On the day of your third birthday nonnie and I took you to get donuts and I dubbed the Threes ‘tyrannical.’ At some point you start to believe that feeling older is all in your head and nothing much changes in a day, but I swear by birthdays two and three that some sort of button is pushed and WA LA! Enter new stage marked by age.
I still can’t stop staring at you. It’s been over three years and all I want to do is stare. And kiss. This morning I couldn’t stop kissing your sweet face and so you told me with much force to STOPIT! Which fully gave me more permission to smooch your cheeks until you laughed. You’re a wee bit bossy but it’s to be expected, considering who your parents are and whatnot.
You were named, this year. Your sister has a Hawaiian name and we decided to give you one too. We asked a dear auntie who is fluent in Hawaiian to help us name you and after spending some time with you and praying about it, she gave you the name “Ai’mokulani,” which means “The boat that brings Heaven’s food.” You, daughter, are one who brings God’s blessings to us and others. You fill our days with joy and delight and we marvel at the girl God has given us. It took you a while to get used to it, but when nonnie called you a little rascal the other day you said, with much force, “I not a wascal! I’m Ewianna Joy Ai’mokuwani Gwoves!” Yes you are.
In milestone land, you’re day time potty trained (yippeee!!!) and you LOVE to show us what you’ve accomplished on the potty. I would too, what with all the whooping and hollering your daddy lets out. There have been a number of setbacks with the move, which is totally to be expected, so we haven’t even bothered getting naptime and bedtime down. We’re just really glad you poop on the potty. Even when you announce in the middle of Macy’s, “DADDY! I MADE A BIG OLE POOP AND A LITTLE BABY POOP!” You make your daddy proud. Seriously.
Apparently, according to my mother and father, you are JUST like me as a toddler except you have one thing going for you that I did not. When my parents told me this I knew exactly what it was they were talking about, and I must absolutely attribute this to your daddy: affection. You are independent, strong willed, precocious, crazy energetic, creative and you are absolutely affectionate. This usually doesn’t bode well for Claire, but the rest of us can’t get enough when you dish it out.
You love to sing and dance with daddy whenever he is playing the guitar. And you have an uncanny ability to memorize songs after hearing them just once. Remember that one time when you surprised us by jumping on the bed singing Zac Brown’s “Toes?” Awesome.
We went to Disneyland the other day and you were a picture. When you saw the princess castle and Dumbo and rode the Dumbo train and the Little Mermaid ride at California Adventures (twice) – your eyes were saucers and there was so much joy on your face. Three is going to be fun.
For your birthday you wanted a ‘donkey’ theme, which is what you call My Little Ponies, and a pink cake. You got two cakes and two little celebrations. You love My Little Ponies, Dora the Explorer, Diego and princesses. Your cousin Zoe (once removed?) has dress up clothes that you ADORE. And so when uncle Kurt and auntie Alisha gave you princess clothes for your birthday, you immediately dressed head to toe and twirled. Something about girls in dresses…
In a couple weeks you will walk down the aisle with your sister wearing an ivory poofy dress tossing flowers for auntie Chrissy. Mama is
slightly a lot bit nervous about whatever you and Claire might do on the big day, but regardless of runaways or screaming fits (the worse I’ve decided might happen), you are very excited about your job and the dress you get to wear. You have a very special relationship with Uncle Patrick and Auntie Chrissy… pure adoration for those two – and it’s fitting that you and Claire are flower girls. I might cry.
As I write this, we’re in transition land. In between. After the wedding we’ll trek up to Oregon for our next adventure and girl, I’m confident you’ll do well. Not only are you are resilient, as most children are, but every child you meet is your “friend.” Even if you just met in the grocery store. I ache for you to leave your Hawaii friends, but they are often in our prayers and conversation. And we’re sure to visit.
Well love, it’s time for dinner. Which we’ll battle over a bit. Right now our trick for getting you to eat is “Three big bites or five little ones” and in minutes your plate is nearly cleared. Sometimes. We’re working on it.
I love you little Moku.