Dear Ollie Bear,
Tonight, as I chase you back into your room for the third time, you are a bubbling ball of three-year-old energy.
In the morning, you'll be a groggy, pint-sized four-year-old.
I know I say it all too often, but I can hardly believe it is happening. How did I blink so many times that another year has gone by? It hurts my heart to see the days passing so quickly, knowing that I haven't savored enough moments to last my lifetime, and taking those that have gone by for granted more often than I dare to admit.
I am sorry, Ollie Bear, for letting time pass us by so quickly. I wish I could pause it and we could stay here just a little longer.
Dear boy, you are such a complex combination of gentle spirit, fire-cracker temper, detail oriented dirt magnet of a lad. You are intense, but soft. You are quiet, and so boisterous. You are calm, and you are ferocious. You have so many facets, and I know we haven't discovered most of them yet.
You have a vivid imagination that never ceases to surprise and amuse me. Just the other night, you told me that your shirt transformed into a new shirt, when I asked what happened to the clothes you were wearing. I laughed so hard.
You know so many things, and you try so hard to understand what you don't know. I love the intrigue in your spirit and the thirst in your mind.
I love your laughter, and I hope that I will never forget what it sounded like in these early years. I can hear it so clearly in my mind now that it causes tears to trickle, because it causes my heart to swell with so much joy.
Another thing I really love about you, is that even when you're mad at someone, me included, you almost always will big bear hugs, and you don't stay mad when you are squeezed super tight. I hope you never lose that.
You're at that awkward stage where you're "little-big," wanting so badly to be a big boy, but still so very small. I pray you'll stay small a little longer in some ways, like how you're usually up for a cuddle, no matter when or where, but progress to big in others (I wouldn't mind you being out of diapers every moment of the day, but I promise I will try to change them at night without frustration knowing full-well someday I'll miss that side of little, too).
Buddy, I promise that I will continue to work on my patience and grace, and trying to spend time with just you, even if it's in minute fragments here and there. I never want you to feel forgotten or overlooked "in the middle" of your siblings and in the chaos of our lives.
I pray you will always feel loved, and you'll never feel alone. I pray you know your worth, not only to me and those who love you, but to God. I pray that you'll never feel unworthy of anyone's affection, knowing that in the years to come, you may struggle due to the events in your toddler-hood. I pray that you always love learning, creating, laughing, hugging, reading, and dancing. I pray you give yourself grace and moments to breathe because of your intense spirit.
I pray you know how much your siblings love you, and how you are best friend to both of them, even when you're not getting along.
As much as I wish you could stay little for a while longer, I am so excited to see what great things God has in store for you. He has a plan for you, and while I don't know what it is, it excites me to my core.
Collin Liam, you're a treasure. You are mine, and I'm so blessed that I am yours.
All my Love,