Happy Third Birthday, Caelan!
Oh my sweet baby girl. I cannot believe we are here, one more sleep away from your THIRD BIRTHDAY! It is amazing how far you have come in the last year. To think that one year ago, your daddy and I were throwing our hands up in the air, unsure if you would ever be healthy, if you’d ever eat and if you’d stay out of the doctor’s offices and away from the specialists long enough to enjoy being a child. You were officially diagnosed: infant/toddler feeding disorder. Essentially, you are anorexic. And I say “are” because you haven’t been consistently eating long enough for anyone to officially clear you of the disorder, but I feel they will in August when you go back to the Clinic. I finally am in a place where I don’t worry about your eating, and I don’t think you will revert back to the old ways, because you get such a sense of joy in eating now. To see you one year ago and now…it is like two different children. You’re definitely making up for lost time in the eating department (and your sense of taste has developed so much! You love your sweets, Miss I Can Eat Two Ice Cream Sandwiches In One Sitting!). But PRAISE GOD! The elation I felt when they removed “failure to thrive” from your diagnosis. I cried. I hated that phrase, it made me want to puke and then punch someone, and I heard it constantly, until about November of 2010. Nothing about you is a failure. Never has been. Never will be.
You are the absolute light of my life. When I am down, I think of you. When I need a laugh, I reach for you. I have been blessed to be able to stay at home with you this past year. And while the time is around the corner for me to utilize that degree that I am constantly doing homework for, I would not change one thing that we have done this past year. I got to see you turn 2, and then 3, and be able to say that I spent every single day in between with you. Loving you. Teaching you. Enjoying every single minute. You are so smart. You know so much. You remember everything. It is uncanny. I don’t even know how you know the things you know sometimes. You will do great things with this intelligence and this thirst of knowledge, I know it. I hope it never changes, no matter what anyone tells you to the contrary. Smart is beautiful. YOU are beautiful.
You are also stubborn. And sometimes quick to snap. And that is my fault. You come by those traits honestly. You come from a long line of pushy, opinionated and stubborn broads. Can’t blame you for who you are! You know exactly what you want and you want it when you want it. Period. And sometimes you can’t have it when you want it, so we talk about patience. I see so much of me in you that it is absolutely frightening. But I wouldn’t change you. Not one bit, for one minute. You’re my angel girl. You’re not perfect, but you’re perfect for me.
You became a big sister this year. And this is where I start crying. Because you are an absolutely AMAZING big sister. I will never forget you busting into the labor and delivery room, climbing up on my lap and asking Ellery if she knew her colors. And then you sang us the ABCs. She wasn’t even ten minutes old yet and you were nurturing her, and teaching her and loving her. And you haven’t stopped. The way she looks at you, and the way you look at her is unbelievable. I can’t take it sometimes, it fills my heart up with so much love and pride I feel I could burst. You care for and dote on Ellery like she is your biggest accomplishment. You always need to know where she is, and if you’re not around, she is hollering for you. I never dreamed I would have two girls, and the reality of you both being my girls, being my heart…it is almost too much to believe sometimes.
You make me laugh. You make me cry. You make me crazy. You make me happy. But above everything else, with the crazy year we had, the struggles and unanswered questions, the frustrations and the achievements, you make me proud. And know that no matter where life takes you, no matter how far away you roam, I will continue to repeat the phrase that we say together: “I will love you forever. I will like you for always. As long as you’re living, my baby you’ll be.”
I love you so much, Caelan Alice. And I still thank my lucky stars, every single day, that you’re mine. Happy Third Birthday, my love. You really are my Sunshine.