This blog has kind of been hijacked by your brother lately, huh? I mean, sure, you had the blog to yourself for three glorious years; No one to compete with. All the cute stories were about you. And then BAM! As of January nearly all the posts have been primarily focused on Zachary. Sorry about that, Buddy! But, I am very conscious of not wanting Zach to look back and say, "You posted all. the. time. when Ryan was little. How come you never blogged about me?" So, I am trying to give him equal time. But yes, as a result, you've been left in the dust a bit. And even worse, in my last post, I dared to talk about how you've made mommy lose her patience a bit lately. And well, that's not really fair. Because overall, you're a pretty darn awesome kid!
So, I want to tell you how very, very proud Daddy and I are of you. You're a pretty typical three year-old in a lot of ways. You're fun and silly and crazy. Sometimes you don't listen so well because you're trying to figure out what parts of this complex world you can control and which parts are non-negotiable. You're figuring out such complexities pretty quickly. But, you are also pretty exceptional too, and I want to tell you about that.
First of all, you're an amazing big brother. You look out for Zachary, and care about him in very special ways. For example, just tonight, Zach was sitting in his stroller, and you went to put your (filled with water) cup in his cup holder. You quickly realized he was about to grab it and spill it, so you pulled it away. But you also realized that all he wanted to do was play with it and that taking it away was going to upset him. So, as quickly as you could, you went and got an empty cup for him to play with and this made Zach as happy as a clam. No one told you to do this. You just did it on your own. You're thoughtful, and considerate, and moments like that just make me so darn proud of you!
You're also kind to people you don't even know. Recently we were at a birthday party for a friend. They had a HUGE bounce house set up in the backyard. Inside the bounce house was a basketball hoop and kids were playing with a variety of different balls. There was a little girl (maybe 2 years old) who had a ball. An older boy took her ball and she started to cry. You went up to her and immediately offered her yours. You did it on your own, simply because you saw that she was sad, and you knew you could do something that might help make it better. Never, ever stop caring about other people in this way.
You also are fiercely loyal and thoughtful towards the people in your life who you know and love. Recently we were eating some of the grape tomatoes that you've grown and picked with Pop-Pop. I was explaining to you that the tomatoes we are currently growing are going to be BIG tomatoes. You were excited about this and said, "The big red ones like we buy at the produce stand?!" And I said, "Yes, just like those!" You then said, "When they grow, we can bring some to Nee-Nee and Pop-Pop's. They like those kind!"
Don't get me wrong, you're a three year old, and you're appropriately selfish at times too. Like when you are playing trains and you just don't want Zach to mess them up. But overall, you are a thoughtful, generous, kind little boy, who more often than not makes an extra effort to show you care about other people. You offer bites of your ice cream or a lick of a delicious lollipop to Daddy or me. You give Zach a turn with toys you know he can't break. You draw pictures and almost always say, "This is for Zach/Daddy/Mama/Neenee/Poppop/Caitlin/Julia/etc."
You are also a very well behaved little boy. Whenever I take you out somewhere, I don't have to worry that you're going to do something you shouldn't. You always stay right with me when we're in parking lots. You follow directions knowing that when we're out and about, and its just Mommy, you, and Zach that my job is to keep you safe, and your job is to listen. I don't ever worry that you're going to throw a fit or embarrass us when we're out and about. (That's not to say that when we're home that you don't get bored and act out sometimes. Or, if we have a friend over that you're always willing to share. But most of the time you do!).
You give fierce hugs, and the sweetest little kisses. You don't snuggle as much as you used to when you were younger, but I sure cherish those moments now when you do. You love to read books and you wiggle yourself into the crook of my arm just so when we sit on the couch to read. You love to "help" with anything I am doing: cooking, cleaning, making the bed, feeding Zach, etc. You name it, you want to help. You're happy, joyful, easily excited, and a generally fun kid to be around. Your enthusiasm for life is contagious, and because of you, I find more joy in the simple things: excavators working, the moon out during the day, butterflies, bugs, "rockets," (aka: Airplanes that leave streaks in the sky), and cute baby animals.
Ryan James, you're not perfect. I would never expect you to be. I would never want you to be. But you're the perfect boy for our little family and I love you so, so much. Don't ever, ever, ever forget that!