You are learning your letters! This is thrilling not because I'm one of those parents who wants her kid to learn to read first, or impress her teachers by learning to spell before her third birthday. I don't care about any of that. (I didn't learn to read until second grade, after spending a year slogging through Winnie the Pooh in the slow reading group, and I turned out to be a writer and English major who likes nothing better than to sit down with a good book.) What is so exciting about your new love of letters is that it comes entirely from you. You seem to have had a realization: There is language and meaning all around you! Those are not just lines and squiggles, they are pieces of a code, and you want to crack it. You spend your spare moments in front of the refrigerator, calling out the names of your letter magnets, arranging them into lines that look to you like words and sentences. You read the letters on everything: pretzel bags, license plates, road signs. I often hear your excited voice from the backseat yelling, "That's a B! That's Brady's letter!" The other night you sat down at your little table, all by yourself, and after awhile announced, "I drew an A!" And you had. You wrote your first letter without any help, or even encouragement, from us.
I so hope this is the beginning of a a lifelong love of language for you. There are very few things you could do to disappoint me, as long as you life a happy and ethical life. But I can't help feeling that I would be heartbroken if you grew up to be a person who doesn't enjoy reading. Reading is the conduit to knowledge. It makes you smarter, more worldly, more open-minded. For those of us who learn to enjoy it, it is one of the great pleasures of life. I so hope you will see its magic. For the moment, at least, it seems you already do.
In so many ways, your third year is starting out wonderfully. You are so happy and gleeful. You love to laugh, and you often demand, "Be silly with me." The other day, we were out for a walk, and we came upon a children's concert. You ran right up to the front of the crowd and spent the next half hour jumping and spinning and dancing. Not a hint of self-consciousness — you will one day realize what a gift that was. Even when you are a monster, which you still are some days, you redeem yourself with some adorable proclamation. Like the other morning, when after making every single step our morning routine more difficult that in needed to be, driving me just to the edge of insanity, you said on your way to the car, completely unbidden, "Mommy? I love you so much."
I love you too, no matter how much I want to kill you sometimes.