One. Two. Three.

photo-13

That's the hospital I was born in a tub, he says as we drive past the birth center.

He laughs at how silly that sounds, while my mind wanders back to that day.

***

February 7 is his day. We filled the house with green balloons (his favorite color), put a stack of presents on the table, and planned a day of Noah-approved activities. He picked his dinner, picked his cake, proudly held up three fingers to everyone he passed.

It's my third birthday, he told our neighbor. I'm three NOW, he said to Grandma — after weeks of built-up anticipation.

I know it's his day, now.

But three years ago, in that birth center, it was the most challenging, heart-wrenching, emotional, surreal day of my life. A "then" and "now" life divider, completely changing every single aspect of my life — how I feel, how I look, how I think, what I do. It changed my relationships, my priorities. It changed everything.

But it's his day, now. It's a day for waffles topped with ice cream. Wrapping paper. Candles. Wishes.

A day for yays and hugs and ohmygodyou'resobigohmygod.

I'm assuming that every year, behind the celebration and commotion, I'll continue to be utterly astounded that it's been three years? Five years? 18 years? since that day in the birth center.  January 1 might be the start of a new year, but February 7 was the start of my new life. It's a different kind of marker that I pass, rounding another lap. A re-birth day.

One. Two. Three.

In just three counts, he's suddenly sprouted into a strong-minded, independent, funny little boy who can hold a conversation, navigate my iPhone, negotiate a better deal.

"Smile for the camera, honey."

"I'm busy eating!"

So much has changed in three years. But it's the best kind of change.

Here's to 100 more.