you already knew that since you remind me so often that you are a “big boy.” I still call you baby though. I can’t help myself.

You were suppose to be my last, but the current baby inside my belly is taking that position. You are instead destined to be the middle child–a role I think God placed you in with great care and consideration.

You will be a magnificent middle child. Why, you ask…

Because you love. You love so freely, so deeply, so easily. As you say, you love “big”…bigger than big. Your heart, Tolan, is filled with concern for others. You desperately want to know how others are feeling, what they are thinking, where they are going, and when they will return.

Your love is genuine and pure. We have never had to coax you to give kisses or hugs. You share so graciously it makes me misty-eyed to watch. You have a heart of gold buddy…pure gold. You will be a great connector between your siblings–a perfect middle fit.

But don’t go and get a big head or anything. You test me daily. You are after all a boy…and you are all boy. Rambunctious, daredevil, spontaneous, mischievous, foolish even. You continue to climb, scale, hoist, hurl, leap, dive, and plummet. Somehow you are alive, despite a horrific trip to the emergency room…one of my scariest moments of my life.

You also continue to crack us up. This year you have decided that you are funny and that’s all there is to it. You have turned into a regular comedian and we eat it up. I love seeing how witty you can be, especially considering the news we received at your last birthday…

…the doctor told us that if you didn’t start really speaking soon, you would need to see a speech therapist. I had a mild moment of panic. Instead of assuming you would never move beyond your gutteral “guh, guh” sounds, your dad and I prayed.

We prayed each night that God would speed up your language skills and you would begin to speak. And guess what? God answers prayers. Not 3 weeks had gone by when you had a huge increase in communication.

Now, truth be told, I cannot get you to shut up.

And here’s the thing Tolan, you have my heart. I gave it to you the first moment I laid eyes on you. Your dad and I call you our “kryptonite.” We often feel powerless against your cuteness, sweetness, coolness and hilarity.

But really, as I celebrate you turning 3, I am overcome with thoughts of you growing into a man of God. I know God has set you apart and while each year that passes represents the loss of my baby, it also marks the future of a man devoted to Christ. That is what I continue to pray for and trust my God for…that you, my son will chase after Jesus and will have sons of your own who will also walk in the Way.

I love you Tolan…fully and forever,


Who are the awesome kids in your life? What do you love about them? What is your favorite birthday memory?

6 thoughts on “To My Son, on His 3rd Birthday”

  1. Wonderful post! Yes, he is so blessed for having you as his mom. I don’t have kids, yet. But I love children. Can’t way to have my own. God bless you family!

  2. what a cutie! 15 years from now he will definitely appreciate your pic of him on the Pot. ha ha. Happy birthday to your little man.

  3. Hi Nicole,

    As the father of six children (all grown and gone with homes of their own, Thank God!), I have trouble even remembering what a three-year-old was like.

    Ginny and I agree that the primary duty of a parent is to survive the children. They were a parenthesis in our marriage; we were in love before the first, we’re in love after the last one left home to get married (see my Jan.1, 2010, blog for wedding photos).

    We had our share of those Emergence Room trips from ladder falls, cat fights and choking on leaves. One kid even managed to cut the top of his foot on the windshield wiper of the car!

    Steel yourself for more of that sort of thing with Tolan.

    However, all the trouble is worth it.

    My children, as adults, have become my best friends.

    I hope your three (or more) grow up safe and secure in the love of Christ and that you and your husband come out the other end of parenthood relatively sane.

    Happy birthday, Tolan.

    John Cowart

    1. I just wish u that u will witness your child’s (children’s) happiest moments in life and that he/they will have such a wonderful life in this lonely planet (I have 2 sons and I share ur feelings, mine just turned 3 and i’m going to copy ur phrase..i said too much…)

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