Hurricane Ava

 Oh, Avalon.  My lovely little hurricane of a child.  You are three years old today, and it's wonderful and devastating at the same time.  Somehow in what felt like a few weeks, another year went by.  Last night I told you, "this is the last night you'll be two!" and felt like my Nana.  Last night your dad said, "you'll never be two again" and I wanted to cry.  There's so much about you right now that I wish I could freeze in time.

You're dazzling, little one.  Everywhere we go, you sparkle and charm and people love you.  You love them back.  You're so smart and roughly 93% of your brain is devoted to animals.  Every day you choose a new one to emulate, and spend your days barking like a puppy carrying things in your teeth, galloping like a horse, or flapping your wings like a dragon.

From the depths of your soul you believe you are a princess.  You go days without taking off your tiara.  You wear your princess dress to the commissary, the beach, and the movie theater.  Your imagination is incredible, and whatever world you happen to be occupying at a given moment, we're all drawn in, too.  If you're Wendy, Dad's Captain Hook.  If you're Cinderella, Kylie's a handsome prince.  If you're a baby scarlet macaw, then I'm your momma bird building us a nest.

You are our little Italiana.  If we'd allow it, you'd start every day with a cappuccino.  When you speak, your hands tell stories.  Everything you feel, you feel deeply and passionately.  When you're disappointed, your wail would put a dirge to shame.  When you're happy, your laughter pierces every corner of the house.  When you're feeling lovey, you catapult yourself onto us clinging like a baby koala.

You bring us so much joy.

You're Shirley Temple and a cherub and a naughty little imp rolled into one.

At some point, your shamelessness will probably disappear.  You will no longer proudly announce you've poo-ed yourself adding, "ta-da!"  You'll call them 'pajamas' instead of 'pajamins'...  You may even realize that the gate guard is waving the next car in, not waving to you because "he thinks I'm so cute!"

I'll really miss my firework of a two year old.   If the past 3 years are any indication though, growing older just means you're going to fill our lives with even more awesome.  We love you, Ava Rain.

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