Today you should be turning 3 years old. Three candles on your birthday cake. A cake we should be sharing with family and your friends from school. "Happy Third Birthday!" is what the party invitation should have announced. The party we should have planned and spent the last week preparing for, with decorations, streamers, balloons. And the toys and gifts...they should all be appropriate for ages 3 & Up. Should, should, should. Instead, last night I sat on the floor of your room, cradling your urn with tears streaming down my face, as I sang "Happy Birthday" to you.
It's so hard to imagine. Momma has a mental picture of you at this age, laughing and running through our side yard with birthday balloons trailing behind you, your blonde hair brilliant in the afternoon sun. But...the snapshot is fuzzy. A little imperfect. The 3 year old you looks a lot like the 16 month old you. The version of you that I know. That I held and hugged and sang with and told bedtime stories to - not some weird age-projected version of you.
It is the image of you that is imprinted on my heart. It is the fingerprint of you on my soul.
I celebrate you, Peanut. I celebrate your life. I celebrate the day of your birth. I remember that day with joy. With smiles. It is a day that forever transformed Momma for the better. I still love remembering and retelling the "play by play" from the day you were born: Peanut's 2nd Birthday.
Peanut, I hope - I believe - on this birthday you are celebrating and enjoying loads of ice cream cake, funny balloon animals, bright red Elmo party hats, and games of tag with all your angel friends. Because, that is what I think you would be doing - what you should be doing - if you were still with us on earth. But, try to check in with us because Momma, Dadda and The Pickle will be celebrating your birthday in our own special way. It sure would be fantastic to have a visit from you.
With love, heartbreak, joy, sorrow, hope and remembrance I wish you, my very special, beautiful, amazing little boy, a very happy birthday. Sending you butterfly kisses and love, to the moon - and back.