Hayzey Badger turns three today and this 'ole sap is feeling super nostalgic about my baby not being my baby anymore. Just like I did last year, I wanted to pen him a letter about his second year, so I could remember some of the things that made Hayes Hayes at this point in his life.
Your few words quickly turned into sentences and the grunts and noises that used to be your only form of communication were quickly replaced by non-stop chatter and observations. You seemed to go from a chubby toddler to a lean little boy in the blink of an eye. Your imagination was running absolutely wild. You loved to play pretend, whether it was owning a quesadilla-serving restaurant, being a handyman who "fixed the wall" or throwing on a pair of scrubs and checking our heartbeat, you were rarely simply 'Hayes' anymore, rather a character from your imagination. String became magic ribbons, regular pieces of paper became treasure maps (you carried a rolled up sonogram of Greyson's around for weeks calling it your pirate's treasure map). You also loved music, constantly playing your guitar and singing songs. You were a negotiator. If we said you can have one of something, you asked for two; if we said two more minutes, you'd say five more minutes. You were an absolute snuggle bunny - you never turned down a kiss or hug and would happily 'nuggle in my lap while you watched television. You adored your little brother, always asking after him and telling him how much you loved him. You justified your attempts to smother him by exclaiming "Gway likes it! Gway's laughing!" as you were dragged away (and in your defense, he usually was laughing - he was completely enamored by you as well!). The day Greyson was born, you seemed to age multiple years; you just seemed like such a big BOY. You handled your new role like a champ, experiencing very little regression and seemingly really loving being a big brother. Your favorite color was green. Your favorite food was quesadillas. You loved milk - you'd drink a gallon a day if we'd let you. Your treats of choice at Starbucks were madeleines and cake pops. Your favorite song was "Itsy Bitsy Spider", but you did a mean rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". You loved flopping on the bed, going for runs with your dad and watching television. You were a hoarder, taking menus and business cards from wherever you could get them from. You remained our sweet boy and we were so proud to be your parents. You made me excited to wake up every day to see what you would do or say next and made me realize why people had more and more kids when I already felt nostalgic for the phases you were going through before you'd even go through them.
My love for that kid grows everyday. I cannot get enough of him and am trying my best to soak in every moment, every sweet kiss and hug, every innocent laugh and genuine question he has before he gets any older and wants nothing to do with me. I can't believe he's already three - he's such a big guy now but will always be my first baby.
Happy birthday, my love.