A letter to my son on his 3rd birthday: School is starting and a little brother is coming

Dear Nate,

Hi! It’s Daddy again. You know, Daddy, the guy who’s always telling you to put your Legos away, is constantly blowing raspberries on your stomach, and occasionally remembers to feed you.

I swear it was just a few weeks ago I was writing this letter to you upon your turning 2. So much has happened since we celebrated your birthday 12 months ago, I almost can’t believe it’s been a year.

Some of the highlights of the dizzying last year: We said goodbye to your crib, and now you sleep in a big-boy bed, although sometimes you like sleeping on your beanbag pillow, or the floor.

You order for yourself at restaurants, and you need no high-chair or booster seat when we go there. You are obsessed with trains, construction equipment, and “Paw Patrol,” which you had no interest in a year ago.

Every day when you wake up you love going to your bedroom window to watch the “digger” and the workers outside putting up a building on 58th Street. When they’re not there, you are genuinely disappointed.

You are still, happily, the same sweet and well-mannered boy you have always been. Mommy and I had heard all about the “Terrible 2’s” and that they turn great little kids into monstrous toddlers, but with you it never happened, except for a few weeks last winter when I think you swapped bodies with another toddler at the playground.

You make Mommy and me so proud when you say “please” and thank you” when asking for more guacamole, or grilled cheese, or peanut butter and jelly. You play nicely with other children on the playground almost all the time, and your sheer enthusiasm for life (every night you ask “where am I going when I wake up?” with such excitement) makes Mommy and me smile.

We’ve had quite a few adventures this year. We went on big airplane trips to California and Florida, got to see the San Diego Zoo and visit with cousins, and you’re now a whiz on your tricycle. Of course your favorite mode of transportation is the subway train, but you’re loving the car more and more now that we’ve turned your seat to face forward.

I can’t believe how fast you’ve learned the alphabet, and the words to your favorite songs, and most excitingly, how you’ve memorized Daddy’s cell phone number, in case you ever get lost (Side note: Maybe you can teach Daddy’s cell number to Mommy? She has trouble remembering it since it’s always been programmed in her phone).

You are almost completely potty-trained now, and you picked it up so easily I’m wondering if you’ve been ready for it for a awhile and Mommy and I should’ve trained you months ago, instead of just this summer.

There are so many little things we love about you, things I wish I could bottle forever: How you like to tease the doormen in our building by calling them by different names; how when we watch “Jeopardy!” at dinner and I yell out the answer, you repeat it and squeal “Nate got it right!” How you look like a big boy when you get a haircut, then I remember you’re still so young when the hand dryer in the public bathrooms scares you so much.

This coming year will bring so many changes, Nate: You start pre-school on Monday, and how you light up when we mention how much fun it’s going to be has been so great to watch. You love books and you love learning, so pre-school will be a blast for you.

We hope you’ll soon start to try new foods, learn to sleep past 7 a.m. again, and make all kinds of new friends.

The biggest change this year, of course, is coming in late October, when your baby brother is born.

Even though Mommy and I have tried to prepare you for this huge adjustment, we know it’s going to be hard for you. You’ve been used to getting all our attention and us responding to all of your needs pretty quickly, and now you’ll have to sometimes wait, because we are busy feeding, changing, burping, or otherwise checking on your little brother (who we still don’t have a name for; I hope by the time you read this 15 years from now we’ll be calling the kid something.)

But we also know you have so much love in your heart, for him, for your friends, for  your grandparents, that you’re going to be an awesome big brother. When you said to Mommy in the clothing store a few weeks ago “We should buy clothes for my brother!” we both just about melted.

I wish for you nothing but wonderful things in the coming year, my beautiful blue-eyed boy. Mommy and I love you so much. Keep smiling, keep laughing, and please please please, keep all your little toy cars in their box so Daddy doesn’t break an ankle stepping on them.



2 responses to “A letter to my son on his 3rd birthday: School is starting and a little brother is coming

  1. what a beautiful letter. Such a lucky little boy. And such lucky folks……your articles and family bring me hope for the future. There still are decent people in the world who go about their lives with quiet love and respect for all. No 15 minutes of fame or look at me…just pure, decent, kind and loving parents who are teaching their children to be decent and caring adults. All kids should have parents like you, (and mine, for that matter – they really, really tried. LOL) Give Nate a hug and kiss from his #1 Fan…… I’ll be thinking and sending love to you all, esp. Shelly, for the new arrival…..love, as always, MM

  2. He seems like a real nice little boy. Don’t ruin his life by making him root for the jets LOL. The Rangers will win another cup before the Jets go to a super bowl

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