To Espen, now that you're three

Espen on his third birthday.

Dear Espen,

We have just celebrated your third birthday in a flurry of Lighting McQueen, presents and a gaggle of sugared-up little friends. With the notable exception of the days you and your sister came into this world, I don't think your Daddy and I have been as tired as we were after tucking you into bed on your birthday. You even rounded off the day with a spectacular tantrum because you didn't want your birthday to end. As tired as we all were, I wouldn't have changed a thing about your special day, from your awed excitement over opening presents ("A camera? For me?") to your pink-cheeked, wild-eyed elation at your party, to seeing my little man order himself a cheeseburger and a milkshake at dinner (who knew you liked either of those?).

I also wouldn't change a thing about you*. There are not enough words in this world to adequately describe just how much joy you have brought to our home. Even as you sit beside me at the table, eating your lunch and watching Strawberry Shortcake, my heart does little flips when I think about how much I love you and what being your mom means to me.

This year has been another big one. You've left your babyhood behind (even  typing that brought tears to my eyes) and become a full-blown little boy. You talk in complete sentences and have a vocabulary that never fails to surprise and amuse: "I'm really disappointed in you, mom." "I'm just so frustrated!" "I forgive you, Granny." Sing it in a different language! Sing it in French!" You went to Europe again and added another country to your growing list (to date: USA, Norway, England, The Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium). You conquered your fear of slides, developed a passion for cooking and have worked most of your way through the alphabet with your weekly playgroup.

Espen and Gwen - the best kids around. 

And the biggest change this year: you became a big brother. We both cried on the day Gwen announced her arrival, both overwhelmed by the big change that was about to happen in our little life. But when I told you that "Mama is crying because I'm just a bit surprised that baby sister is coming today", you looked at me and said: "Surprises make us happy!" And your little sister has made us all so happy, just like you do. You don't quite see her full potential yet, but it makes my heart happy to see how sweet, loving and gentle you are to her. It touches me how you are (impatiently) waiting for her to grow up a bit so she can be your little buddy and sidekick to play with. When we went grocery shopping today you begged for Gwen to sit beside you in the cart, and when I told you she couldn't, you sadly sighed "I want Gwen to get bigger". I hope you'll both remember how much you longed to be able to play together once you finally do get there.

A few of my favorite things about Espen right now

  • Your belief that your name is both Espen David and Espen Sweetheart
  • Your complete devotion to trains and cars and anything with wheels
  • You love books and reading so much
  • You birdwatch from your bedroom window with your "noculars"
  • When I kiss you goodnight on your cheek, you always say "no mom, right here" and point to your lips. 
  • You love your family so much and always want to see Grandma and Grandpa and Granny and Grandad. Even though you've only met them a few times, you know your cousins' names and talk about them. 
  • Similarly, your friends mean a lot to you, and chances are that if you have a mopey face, you'll tell me that it's because you "miss my friend, mom" - even if it's just been 20 minutes since your last playdate. 
  • When you play, your toys have the funniest little conversations that always start with a round of proper introductions. It's nice to know that even Decepticons have nice manners. 
  • You are firmly convinced that anything that doesn't work according to your expectations needs batteries, and if batteries don't fix it, you'll tell me it is "bruined". 
  • You love painting and can keep going for quite literally hours. 
  • You still flip out with delight every single time your dad comes home. 
  • You notice when I get a haircut, get a new shirt or get dressed up. That will get you far in life, my son. 
  • You say "I love you, mom ("I wuvs you, mom") almost every day.
It doesn't get better than that. 

Espen Sweetheart North, you are my favorite and my best. I love you so much and look forward to every day I get to spend watching you grow into the wonderful person that you are. 

Thank you for being our little boy, 


*Except let's get you potty trained, ok sweetheart? Please?


  1. This is so incredibly sweet. I love that you are memorializing these things. :-D

  2. wow. this is one of the most amazing things i have ever read. how great for espen to have when he grows up. it seems you are blessed with quite an amazing little boy. but i am convinced that he's so amazing because, in part, of great parents. ; )


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