This is my 3-year-old.
Both big and little. We tell her this all the time, and it really means something to her. "I am big AND little," she will often tell us. Big like someone who can sit in her own chair with her knees up, but little like someone who still wants to drink milk from a bottle (please don't judge us as parents... we have tried to break the bottle habit, but just haven't found it worth the effort.)
Big enough to dress like Aunt Jilly...
Little enough to find simple, innocent pleasure in a few inexpensive gifts, a toothbrush, and a new doll on her 3rd birthday...
Big enough to want to "help" decorate the birthday cake. But little enough to not do the greatest job. She insisted on lots of sprinkles in differing colors. And she wanted to put all of the candles in a line instead of evenly distributing them like I kept trying to do. That's okay, I promised she could help. Part of my birthday gift to her was trying not to interfere with the decorating.
Big enough to have her own opinions, but little enough to need lots of direction from her parents. Big enough to be somewhat independent, but little enough to need lots of hugs and kisses.
I felt sure that Annike's birthday would be overshadowed by the arrival of Baby Sister, and never imagined that it would be possible to carry this baby 9+ days late. God knew better, as usual. Instead of concrete birthday plans, we celebrated as opportunity arose... an extra trip to the fair, a visit from family, a morning at the park, then the beach. After all this, our exhausted birthday girl crashed in the car midway through her actual birthday, and had the most fun playing by herself for the rest of the afternoon.
It was truly the best way to celebrate a life - no expectations, no planning, no agendas, no fancy details that leave behind a trail of stress. Just the simplicity of making time to enjoy life as it comes, creating special memories with the people we love.
(Can someone read that last part back to me the next time I try to plan a party??)
Hopefully we will have another birthday to celebrate soon!