When did you get so big, my boy? You turned three a couple of months ago, and I'm just now getting to your birthday letter. I'll tell you this; you are the busiest boy around! You're so sure of yourself, so independent. You know what you want and you just go for it, no asking for permission, or help, or anything of that sort. When you were just a little floor baby, you were quite a climber. I can see now that it's part of who you are. You're not phased by obstacles. If you've seen someone else do it, you see no reason why you can't do it too. You're also incredibly persistent. If I say no, I'd better have a good reason and be prepared to defend it! I can't wait to see where this takes you in life!
For all your "I can do it myself" attitude, you still love to be right by my side, involved and helping. If Daddy's home, it's him that you shadow. You're usually the first one up in the morning, and love to help daddy make his coffee, or go out and "zoast" coffee with him. Your help isn't always as, uh, helpful, as we might wish, but that's okay. We like that you like to be with us, right in the middle of the action. You love to stand on a chair while I'm cooking, and stir things and chop, and sprinkle spices in. I just have to keep an eye on you, because in your zeal (and knowledge) you'll start pulling spices off the shelf and cracking eggs before I'm really ready for that. (Pepper in the pancake batter? Been there. Egg on the floor? Done that.) Yep, you keep us on our toes!
Daddy asked you one day if you were a good helper, and I loved your answer: "Nope, I'm just a kid and a monkey." That sums it up pretty well, actually. You remind me a lot of Curious George, and of the monkeys that I used to see in India - daring and inquisitive and a wee bit mischievous at times. You like Curious George stories, and when I pause to let you say "curious" you say "monkeous" instead. I think that's the perfect word for you, my little Man Cub! Busy and into everything, you are!
You're about the most contrary boy I've ever known, too. But honestly, that really doesn't bother me too much. You like to say no, and contradict, but someday I'll be glad that you know your own mind and won't be easily pushed around. I'm glad though, that you weren't my first kid because I think I wouldn't have let it go like I do now. I still expect you to obey, but I'm a lot more careful to not give you an instruction that I'm not prepared to help you follow through with.
Even though you're three years younger than Poppy, you have no idea you're not one of "the big kids". If ever we don't let you take part in something, you're quick to remind us that you're "big for that". One of your latest phrases that I love is "ever in mine life". You like to throw these out randomly, and often tell us that "I'm big for that" and "I will do that ever in my life!" Or, when you don't want to do something, it's an emphatic "never in mine life!"
For as big and independent as you are, you're still a little mama's boy, and I'm glad of that, too. You're rough and wild one minute, and sweet and charming and gentle the next. You're (mostly) a sweet and gentle big brother to Pearl, crooning over her and stroking her softly. One day recently when you thought she wanted to me to nurse her, you informed me that you would share some of your mommy milk with her. I asked how you were going to do that, and you indicated that since it was down in your tummy, she could just drink it... through your belly button!
Oh, mine Raphael, you're loving and fierce and wild and sweet all rolled into one charming boy. You have an amazing smile and eyes "like the sea after a storm". I love you so much. You're a wonderful gift from God, one that still brings healing, joy, and great blessing to your mama's heart.
I love you, my monkeous boy-boy!