Three years ago, we were living in Pittsburgh. It was a stubborn winter that didn’t want to let go, and the trees were still bare and the air was still chilly when we drove to the hospital, thinking that maybe it was time to have a baby. When we left the hospital two days later, with a tiny little bundle buckled into a brand new car seat, we stepped into a brand new world. It was sunny and warm, and it seemed that the entire city had transformed during our short hospital stay. The trees that had been bare were suddenly leafy and green. Flowers were blooming, the sun was shining warmly, and it seemed that the very earth itself was welcoming our new baby boy into the world.
I think about that every year on Jake’s birthday. He is the essence of spring and summer, rolled up neatly into one little human. 🙂
This year, we celebrated Jake’s birthday party by taking a tour of a local fire station. Jake is kind of obsessed with all things fireman related right now, and I was hoping his friends would be just as thrilled as him to see a fire truck up close.
We actually had quite a few adults (parents, church friends, etc.) attending the party/tour, and some of them were definitely more interested in the information than the kids were, haha! But they kept it short and it was interesting. We got to see where the firemen sleep, and we got to experience a drill of what happens inside the fire station to alert the firemen that they need to get on the truck and attend to an emergency. But the kids were waiting for one thing…they all wanted to see the big truck. 🙂
Jake tends to be a scaredy-cat these days. And once we got him inside the actual truck, he started getting nervous. After that, the firemen turned on all of the light and sirens, and that made Jake absolutely terrified. We have several pictures of him crying as we try to edge him near enough to the outside of the truck to get a good picture. But despite all of the sour-faced photos, I did end up with at least one good one:
After the tour, we went back to my parent’s house for pizza, cake, and presents. Jake was really pleased with all of it. I feel like this is the first year that he really understood that this was HIS birthday and HIS party, and he knew what to expect from attending other birthday parties. When we started to sing him “Happy Birthday,” he sang along with us. 🙂 When we ask him how old he is now, he has no trouble answering “THREE!” But he still can’t manage to show us three fingers. He usually ends up just showing us all five while saying “THREE!”
I tried to keep this year’s party pretty low-key, but I did splurge a little on the goodie bags. I felt very strongly that each child should go home with a toy fire engine, and I scoured the internet and the local Toys R’ Us until I found a few Hot Wheels and Matchbox versions (along with some other fireman gear, like a whistle, a water gun for putting out the flames, and of course, candy and stickers). 🙂 We only had a handful of little friends at our party, so I was able to go all out.
People talk about it all the time, but it still boggles my mind how much a child can change from year to year. I remember last year celebrating that Jake was finally speaking in complete sentences and acquiring more words (he had just had ear tubes put in, which helped his vocabulary a lot, I think). This year, Jake is so much more child than toddler. According to our growth chart, he’s grown six inches since his last birthday. His shoes look giant now compared to Teddy’s tiny shoes. Jake has long legs, big feet, and he has lost his little baby pot belly. He has a mind of his own and he has started asking us questions. So. Many. Questions. He is curious about how the world works and what things are called and WHY they are called that. In just two short years he will enroll in Kindergarten and start his education. It makes my head spin to think about how quickly it’s all going by.
But in the meantime…here’s to my precious little three-year old Jake! I hope he will always be this curious, this persistent, and this enthusiastic about life!