Today you upgrade to your 3 year old model, but you and I both know that you are actually much bigger than that. You strut around with your chest puffed-out and talk with a deep know-everything man-voice. Every day you tell me that you are getting bigger – just in case I haven’t noticed.
But you aren’t too big yet to ask if I will cuddle you. Yesterday you probably asked me a dozen times. And, I’m sorry… I wish I would have cuddled you more. The past few weeks have been pretty hard for you. I know this, because I was a middle child too. I see it in your eyes, the same fear I used to feel… that there might not be enough love left. Telis and I have been homeschooling and your baby sister always seems to need me. But you are my one and only Tobinator. No one could ever take the place you hold in my heart.
I have always found it hard to just sit still. I am trying to remind myself that I don’t need to accomplish anything exceptional in this stage of life, because you three are the best investment I will ever make. I know I will regret not choosing more of that stillness when these days are behind me. I pray I am not inadvertently sending you the message that busy is better, because it isn’t. I just need to remind myself sometimes. I love your cuddles SO MUCH.
You do 7 or 8 puzzles a day.
Whenever you get a special treat your first inclination is to share it.
Every time I open the dishwasher or pull out the vacuum cleaner you are right there to help.
You are always super-friendly and your pyjamas are always super-cute because they never match.
Speaking of super-things…
Like most boys your age, you are all about Superheroes. Paw Patrol, PJ Masks, Rescue Bots, Avengers – you and your brother are enthralled with them all. If you could have any super-power it would be jumping. (You tell me these things.) And you are pretty confident that you can out-jump all the bad guys.
We’ve talked about this before, but I’ll tell you again… I know why little boys love superheroes so much. It is because deep down inside you want to help save the world. And you know what? YOU do have a super-power! See, God is like the Optimus Prime (or Optimus Cryne – as you say) of this life. He’s a really great leader. He always does the hardest and scariest jobs first. And He needs your help. He gave you special ways of fixing this world. And no one else can do it quite like you can. I think you most likely have a few different super-powers… and your dad and I will do our best to help recognize them all. But I already know one.
You are already a heart-healer.
See, I think you have something like night-vision when it comes to people that are hurting. You see through the masks they wear. You always pick up on when I am mad or sad. You always know when I need a hug. A few weeks ago, you came to my mom’s group with me and when another mom told a joke that you didn’t understand you laughed your big belly laugh because you sensed that emotion in the room. And later, when one of the other moms started to cry, you found my hand, looked deep into my eyes and asked if she was going to be okay. You should know that not everyone has this special power. And there might come a day when you will be teased for it. But it is one of the most powerful ways to fix this world. There are so many hurting people that need Jesus. You can help them feel better. You can help them take their masks off. And I know you will baby boy. I am so proud of you. You are my 3-going-on-30, sweetest, cuddliest, puzzle-loving, always-helping, heart-healing little Toby. And I love you more than words can say. Happy birthday.