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Mama Rose Monday: Dear Rhenner – A Letter to My Three-Year Old

Dear Rhenner,
I love that I get to experience three years old again with you. I loved three years old with Axton, and I think because I am beginning to understand just how fast it all goes by, that I am treasuring three years old with you even more. Everything you say and do makes me laugh, or smile, or….sigh with frustration. But rarely does the anger last long with you! Rhenner, you have a way of making everyone love you. Your wrong-doings are so easily forgiven, and so quickly forgotten. Your dad and I agree: It is really, really hard to stay mad at you. I think that is in large part because I know in my heart that your mistakes are never done to intentionally hurt. Your curiosity drives you more than anything else, and I never want to discipline that out of you.

Your Rhenner hugs are my favorite. They are so tight and strong, and you hand them out so willingly – and not just to me, either. You seem to have a good sense of who needs hugs, and sometimes will go up to someone unexpectedly to offer a hug. I’ve watched you do this before, and I’ve watched the way the recipient melts into you – as if you were just what they needed right then. It makes my heart swell to know you’re able to be so in tune with others’ emotions, and caring enough to do something about it.

Your imagination is such a joy to witness. You have always played so well by yourself – always been one to barrel past the people to get to the toys and contentedly sit and play for hours. Now that you’re getting older, you’ve started telling us long, lengthy stories filled with lots of descriptions and details and they are my favorite thing ever. You never hesitate when I ask you to tell me a story.

You’re a fearless little boy, you are. Sometimes it scares me; you think you’re invincible and you forget that you sink when you don’t have floaties on. I love that you don’t let much stop you from your goal, or from having fun. You find fun in almost any place and any situation. If it wasn’t for your brother introducing you to the word “boring,” I don’t think you ever would have realized that such a thing as boredom could exist.

You still love animals! Whenever we go to petting zoos, you coo and ahh over the babies and get that scrunched up baby voice and pet so softly. When I asked you the other day what you wanted to be when you grow up, you said, “A farmer. But I want to be an Old one so I can have animals.” (We sing Old McDonald a LOT with you).

For your birthday, you asked to go to the “museum with underwater animals.” So your wish was granted and we spent the morning at the aquarium. In the moment, I wasn’t sure if you were enjoying yourself. You seemed a little distracted, perhaps just tired. But in the month since then, you’ve talked about it numerous times and your collection of sea animal toys that I got you that day have become some of your favorite. I love watching you play with them in the bathtub.

Your hugs are some of the best parts of my day. You squeeze hard and you mean it when you say I love you. You’ll be such a fierce friend and loyal spouse. Earning the title of “friend” from you has genuine, lasting meaning. You don’t mess around when it comes to relationships: you’re in it for the long haul. You’re honest – if you don’t like something (or someone), you say it. You don’t mean to hurt feelings, you just think it’s best not to beat around the bush. Your personality is so different from my own, I’ve had to learn to read you and understand you in ways that are outside of my comfort zone. This has been such a blessing to me!

Rhenner, our lives would feel so incomplete without you in them. When we decided to get pregnant with you – I didn’t feel ready, but I felt that  YOU were ready. And so, with absolute faith in my promptings from your sweet spirit, we welcomed you. I have a feeling that you’ll be like that always: ahead of the game, ready for more than I am, sooner than I am ready to do it, but in the end, always right. Always stretching me, helping me become a better mom and friend. What an amazing gift and talent that will be in your life! To make others around you strive to be better than they are. I hope you share that fearlessly and continuously.

I hope you know how special you are. How uniquely YOU you are. That I don’t want you to be any one other than who I know you have the potential to become. I don’t want you to ever feel like you have to be like your brother, or like me, or like your dad. I just want you to be the best version of Rhenner you know how to be! I joke that you were born knowing you’d be the middle child; and I mean it in the best way possible. You’re not one to get lost in the middle, and I’m so glad for that. Make your mark, my sweet boy. Take this world in your hands and make of it whatever you want. Be brave, be vibrant, be fierce and strong and generous, just as you are at three years old.

I love you forever.



A quick interview with Rhenner:
What do you want to be when you grow up:
Um….bigger than Daddy!
A bad guy.
A rescuer. So I can rescue a boy….or a girl!

What do you want for your birthday?
Orange cake. A rainbow cake. My friend Emma to come.

What’s your favorite animal?
Cow, piggy, not a rooster. But I like a rooster because it says cock a doodle doo.

What’s your favorite show?
Curious George with a pumpkin

What’s your favorite thing to do?
Play video games, play toys, play cars

Who’s your best friend?
Emma and Jordyn

What’s your favorite food?
Macaroni and cheese


Dear Rhenner:  A Letter to My One-Year Old

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