Today is Melkamu's 3rd birthday!!! I can hardly believe my baby is 3 already. Jason and I were just looking at his visa picture the other day, taken when he was 13 months old, and he was such a tiny little peanut. It's hard to imagine how much our family has changed thanks to our beautiful son.
So today, I am thankful for:
1. Melkamu. I cannot imagine not having this happy, joyous child in my life. He likes nothing better than to be smiling and laughing, and to make other people smile and laugh.
2. How excited Kamu has been for his birthday. It was absolutely precious watching him each day ask "Today Kamu birtday?" (not a misspelling) Last night at bed, he even started singing happy birthday to himself. He is just beyond thrilled to be celebrating today!
3. Listening to Melkamu talk. Less than a year ago, Kamu barely spoke. He had a few words and even those were only understood by the immediate family. Around April, though, his speech just absolutely took off. He uses such wonderful sentences and has so much to say now. I hope I never forget how when you ask him what color something is, his first response is always "Mmm...pink?" Then if you tell him to try again, he responds "Yeyow?" He usually gets it on the third try, but it is just adorable. The other day, he and Jason were reading a book and he was trying to count. Apparently he said "Sih, sehn, eight, four, EIGHT!" Jason counted and lo and behold, there were eight of the picture. He is so cute! And I know I will never forget hearing him say "I love you" (or "I luh you!"). He doesn't often say it unless I say it first, but I treasure it every time I hear it.
4. How thrilled Melkamu gets when he goes swimming. I know Jason wants him to play football but he is truly a little fish. His confidence in the water is astounding, which scares us to death sometimes--because he doesn't actually float yet. There was a time over the summer when I took he, Patrick, and a friend of Patrick's swimming. Patrick and his friend went down the stairs into the water since they can both swim. Melkamu followed right along behind, all the way to the bottom of the stairs. (I saw this happening and was on my way over.) Unfortunately, the bottom of the stairs was deeper than he is tall and so he was underwater. The lifeguard was sitting right next to the stairs and jumped in to get him out. He came up just fine, since we have taught him to hold his breath--he wasn't choking or coughing water or even scared--and the lifeguard gave me this bewildered look and said "He just looked so confident, I figured he could swim!" I said "Yeah, he doesn't know that he can't." He doesn't mind wearing a lifevest but we're hoping to teach him to swim without it at some point soon.
5. The way Melkamu moves and runs and jumps now. He was in physical therapy for just about a year after he came home. He didn't walk until 17 months and while he learned to walk reasonably well by the time he turned 2, he didn't run or jump until closer to 2 1/2. I would see these tiny little children, 18 months and younger, dashing about and Kamu just couldn't keep up. It never fails to make me smile to see he and Patrick chasing each other around the house, giggling like mad, or to watch Kamu say "Jump!" and jump into the air. I know how hard he worked to learn to do those and it is so wonderful to see it in action...lots and lots of action!
I could go on and on now but I will save more for when I post the second half of this: photos of him on his birthday!
Happy birthday, my baby! I love you dearly :-)