“What’s YOUR name?” I asked my then 2 year old.
He hadn’t said much up until that point- the regular, “Mama, Dada, doggy, hi, bye bye” and the like. My sister and I were sitting with him on the lawn of a summer concert where I’d just performed and we were relaxing afterwards, watching the kids run around.
“What’s YOUR name?” I asked again. “Patrick. Patrick.” I pointed at him.
He said, “Taptrick, Tap…. Taptrih….. Happy.”
We laughed and said, “Did he just say Happy???”
From then on, until now, he has been referring to himself as “Happy”. We love this so much, and gladly call him by his self-proclaimed nickname, because ever since he was born, that is what people have said about him. “He’s just so… HAPPY.”
And he is. He’s not only the light of our lives, but for so many people. From family and friends to complete strangers out around town. Even people who’ve just seen his picture on Facebook tell me when I see them, “I can’t get enough of your precious pictures of Patrick. He just makes me happy.” When we meet people who’ve only seen him in pictures, they tell me, “I feel like I’m meeting a celebrity.” And I can see their genuine excitement. That’s our boy. Inspiring smiles, even from afar.
Happy is a good boy…. mostly. He turns 3 today, so we’ve had our moments. He’s still only learning, as any 2/3 year olds are. He tests his limits, but on the whole, he could not be sweeter or funnier kid, or a more ferocious dinosaur. His imagination is really starting to take off and it’s a joy to watch him play with his dinosaurs (big dino to little dino: ” I yuv you.” and in a higher voice, “I yuv you, too!”) to the actual becoming of a dinosaur, stomping, growling, looking around, roaring, arms in T-Rex position, with the proclamation, “IIIIII…. a DI-SORE…. REEEEXXXXXX!!!!” He loves all sorts of play- trains, puzzles, painting, loves the gym, running, jumping on the trampoline and throwing rocks in the river. He’s been obsessed with the alphabet and numbers since he was 19 months old and could identify all his letters since then. He loves books. We read a lot. He also loves movies, namely, Rio 2, Frozen and Chicken Little. He loves watching YouTube videos of Thomas Train races and Dinosaur Eggs. He just started singing songs, which is so precious to me, especially. He loves the ABC song, and subsequently Twinkle Twinkle, but his newest favorite is Old MacDonald Had a Farm. He is just starting to be able to have some more meaningful conversations and is asking a lot of questions. “What’s that for, Mommy?” “What are you doin’ with that, Mommy?” “What do you think you’re doing, Mommy?” (This last one is hilarious- it’s what Daddy asks him a lot. “What do you think you’re doing?” as a joke, you know, when he’s just playing or watching a show.)
Most recently, Happy has become a big brother- and he’s a sweet big brother. He loves his “Babyyemmie” He sings songs to her and came up with her theme song. It’s actually more of a tribal chant that has a crazy little dance that goes with it. “BABYEMMIE, BABYEMMIE, BABYEMMIE, BABYEMMIE”. It’s so funny, and he has us all doing it!
Our little Happy. We are so happy he “came to our house”, to quote an old saying we use in our family.
Happy Birthday, Happy! We love you!