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Challenge: Happy Birthday!

There's something about you, third child -- it's a kind of magic.

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To my youngest on her third birthday,

There's something about you, third child.

It's a kind of magic.

It's an energy.

It's your adorably defiant refusal to be anything less than who you want to be at any given moment combined with your overall docile and charmingly appeasing attitude that makes you a surprisingly delightful 3-foot tall pint-sized conundrum.

Quite honestly, you remind me when I was younger.

I, too, am number three behind a brother who's got my back and an older sister I long to emulate.

And maybe, that's just a part of the reason why our mother-daughter connection is so authentic, effortless and yes, even intense.

You're a tomboy in a princess dress.

You're Jake the pirate dancing to "Let It Go."

You're "I want this, and I want it now!" but I'll ask for it using my sweet voice, my manners and a well-articulated grammatically correct full sentence.

You're a mini-sized sage whose immense wise-beyond-your-years wisdom appears in spurts between your exorcism-like meltdowns over things like me telling you your name starts with "H" or that "you have to make sure you wipe."

You're serious, yet you're hilarious.

You're confident and a bit ballsy, but you clam up when someone applauds you for it.

You're loving, and you're inviting, yet you're very protective over "your people," and you're sure to tell others "that's MY mama!"

You're undeniably genuine, and you are innately kind.

You are a force to be reckoned with at your at only three years of age, and I can just imagine what that will mean for you (and I) as you become an adult.

Quite frankly, you are a challenge wrapped in an intriguing riddle, and I mean that in the best way possible; I am loving figuring you out.

You are helping me become a better person.

You are helping me find "me" as a person.

And, you ARE "my person."

I'm not only blessed to be your mother, but I'm also incredibly honored.

There will never be a day in your life or mine where you are not entirely sure of my unconditional love for you my tiny tyke.

I love you, sweet angel -- more than I will ever be able to tell or show you -- but I'll keep trying.

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