Dear John,

(Per your request for us to now call you John)-

You are now 3 years old. It seems you’ve been awaiting this day for awhile. You no longer want to be called “little” in any form. You want to be treated like a “big kid.” You see your sister do things (still with 2 years gain on you), and you want to do it all. I love your desire for independence and yet still long for you to be little in some, ok, probably lots, of ways.

Your second year was definitely a year of testing, and this year seems to be no different except in that major way which happens with all growth and development – you are actually capable of so much more than you used to be capable of. And yet, you are still only 3 years old, and you do still need me in many (though less than you used to) ways. It’s a beautiful and hard juxtaposition. And I’m committed to being with you in it as we work it out.

I’m committed to letting you assert yourself in a respectful way, while reminding you that as your parent, I am still your authority and will expect you to obey. I’m committed to letting you try new things but to stop you from doing things that you’re not yet capable of (but might think you are) that might hurt you. I’m committed to teaching you to do things that mean you’ll need me less and less because as I always remind myself, all of parenting is letting go.  I’m committed to loving you relentlessly as I teach you, pray for you, and continue the process of letting you go as you grow up. (Because also, I should more often remind myself that you’re not actually “mine” to begin with but rather you belong to God, and I get the joy of stewarding your life here on earth.)

How’s that for sentimentality? Not sure where that came from. Let’s just assume that as much as I feel these things for you (I do!), I am also still probably processing that your sister just turned 5 this year as well, and is also continuing to grow up more quickly than I ever expected.

Let’s move on to all the fun things I want to remember about you during this stage of life. This is your last monthly post, but I’ll still do updates periodically so we can remember all the amazing things you do that crack us up and fill our days with love and laughter.

  • You’re a bruiser. You taking a licking and keep on ticking. You bump, bonk, bruise multiple times daily, but you also rebound quickly. I think the sheer amount of activity you perform in a day increases your chances of self injury, but you might also be a smidgen accident prone. 🙂
  • You love wearing short sleeves (and shorts). You think this is the attire of a runner (although I often remind you that runners do dress for the climate in which they run). But you often try to insist on going out in short sleeves during NYC winter. You almost always wear shorts and a shirt while at home, though.
  • You give out the most amount of unsolicited compliments and gratitude that I have ever seen. You thank people on the street for shoveling snow, the bus driver for taking us home, the grocer for giving us groceries, and my favorite – you thank me at every meal for making such a wonderful (breakfast, lunch, dinner). You tell people while we’re out that you like their hair, their van, their lips even (pretty red lipstick, lol).
  • You’re even super grateful in the middle of the night. One night, I came in to give you a thicker blanket. Then I leaned in for a kiss on your forehead, and you said sleepily, “Thank you, Mom, for that kiss.” Melted my heart.
  • One time on the train you kept commenting on a man’s long, curled mustache. You kept saying, “Hey, Mr. Mustache-y man! I love you, Mr. Mustache-y Man.”
  • Another time on the train you commented on a man’s shoes because he was wearing two different shoe colors (one red, one blue). You said, “Mom, his shoes don’t rhyme.” 🙂
  • You remember the words to songs really easily. We made up a song together one time about David and Goliath, and then you taught it to your Sunday School class.
  • Your new favorite movie is “An American Tail.” You love singing the duo song with your dad.
  • I needed to give you a little spit bath on your face one time. (I know, so gross, but such a mom thing to do.) Without missing a beat, you licked your own finger and began to clean off my face as well.
  • You are becoming so helpful around the house. When we have guests coming over, you often offer to help clean up. One day, I saw you putting things away on your own without being asked, which brought some great joy to this momma heart.
  • You are quite friendly. You love talking to people while we’re out and about. Yesterday, on your birthday, you told every person we saw that you’re 3 now! You’ll also strike up full conversations with people on the bus or train. I’m often amazed at how great a conversationalist you are.
  • Your contribution to family devotions lately – “Jesus IS God.”
  • You and your sister are still great friends, and for this, I continue to be grateful.
  • You’ve asked to be called John now that you’re 3. I’m not sure if this is temporary or if it will stick. Time will tell.
  • “Does that sound like a plan?” (for whatever your idea is)
  • “You’re cracking me up!”
  • You still have a “craw” as our family puts it. You get an idea in your head, and it’s hard for you to waiver from implementing said plan. We continue to pray that this trait can be channeled into something wonderful (and that you do still learn to submit to authority for your own good.)
  • One the night before your 3rd birthday, we inadvertently put you to bed in underwear instead of a pull-up, but we weren’t surprised to find that you were fully dry when you woke up. I will always be so grateful to you and so amazed by how you basically potty trained yourself and made this aspect of parenting a breeze for me. So thank you for that!

We love all of these things about you because they are what make up YOU, John Durden Field, and we love every part of you just the way God made you.

You won’t let me call you this anymore, but I still see you as my little buddy. I love you so much. Thank you for all the fun times, love, hugs, and kisses. I love being your mommy.

All my love,


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