Friday, November 30, 2012

Dear Keaton: 3 years / 3.5 years / Going on 4 years

Dear Keaton,

It is the end of November 2012 and I am just now sitting down to write your 3-year letter.  This has been on my to-do list for almost an entire year as you turned three in December 2011.  At first my list said “write Keaton’s 3-year letter” then it was “write Keaton’s 3 - 3 ½ year letter” now it says “3 - 3 ½ - going on 4”. Like so much during 2012, I’ve considered skipping this all together and picking back up at age four, but when I really let that thought sink in, I feel so guilty. I just can’t do that. Even if I’m late, I have to do something to document this year. 

3-yr photo by
CaSondra Shim Photography

I can’t talk about you at age three without mentioning The Fire.  We were less than three weeks from your third birthday when those alarms started blaring and woke us all out of a dead sleep.  I really wasn’t thinking straight when I let you stand in the neighbor’s window and watch as flames started shooting through the roof, as you were at a prime age for remembering it all.  Your brother was by your side, but out of the two of you, you are the only one that remembers it.  It’s been a difficult year as the fire left you with night terrors, remembering things you lost in the “fire house”, and having an aversion to fire fighters.  We’ve tried explaining to you several times that its water that comes through their hoses, not fire, but you are still convinced that the fireman came to burn our house down.  We’ll continue to work on this and I know someday you will understand. 

Photo by CaSondra Shim Photography

We were in the midst of planning your third birthday party when the fire occurred and while plans had to change a little, your one birthday party at our house turned into two birthday parties at Busha’s and Mimi’s, the theme went on as planned: tractors.  At age three you loved everything tractors.  I think they are what have developed your deep love for the color green.  Neither of these things has changed.  Tractors are still your favorite toy to play with; you even chose a tractor theme for your first room in our new house.  And if we don’t give you the green cup at dinner, green sucker at the bank, green shirt in the morning, we usually hear about it.

Photos by CaSondra Shim Photography

I don’t want to complain too much about “hearing about it” though.  I think my favorite thing about age three is the explosion in terms of communication.  I remember this starting around 2 ½ and I can distinctively recall a ride in the car, you in the back seat jabbering nonstop to me.  And I remember thinking as we turned in the gas station, wow, this, this having an actual full-fledged conversation with my child, this is really cool.  By age three not only could you tell us what you wanted, but you could tell us how you felt.  I am frus-ter-ated, you’d say. 

Photo by CaSondra Shim Photography

Of course, like all ages, with the good comes the…..we’ll call it difficult.  I clearly remember one day early spring making the statement “Age three is trying to kill us.” While two was difficult because of tantrums and fits, three gave us a run for our money because of your desire to push the boundaries and want everything your way.  There was many a fight about what you wore to Busha’s in the morning or what order we did things while getting ready.  And of course as you inch closer to four and just as your Dad and I have started to finally figure out what is worth fighting over and what to let go, the challenges have started to change.  I suppose this is why parents think every age is difficult, because just as we start to get you, you go and grow up just a bit more.

Photo by CaSondra Shim Photography

Shortly after you turned three years old I asked you a set of questions, 20 questions that I plan on asking you each year on your birthday. Rereading these tonight with your Dad we both found ourselves shaking our heads, yes, yes, that’s Keaton.

            What is your favorite color?   Green
            What is your favorite toy?   Machines & tractors
            What is your favorite fruit?   Pickles!
            What is your favorite tv show?   Mickey Mouse Clubhouse & favorite movie is Rio
            What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?   Pretzels
            What is your favorite outfit?   Dump truck shirt
            What is your favorite game?   Candy Land
            What is your favorite snack?   Pretzels
            What is your favorite animal?  Deer
            What is your favorite song?   Sexy and I know it!
            What is your favorite book?   Machine books
            Who is your best friend?   Jackson & Hutton is your best bud
            What is your favorite cereal?   *goes to pantry – wait a sec, I’ll show you* Cheerios
            What is your favorite thing to do outside?   Pull the work wagon
            What is your favorite holiday?   Easter
            What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  Tractor blankie, truck blankie, 
                    machine blankie, and choo choo blankie
            What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  No answer, I think you were 
                    getting tired of this.
            What do you want for dinner on your birthday?  No answer.
            What do you want to be when you grow up?  A builder and a farmer

As I type these out I find myself shaking my head again.  The blankies.  Oh, your blankies.  You have no less than three blankies with you every night.  And each time anyone in our family receives a new one, you immediately claim it as your own.  Sweet boy, you are a blanket hoarder.  You love to read books and at age three always asked for your “big machine book! Big machine book!”  You had just started getting into cartoons and I have to admit, I was happy your fell in love with Mickey Mouse.  Of course your “shows” have branched out a bit since last year, but if Mickey is an option more times than not, you’ll still choose it.   You didn’t mention trains on your list of toys, but while we lived in the duplex you and your Dad would build some mean tracks, having them travel all over the main living area.  It doesn’t surprise me that you say you want to be a builder and a farmer, this summer we spent many days at the house (jobsite, as you called it) and you and Hutton would pound away with your hammers and play with your tape measures, right along side Daddy and Papa.

Christmas 2011
Photo by CaSondra Shim Photography

 At your 3-year check up you weighed in at 33 lbs 9.6 oz (61.73%) and were 3 feet 3.75 inches tall (85.90%).  You continue to be such a hard worker.  Hauling sticks, loading wood, dusting, washing windows, you really like to do it all.  You are very sensitive and are showing tendencies of being a perfectionist.  You still prefer to be outside rather than in. You have a wonderful connection with each and every one of your grandparents, and that makes me so happy. You love your brother even though you two spend so much time fighting.  At 18 months and 3 yrs old, we could not leave you two alone for more than 10 seconds (I am not joking) without you being at each other’s throats.  It was exhausting, if I’m being honest.  But you know what?  One “I yove you” out of you and all of that was forgotten.

3-yr photo by
CaSondra Shim Photography

I yove you too, Buddy.  So, so much.


Amanda said...

First and foremost, you are an excellent mother! Your boys will look back at these letters and cherish them. Love you!

CAS said...

Late... is fine... this is so beautiful... who cares when you wrote it... it is wonderful how you capture them growing up!

K is such a hard worker and yes a jabber jaw and I love it!

Jill said...

Again, great post! This is my favorite line: "I suppose this is why parents think every age is difficult, because just as we start to get you, you go and grow up just a bit more."...just so, so true. I can't believe our little guys are 4 already...the force be with us!! :) Happy 3, going on 4, Keaton! We'll have to come visit again soon - my kids want to play with your boys again!