Sunday, November 30, 2014

to campbell, on your 3rd birthday

Dear Campbell,

Celebrate! Today you are three, count 'em, three years old! Your Mom and I were just saying to each other a few minutes ago how we can't believe that three years have gone by since the day you were born. 

So, let's talk about the last year, since I wrote you a note for your 2nd birthday... movies? My favorites of the year are, as typical as it may seem, superhero films, like "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Captain American: the Winter Soldier" and Disney's "Big Hero 6". Christopher Nolan directed this grand space epic called "Interstellar", and it looks awesome and is in fact, just average. A little seen movie came out this summer called "Snowpiercer" that I recommend you find and watch... it's pretty amazing. And of course, "The LEGO Movie". There might be five of them by now, but the original is pretty great.

The music that really hit big, for me anyway, was the Cuban rapper named Pitbull, who had a song called "Fireball", which made me smile all year. This chick named Jessie J teamed up with this other chick named Ariana Grande and made this rockin' pop song called "Bang Bang", which I'm addicted to. Neither me nor your mom like the Nicki Minaj part... and honestly, when you do read this, I wont be surprised if you have no clue who Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj are, because nowadays, musicians come and go quickly. Even the ones thought to have had staying power fizzle fast--Lady Gaga, anyone?

You, getting ready for school
Back to music, Meghan Trainor had this catchy little ditty called "All About that Bass", but do me a favor, either find my iPod or head to YouTube and look up the version by Scott Bradley and the Postmodern Jukebox, featuring Kate Davis. If you appreciate this version even more than the original, I'll know I raised you right.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a little album called "1989" by Taylor Swift, featuring what is sure to be a classic called "Shake It Off". Enjoy.

We've seen you grow a lot this year, Monkey Butt. We've gotten you involved in more therapy and group sessions, and you are signing like crazy now... you have the sign for "more" down pat, and you use it without restraint when it comes time to eat. More. More. More. And on and on.

You have learned how to sign "open" as well, and frankly, its adorable. I think you are on the verge of actually jumping up and down, but you aren't quite there yet. No, you aren't talking just yet... but you babble incessantly. On one hand, its incredibly cute and encouraging... on the other hand, sometimes at 6am, it's a little much for me to deal with. I wish you'd pick your times more selectively about when you decide to loudly start talking your language. 

You rode your first roller coaster this year... in fact, a few weeks ago. It was all kinds of amazing, by the way. When we were in Disney World at the beginning of November... and can I say, you've just had your second Disney World haircut already--you've been to WDW three times and Disneyland once, which is about four times more than many people go in their lives.

Anyway, you were just tall enough to ride The Barnstormer, a small kids coaster in Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland. Your mom, Pops and myself were a little nervous taking you on, but you sat with Mommy, and as the coaster car slowly made it's way up the hill, I could hear you. You were giggling, you were squealing, you were laughing and having the time of your life. I wiped away tears, as my smile nearly broke my face.

The Cast Members then let you ride again, this time with me. I heard your laughter and delight up close this time, and felt you pat my arms in excitement, and watching your face and you smile and laughed, looking around at the bright lights of the Disney World night, staring in wonder. And the Cast Members, one of them almost crying herself when she heard our little story of who you were and how this was your first coaster, let us ride twice more. This time you rode with Pops and you couldn't get enough.

You laughed at the teacups, and you even recognized some characters, as you smiled big when you saw Tigger bouncing on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride. This was a huge thing for all of us, but especially for you.

Campbell, you are our son, and we love you so much. And you are loved not just by your Mom and Dad, or your Pops and GG or aunts and uncles or your Granny and PawPaw, but by so many other friends and people, some of whom have never even met you, but only seen your picture and heard the amusing stories and the funny stories and the heartbreaking stories. 

The teacups... I love spinning you around, kiddo.
You are prayed for more than you will ever realize, by so many people. My first and foremost prayer, even in front of you coming through the autism that hinders you, is that you will find Christ one day, and know He is your Savior. Everything else is just blessings under the bridge. Though I do pray that what keeps you held back--you are three today, but still at around a 15 month level developmentally--will just fade away. I am positive it will, I am positive you'll catch up to everyone and positive that you will live the life that He has for you.

I just hope you can look back where you are as you read this and know that your Mom did all she could for you and that I tried as hard as I could as well.

You are handsome, you are strong, you are a whiz (anyone who has seen you move two chairs into position so you can properly climb them in order to reach a cell phone hidden in the middle of the dining room table will attest to this) and you are a mischievous little boy, just like all other three year olds.   By the way, your fascination with phones and tablets is a little crazy... hopefully, by now, you've learned that just because you see a phone, that doesn't mean it's yours. 

But you know your way around one... it's funny to watch you play with one, swiping and moving things around.  And for whatever reason, the stocks app fascinates you.   Oh, and this year, you also learned to paint... "He takes his time with the brush," says your teacher.

Told you that you were smart. 

Three years old looks great on you, Campbell Dollar. 

Love you, Monkey Butt

--your Dad


  1. So sweet! I love all of the amazing accomplishments he's made this year! Good job mommy and daddy :)

  2. What a beautiful letter. I love that you share your favorite music and movies and that you have given him things to recall and look back on when he's older. I love that we get to see inside your heart and the love you have for your sweet, amazing boy. Happy Birthday, Campbell! You have been blessed indeed, little man.

  3. Thank you for sharing this with us. You are an awesome dad!


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