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My Sweet Buggy,
Happy Birthday!!!! Today you are three, and you have made them the most dynamic, silly, and eventful three years of our lives. I cannot imagine a world without you in it. The Life Force you bring to every room is pretty shocking for a child of your age and size. Sometimes I sit back in wonder and watch you command a room, or delight in something, or investigate with your unique curiosity…and I wish I could have known you in all your other lifetimes. I’m sure I did know you in a few, and I’ll bet I loved you in all those too.
Mateo, we all adore you. I love your sweet and silly spirit, and your ferocity. Both, in equal measure. You can melt my heart and hurt my feelings in fifteen seconds flat. You are both my most favorite person and my toughest adversary. I see so much of myself in you, and I envy your commitment to every single side of yourself. Even at three, you communicate your feelings, opinions, and preferences with complete conviction, and without shame. You want to be heard and seen above all else, and you share when you see others just as deeply. I wish I had held on to so many qualities that I once possessed, and that I see in you. We still have the same stubbornness, the same resolve. Matching energies with you can create quite a deadlock! Ha!
Sometimes when you’re winding me up in your absolutely adorable and exasperating way, Ian will look over and say, “There she goes! Eva fighting Little Eva!” It always makes both of us laugh, and it also makes me reflect on the delicate and particular relationship you and I have. In a way, we are closer than close. Almost so “of” each other that we lose each other at times. I realize now, as you’re growing up and coming into your personality so much more, that letting you go will be my biggest journey as a Mom. Allowing you to fly, to fall, to explore, to thunder in your own particular way….in some ways it feels impossible. And, yet, I think it feels impossible because I know exactly how capable you are. How strong you are. How you’ll be the child who needs me least.
As challenging as it can be for me, I love watching your fierce independence: sitting for half an hour while you scowl at your shoelaces and try to tie them. “DON’T HELP ME, MOM!” Or as you fix the soap dispenser by yourself so you can wash your hands totally on your own, “I can do it by myself!”. Even your penchant for dressing yourself in your clothes completely backward. Even if buttoning up jeans behind your own back is something children three times your age would struggle with! You always do it, after all. And that satisfaction and pride I see on your face is something I will never forget.
You inspire me Mateo, in so many ways. I love hearing everything you think and feel in that brilliant little mind. I love that you share those thoughts with us so freely. I love how deeply you feel, and how clearly you express those feelings. I love your sneakiness, your zest for life, and those contagious belly laughs that get our whole family laughing. Your unique brand of complete, delicious sweetness is intoxicating– those hands on my face, the arms thrown with abandon around my neck, the scrambles into my lap when I least expect affection. “Can I tell you a secret, Mama?” Then they whisper into my ear: “I wuv youuuu” There is nothing better.
I know that the future holds so much joy and color and experience for you, my love. I truly cannot wait to watch you grow up. I’m so grateful I get a front seat! I wish you the most fantastic year ahead, filled with wonder and joy. I hope you know how deeply rooted we all are in our love and support for you. We are always here to scoop you up, to laugh, to fuel your curiosity, and to remind you that you are one of a kind in every way.
Here’s to you, Buggy Boo! Three cheers for THREE! Let’s party!
Photographs by Julia Dags | Copyright © 2023 Happily Eva After, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
these are the sweetest words ever happy birthday mateo you’re so loved 💕
This was beautifully written ♥️ the comment about “Eva fighting little Eva” is hilarious! Mateo literally looks like you said copy + paste. As a reader & follower, I too have observed so many similarities and I think the fact that he too is a pisces ♓️ has a lot to do with it. I love watching him grow up, your stories & reels are the best. Thank you for sharing your family with us. Please tell Mateo that his IG Auntie, wishes him a very HAPPY 3rd Birthday 🎉🎂
May we all be loved the way Matteo loves you. And…May we all, at least once in our lives, be on the receiving end of such a poignant, articulate and beautifully crafted love/birthday letter. Thank you for sharing snippets of your life with us. You (and your entire family), are an inspiration. Happy 3 Matteo!!!!
Love this blog to your 3-year-old boy. He is a force like you are and we love reading about his adventures. Good things will come to this world with your Mateo and your Bigs in it. I want to live long enough to see how they grow. You rock Mama!!!
Happiest of birthdays to Mateo! #3 🎉🎉🎉
I’m my mama’s third and final baby. Even at 37, she calls me her baby. I like to think I’m the favorite too =) Though she loves my sisters and I the same, it’s obvious she and I are most alike and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’ll never forget the first day I moved out of my parents home and moved to college a whopping 45min away. My whole family helped me move. My dad and sisters went home before nightfall. The last to stay was my mom. As the day ended, I told my mom she should stay the night-I knew it would help her feel better. She said she would be ok. When I walked her down to her car, I’ll never forget the look in her eyes with tears and the smile she gave me as she drove off. It was one of the most special moments in my life and I’ll never be able to thank her enough for staying with me until the end and for the courage of her letting her baby spread her wings that night. Even writing this, I get teary eyed. There’s something special about being a mamas final third baby. I wish Matteo a very happy birthday and hope he cherishes those very special moments as your third, final baby.