Somewhere along the line you lost your round baby belly, little boy, and now you are growing into a tangle of skinny arms and legs like your brother. Yet you’re somehow still made of soft edges and dimples, round cheeks and curled lips. You are teetering on the edge of big-boyhood—one foot there already, the other firmly stomping a toddler-sized tantrum.
I am forever swinging between thinking ahead to the easier days of the little-bit-older you, and wishing with everything in my heart I could keep you forever as you are now. The affectionate, angry, curious, stubborn, loving, thrillseeking, rambunctious, needy, troublemaking, happy Dylan that is you, at three years old.
You talk and talk in your tiny high-pitched voice and I know someday I will have a hard time remembering just what you sounded like when you were this small and I suppose it should make me more patient when you are talking and talking but oh, Dylan, OH, you can talk. You are silly and strange and I feel a bit like I’ve been dropped down a rabbit hole when you’re talking to me because wait, what about a coyote now?
You are full of endearing mispronunciations and bizarre convictions and you have a meaty full-bodied laugh. You still love horses and you love to dance to Parry Gripp videos and you love to play whatever game your brother is playing and you love to shout “LOOK AT DIS PARKOUR, MOMMY!” right before you launch yourself off the couch at top speed.
You are prone to fits of rage and you love to kick the back of the passenger seat in the car and you still wake up every night and you won’t eat a single goddamned thing these days except Yami vanilla yogurt, the stupidly expensive kid-branded kind that come in tiny cups and half the package includes the lesser-loved raspberry and what I’m saying is that there are things about you that drive me right up a wall, my boy.
If it is true that you are capable of flaying my last nerve, it must be said you have an even stronger hold on my heart. Dilly, my tiny monkey, you are everything that is wild and weird and wonderful in the world. I could never have imagined what delicious joy and chaos you would bring, and how my life is infinitely better for having you in it.
We celebrated your birthday this weekend at a cabin in eastern Washington and it was an absolutely perfect time. I kept marveling at what a good team we make, the four of us. How happy our little family is these days. How incredibly lucky I am.