Last Sunday you turned three. It's hard to believe that you're three. You are so wise beyond your years that I find myself learning from you. Every day you find reasons to be happy. Joy emanates from you. You flirt with cashiers and waitresses. You shout "hi!" to people that pass us by. It makes me so happy to see you so happy.
I have never met anyone as caring as you. When I come home from a trip, you say, "I am so glad to see you!" If I'm out of your sight for a while you come in to check on me, asking, "Is everything okay in here?" You are always the first person to tell Colin, "Don't cry. It's okay, Colin. I'm right here."
And you are. You're always right there. You're the best big brother he could ever ask for. You can't stand to see him or anybody else hurting. If you see me looking sad or stressed, you tell me not to be. It's okay, you say. Tomorrow is a new day, you say, and it will be okay. You've been right every time. It always has been okay.
You're the sun in our family. Before you were born, we didn't know we were waiting in the dark for you. We didn't know that you would explode into our lives and we would suddenly, effortlessly revolve around you, basking in your warmth and light. You are our gravity, pulling us back down to earth when we forget the things that really matter. Everyone is pulled in by you. You pull strangers into our conversations, and before you know it, they too are talking about dinosaurs or the weather.
As far as you are concerned, everyone is a potential friend. You chat up the oldsters living in the senior apartments. You talk to babies, to kids, to adults. You have no worries about telling a tatted up biker that you're going to have a stegosaurus cake on your birthday. You accept people's requests for hugs and good-byes and I-love-yous.
I guess I don't know where I am going with this, except to say that I hope you never change. You are so loved. You are so good. I can't wait to celebrate you all over again next year.
Happy birthday. We love you, Oliver. It'd be impossible not to.