One day you will be tangled up in homework and classwork and classroom politics. One day you will stay up late riddled with worry about having someone to sit with at lunch the next day and stressing over group projects. One day those things will change and then it will become work that consumes you. Work and responsibilities and having to say "no, I can't" to an invitation you would absolutely love to accept. One day you will have to miss out on things you wanted to do, concerts you wanted to attend. One day life will leave you absolutely exhausted at the end of the day.
But for now, you are a child.
For now, you are submerged in a childhood that I can only hope is as rich and magical as I strive to make it for you. Today you have dirt under your fingernails and tomato sauce on the bridge of your nose and you are laughing, running, jumping through a park because childhood is all that you need to focus on right now. There will be plenty of time for the other things, for responsibility and worry and things that need to be checked off a to-do list. But for now? For now, you are a child. For now, your job is to soak up every possible drop of your childhood.
I love to watch you play. I love to watch your imagination bloom and create this colorful, fantastic world where a drab, tired place once stood. I love to watch you make believe and find magic underneath trees, in dirt and sand and mud. This world will try to rob your childhood from you before it's time to grow up. This world will try to drain you of your creativity, your imagination, your whimsy. I'll be right here helping you hold on.
Laugh, my sweet boy. Run. Play. Imagine that you are a dinosaur or a space explorer or a scuba diver or a crossing guard. Pretend. Get messy. Stain your clothes. Wipe your dirty hands on your brand new jeans.
But, please, hold on to your childhood. It belongs to you.
One day you will be trapped at a desk underneath piles of work. One day you will be bound to a syllabus and an early morning alarm and the burden of homework and studying and business meetings and bills. One day you will need certain things for a certain project that must look a certain way and one day we will stay up far too late studying science and memorizing flash cards because your grade will depend on it.
But for now?
For now, you are three. For now, you are a child. Embrace your childhood. Fight bedtime because it is too good to say goodbye to a day that left you breathless from laughter. Pretend your bathwater is the open ocean and swim until your fingers and toes are wrinkly and soft. Walk barefoot in the grass. Get paint on your nose and on your forehead and in your eyebrows.
For now, enjoy your childhood. It is yours.