Perhaps you'll be a writer, you so love your books. Now and then I spy you in a corner with Dr. Seuss or Eric Carle, exploring the pages, mouthing sounds. Every night we curl up with our favourite stories, always ending with Goodnight Moon. You point at the words, asking me what they mean. One day soon you'll know all about words, my love.
Perhaps you'll be an actor. You've a thousand expressions, each one designed to invoke a reaction. You want to make me laugh, or let me know you're angry. You want everyone to know you've arrived. Sometimes when you're talking - half in English, half your own language - you extend your arm out theatrically, as if to emphasize the point you're making. Occasionally, when you're upset, you throw yourself on the floor dramatically, peeking up at intervals to check I'm still watching. It's hard to be serious in front of that face.
Perhaps you'll be a stunt man. You've never been one to take things slowly, or assess the risk - with you it's always head first, think later. I'll never forget how, at just four months, you leaped out of your car seat and onto the floor. I hadn't anticipated a leaping baby. I sat in the doctor's waiting room clutching you and pleading with the universe to let nothing be broken or damaged. You're desire for adventure scares me and makes me proud.
Perhaps you'll be a scientist. You love to experiment. The cabinets beneath our bathroom vanity are peeling and wrecked from your water experiments. You're perpetually pouring liquids from one container to another, and you get a kick out of taking things apart and putting them back together.
Perhaps you'll be an entrepreneur. Already a determined little boy, you're independent and eager to do things by yourself, the way you want them done.
Perhaps you'll be an athlete, you run so fast I've found myself at times sprinting to keep up. You climb and hoist yourself up onto things and I've no idea how. Perhaps the speed and agility came from trying to keep up with your big brother. Or maybe it was trying to escape.
Perhaps you'll be a really great friend and brother. And maybe a husband and a father too, one day.
Happy birthday darling boy. May your birthday be filled with cake and adventure.