Today you are three. Or as you would say, “I’m fweeeeee!” It may not seem like a big birthday to you, but to me it is. Three years ago you made me a mother. I feel like I just gave birth to you yesterday. As I snuggled next to you while you slept last night and placed my arms around you, I thought back to when you were brand new. I can still remember how tiny you were when the doctor placed you on my chest. You opened your eyes for the first time in this world and looked right at me. It was the time we formally met and I thought my heart would burst. But it didn’t burst, it held together and beats just for you every single day.
And now? You’re becoming a whole human by yourself. You have a shining personality and you can think and speak for yourself. You have opinions. Oh how I love that little personality of yours. You’re so strong willed. You’re so smart. I see you. I am in awe of the person you are becoming. You amaze me every single day with your imagination, the joy and love you contain, the way you light up any room you enter, the way you figure things out on your own. You’re my little lover – the king of free hugs and kisses. You’re my sensitive and caring little boy. I am so proud of you.
The world is such a better place because of you. I cannot imagine our life without you. I’ve been thinking of what to write you for a few days now, but each time I do, my mind goes a million directions and then you or your sister interrupt me. Not only do you make my days crazier and busier, but you make them brighter. You brighten that of those around you. When you say “gomabseubnida” to the Koreans, they beam at me and tell me how sweet you are. You just make people smile, my love. I knew that from the moment you were born.
You have so much to say. And, oh my goodness, your accent. It’s just the best. You can’t quite pronounce your r’s and l’s and it’s adorable. I never want to forget the way you say, “maaa-ohhhm” when you think I did something silly. Or how you say “macky-own-yo and cheeeeese” when I make macaroni and cheese for dinner. And “Hawwumph!” When you see grandpa and say, “gwam-paaah!” There’s so much more. I love listening to you talk. I know all too soon you’ll start pronouncing things correctly so I really need to record every single one of your adorable Owen-isms. You are hilarious (huh-warious) without even trying to be, I’ve never laughed more in my life than my days with you.
Your love for books makes my heart swell. My kindergarten, first and second grade teacher called me the Reading Queen. You, sir, are the Reading King. I bet you have over 100 books in your bookshelf and you can read every single one of them. The way your eyes light up when we walk into a library or book store, I want to bottle that up. You spend HOURS every day reading and I hope you will continue to do that for the rest of your life.
I love how you call Della “Dehwa” and the nickname you gave her, “Deewee.” How you gently say to her “oooh Deewee, I wuv you” and kiss her. You melt me, kid. You’re such a good big bro. Della is always watching your example. She learns straightforward things like how to chew food and how to share, but she’s also learning how to be compassionate and selfless. You’re leading by example, even at three, and she adores you. The way you’re gentle with her and you will literally do anything to make her laugh, even in the middle of church. You bring her (endless) toys and books, and you run to her when she wakes up from a nap. I hope that you always run to her when she needs you because you will always try to be the protector.
I’m not sad that you’re growing up fast because I am loving watching you grow up. You, my dear, are going to do great things. You are my little leader. One day, you will be a big kid, then a teenager, then an adult, and you will have choices to make in each of these stages in life. I know, without a doubt, that you will use your stubbornness and “stand-my-ground” attitude toward wise, good decisions. You see, your strong will is a gift. It might as well be a superpower. Wield it well.
You are ingenuity at its finest. You outsmart me daily, and perhaps you’re even a little too smart for your own good. When you hear “no,” what you really hear in your inquisitive mind is “find another way.” And you usually do. You’re always trying to figure things out for yourself, the gears never stop turning. You’ll accomplish greatness.
You are fiercely independent. Oh, the battles you’ve waged over doing things by yourself. This independence will drive you to the top. Everyday, I am faced with the struggle between reigning in that strong will and encouraging your growth through it, I pray for the ability to nurture that fire within you and grow it to greatness, not smother it with my grasp. I don’t know if you’ll find the cure for cancer, be a fighter pilot like your dad, and engineer, a farmer like your gramps, a math teacher like grandma but I do know this: you’re going to change the world and impact the lives of many (probably while driving a Mustang).
I don’t think you’ll ever know how much I love you, until you meet your own child for the first time. I look forward to everything you will learn and experience this next year, and what God has planned for our beautiful family. I don’t know what I did to deserve to be your mother, but I will thank Him for the rest of my life.
With all my love, your #1 fan,
Alex had to work and couldn’t spend the day with us. I made sure I had my camera on me all day so he could see the fun day Owen had. If you can’t tell, he had a great day! Psst, turn your volume on!