For your last two birthdays, Mommy and I didn’t keep things simple.
We combined both friends and family to have an official birthday party, each time.
Even though our “family life” is so much more stabilized and easier than it was for the past two years, without giving it much thought, perhaps by default, Mommy and I decided to have a purposesly low key (!) birthday party for you.
So we did things a bit off beat…
First, on Saturday, the morning of your birthday, we had your first and best friend over, with her parents.
As this picture collage that Sophie’s parents made illustrates, you two had plenty of unscripted fun.
My favorite part to witness was when Sophie suggested, “Come on, Jack. Let’s go upstairs!”
So we all trekked up to your boy cave.
I’ve mentioned before, we have the top half of a rockasan in your bedroom that serves as a “boat.” You and Sophie had a great time giving each other rides in it.
And somehow, even though I was only feet away, I missed the moment when Sophie ended up with the toy basket on top of her head.
Of course, after lunch, both of you were in need of a nap, so the celebration came to an end, but not before we all had some of Mommy’s yummy vegan cupcakes!
After Sophie left, we aimed for a nap, which I think ended up turning into us watching part of Monsters, Inc. that Sophie got for you. (You now own your first Disney movie!)
Then later in the afternoon, we had two more of your friends up with their parents, and essentially repeated what happened earlier that day.
It wasn’t until just now, as I put these pictures together, that I realized only girls came to your birthday party.
(Your friend Troy was out of town and couldn’t make it, by the way.)
So it made it that much funnier that in the goody bags we gave to them, each friend received a Hot Wheels pick-up truck.
Yes, and that’s pretty much your 3rd birthday party. Of course, we’re going to spend next weekend with my family to celebrate your birthday with them… and I have a special surprise being shipped in from Atlanta… or I should say, driven in…
You’ll see what I mean in a couple days!
(Plus, I just have a feeling that to be so mellow about your 3rd birthday party, we will end up making up for it with your 4th birthday party.)
But I got addicted… and after that first time, I decided to officially change my format of writing about you, to where I write to you.
Exactly a year has passed since that night I sat at our coffee table and cried so hard, realizing my love for you.
Tonight, I’m less emotional in that sense. Instead, I’m feeling fully grounded in how I feel about you and how I understand my love for you.
Instead of a groundbreaking ephiphany, today I simply am grateful for the gift of peace of mind and heart; a gift the world can not give.
In this moment, that is my life. I think of that song, “On Top Of The World” by Imagine Dragons, to describe how I feel about you and me:
“I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
Waiting on this for a while now
Paying my dues to the dirt
I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ay
Been holding it in for a while, ‘ay
Take you with me if I can
Been dreaming of this since a child
I’m on top of the world.”
However, I like to stick with my own original interpretation of the phrase…
I feel that the way Detroit has been perceived in media in recent years (I’ve made it clear before I’m not a fan of CNN or Fox News because they’re both so ridiculously one-sided, as they cater to their appropriate uncompromising political party) is unfair to the city.
Now that I’ve visited Detroit my 2nd time, including downtown, even at night, I am so grateful to not have taken the sound bites seriously in mainstream media, when they create headlines about the sky of Detroit falling.
“Instead of sinking when the city of Detroit had just filed for bankruptcy, its housing markets took on a quiet resurgence. In the second quarter of this year it ranked seventh in the report, and this rapid jump to number one speaks volumes about its pace of acceleration.”
This is a perfect example of why I will always reinforce to you the importance of being open-minded and why I will encourage you to always question the mainstream ideas and look for the answers yourself.
Detroit is a really cool city. I actually look forward to my next trip there.
In fact, in my next letter to you, I will be sharing some more pictures of the city, from the scavenger hunt I partipated in with OnStar and Buick.
(That’s how I got this cool new t-shirt from Pure Detroit, a local culture shop there.)
Everyone I met in Detroit, in every part of it I visited, were all very friendly and optimistic.
It was almost if they were unaware of the same regurgitated “news” that outsiders are being fed.
Without any of the citizens of Detroit saying it, I literally felt it in their presence: They believe in the rebirth of Detroit.
I know I do. And by the time you’re old enough to read this letter and really process it, I’m sure the old stereotypes of Detroit will be outdated.
Now that I have visited that great city (with its really nice downtown) and seen for myself its passion to rise again, I too am passionate about not simply refraining from saying negative things about the city, but instead, about saying nice things about Detroit.
This week on Facebook I was introduced to a cool type of picture that parents can create of their kids.
I don’t know that it’s called, though.
So until I do, I’ll just call it a “collage profile.”
Featured here is the picture that introduced me to it. Granted, this is a professional picture, by my friend Joe Hendricks, who took Mommy and Daddy’s wedding pictures as well as our pregnancy pictures.
To me, this is the perfect example of how it should be done. A+!
The concept is simple: a picture of a kid, superimposed with various, random texts showing their name, age, and interests.
What a cool idea! I have no idea who thought of it first but I hear that it’s trending on Pinterest.
Just for the fun of it, I threw one together for you. Eleven days away from your 3rd birthday, I now have a better visual of the stuff you’re into during this exact stage of your life.
A few months from now, I assume some of these listed interested will be replaced with others.
But as for right now, I can preserve this sort of visual bookmark on your life.
While I’m sure this kind of picture can be created on several different websites out there, the one I used is Picfont, where I do all the captions for your pictures. I like it because it’s free and doesn’t require a login and password.
So whatever this trendy kind of picture is called, it’s something I should probably do every so often.
The fact that you currently like the color pink… I have a feeling that’s going to change in the next couple of years and then we’ll really have something to laugh about.
Well, assuming you’re reading this years from now… Yes, son… you used to love the color pink.
By the time I was your age, I had already seen a movie in the theatre: it was E.T. back in 1982.
But as for you, Mommy and I still haven’t taken you to experience a movie on the big screen.
Actually, we had planned to take you to see The Croods back in the spring, and then Planes during the summer, or Monsters University, but you never seemed impressed by the idea… maybe because of the instant gratification of Netflix instant streaming.
If only there was a kids’ movie about Batman that was going to be coming to theatres this winter…
After all, you dressed up as Batman for Halloween. (That means we let you wear your Batman pajamas out in public.)
Or maybe if there was a movie about Legos. You love to watch those amateur stop-motion videos on YouTube that feature Lego men.
And Ninja Turtles, too. You’re starting to think they’re cool.
What if… what if there was a movie that contained all these fun characters and it was a kids’ movie and I actually wanted to see it too?
You guessed it, this hypothetical movie actually exists and it’s coming out in February.
So, I think we should go see it. If Mommy and I haven’t taken you to your first movie in a theatre by then, I declare it shall be The Lego Movie.
I’ve been so hesitant about taking to you to see a movie because I don’t know what kind of attention span you might have for it; especially in public.
Here at the house, you’ve sat through entire movies before, but I think it had a lot to do with the fact you were able to avoid a nap because of it.
(Sometimes it’s just easier to let you watch a lazy movie with me on the couch instead of bothering with a nap. It works for both of us.)
Well, February is only three months away. You’ll be over 3 years old by then. I think you’ll be ready for it. Right?