A week ago you turned forty three months old.

This letter is a week overdue for so many reasons. Many of which are your sister's fault - she's busy teething and learning to walk. And you got us all sick, so there's that. But it wasn't until today that I knew what I wanted to write.

Last night I took you and your sister out to dinner, just the three of us, since we've been sick and there isn't much to eat in the house, and hell, I didn't want to make another meal. So we went to get Thai. At first you said you wanted to get it to go, but then changed your mind, put on pajamas (what?) and got in the car. We ate there and you were the shining example of table manners.

(Your sister? Nope.)

Which, I'll just insert here, is something that has come up over and over at school: Your manners. How polite you are. How you ask for things so sweetly. Again and again I have parents tell me how polite you've been when interacting with them.

High five, kiddo.

But that's not my point. We're at dinner, eating, your sister is sitting on my lap, throwing food off the table to the dog that is not there, and I'm trying to navigate my hot soup spoon over her head when you, to no one in particular, say, "This meal is delicious."

You didn't say it to please me. Hell, you didn't even say it to me. It was just a thought you had, expressed aloud, and it was true. It was delicious.

But this is the thing about being three and a half: For all its trouble, it has these amazingly bright spots, blinding, momentarily, in their honesty.

Because we all know, three year olds don't give a fuck.

So when you say something, you damn well mean it. You don't bullshit. You don't aim to please. (Ok, sometimes you know you're in trouble and you kiss and make up.) And then there are the times when you say such raw, unfiltered things. And you mean them. And that's a lot more than I can say about most people.

Hold on to a piece of that.

Happy Forty Third Monthday.