Thursday, June 10, 2010

{Happy Birthday, Squirrel!}

Dear, sweet little Squirrelly Girl,

Today, you turned three years old. I simply cannot understand how so much time has passed since you entered my world and changed it forever. I know it's cliche and every mother will say it, but the joy that burst upon my life the moment you, my first child, entered the world was incomparable. Because of you, I became stronger, more selfless, more joyful, more observant, more patient, and more terrified than I had ever been. Here, in this tiny bundle was my new universe. You melted your father's hard exterior and this macho, tough guy turned into a puddle of pure love for his daughter the minute you came into his life.

He has always been able to produce laughter from you that no one else can replicate. And you in turn hold his heart completely in your hands.

You are three, and in this third year, I am amazed at the person you have become:

Your language has exploded. You are precocious and talkative. In fact, some days I sit, exhausted after a day of listening to all the things you have to say. {Sometimes, at bed time, as I lie with you and try to get you to settle down, you'll sleepily prattle off all the many things that run through your head, with exclamations like, "Mommy! I am thinking of a party, with cake, and candies, and cupcakes, and gumballs, and doggies, and oh, I miss Zucchi and Titan, and brother will ride his bike, and I will ride with him and we can visit the ladies in the 'partments." I love this peek into your mind via stream-of-consciousness...} You like me to make up up stories and you like to make up stories of your own. Since your aunt Katie's wedding, every story ends with the addition from you that "they got married and lived happily ever after."

You love to see the temple. Even though it is down the street, you remind us every time we see it that it is there and it is "BEEEEAUTIFUL." I cannot wait for the day when you can enter it {which I know will come too soon, as some days I am afraid to blink because of how fast you grow}.

You love your baby brother. There are days when you don't like to share or he picks on you terribly, but for the most part, you love to help him, to reassure him, to play with him, to make him laugh. I know you will be partners in crime, as you have already begun to teach him many of your Squirrelly ways.

At three, you are shy at times and exuberantly friendly at other times. You invite yourself in to the apartments of the girls here at the dorms, and ask to follow them on their dates or to the library. We have to put you in timeout rather often lately for sneaking off to visit the "ladies," as you call them.

You love to be outside, no matter the weather. You request picnics almost every day. You like to lie on your back and look at the clouds.

You love to sing songs and make requests for us to sing together. "Tomorrow" and "My Favorite Things" have been at the top of the request list for several months now. You are finally learning to carry a tune.

You love to dance--you, poor thing, seem to have your mother's grace and sense of rhythm, but music and movement delight you, just as they always have me. I love to watch you dance with your eyes closed, moving to the beat that only you are privy to.

Just as you have been since birth, you are BUSY. You never quit moving or thinking or doing. We are practicing being "still", but it is difficult for you, who even wiggles yourself to sleep.

{Even standing still for the camera often proves to be too much...}

You are growing independent. You like to dress yourself, put on your own shoes, brush your teeth and say prayers on your own. Sometimes I stop and look at you and wonder when you started being able to do all these things alone. I feel such a sense of pride at your endless small accomplishments, so big to little old you;  at the same time, I feel such deep loss for the dependence on me that steadily vanishes.

You are empathetic. You feel sadness for sick birds and squashed bugs. You worry about us when we are sick, or upset. You comfort me when I am sad or exhausted from a long day. You try to make peace wherever you can. You tell me often that you miss Titan and Zucchini, our pugs. {This breaks my heart because they were there to welcome you home and have given you so many gifts...this empathy being one of them.}

You listen. You watch. You process more than I think you will. I am frequently astounded by the things you know and realize it is your own desire to know them, and not my ability to teach them, that has brought you that knowledge.

Your eyes are precisely the same shade of blue as mine, and I love, LOVE, when we are brushing our teeth at night, how you will always ask to squish our faces together and pronounce them to be "same-same."

You recently started telling me that we are best friends. Please know that I always wish this to be the case. That whatever, and whenever, I will listen and I will love and I will guide and protect you. Never stop being my friend, sweet thing.

You are full of mischief. While some say you have my sunny attitude and silly disposition, I know there is a naughty streak in there that can only come from your father. I have seen this look in his face in many instances and many pictures from his childhood, and I catch it on yours regularly. It is a glint in the eye that tells of cleverly devised plans just below the surface.

You are every bit as cute as you think you are, and I have to turn my face or leave the room to hide my laughter at least once a day because of the things you do.

You are uncontainable. You are full of light and laughter and so much love. When you were born, you changed my world, and yet, every day since then, it has continued to change: My capacity for love has grown with every minute of your life. My appreciation for life and joyful moments gains momentum. My desire to be the best example I can be gets stronger. And my gratitude to my Heavenly Father for sending me the WONDER that is you is unstoppable.

I love you, forever and ever and always, my sweet precious darling.
Happy Birthday!



  1. Tears everywhere! Nothing like a good cry to start your day off, right?

    I am envious of your ability to put the complex emotions of being a mom into such a beautifully simple post. It's one of the reasons I love your blog. You have a gift.

    Happy Belated Birthday, Squirrel!

  2. Beautifully expressed, Kierra. I can't believe it has been three years already. At the same time, it seems forever many things have happened to all of us since Ainsley's birth. She is so her mom! big hugs~ and Happy Birthday to Ainsley!

  3. What a beautiful post! Shelbey is right- you do have a gift. Your daughter is adorable!

  4. Kierra -
    After your comment on my blog, I came back over to remind myself of which one I had commented on. It was a fun surprise to see the pictures from your three year old's birthday.

    I lived in those apartments back when I was going to school. Such good memories! You must be dorm mom. Fun for you! I'm slightly jealous as I loved my time in Idaho. It's a great place.

    Anyways, I subscribed to your blog and look forward to reading more. It looks like our kids are similar in age. I have a little girl turning three this week and a little boy turning 1 next month. And we are big fans of Thoreau as well! Walden Pond was one of my favorite places that we visited in Boston.

    Take care,


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