Dear Everett,

Happy Birthday my love! I cannot believe how much you’ve grown and changed in the last year, and it is a delight to celebrate you and your third birthday.

This year has been a strange one. We started the year in quarantine, due to the Coronavirus, and we’re still in quarantine. It has been wild to be at home for an entire year with two toddlers. You and Denver have been troopers, happy to play in the backyard, fish at Harlinsdale Farm, and splash in the creek at Eliington Ag Center, but we are all ready to get back into society soon. Dad and I actually got our first vaccines for the virus on your birthday, so we’re getting close to getting back out there!

This year we’ve spent a lot of time scootering around our neighborhood. You are so smooth and polished on your scooter, and it’s adorable to watch such a little guy ride up and down hills with such speed and ease. The irony is that when we scoot around the neighborhood, you are a so fast. When we walk around the neighborhood, you couldn’t be slower. Dad and I have nicknamed you the Pokey Little Puppy.

You have developed a love for puzzles, and you are really quite brilliant at putting them together. You mastered the baby puzzles, blew through the toddler puzzles, and moved onto 60 piece puzzles that you can work all on your own. It’s amazing to watch your mind work, and you are clearly gifted in this area.

You still love Paw Patrol, the color purple, and Chick-fil-A. Your new favorites include Pete the Cat, superheroes, hippos, and R2D2. You sleep with a little stuffed hippo, named “Hippo Everett,” and you requested a Star Wars themed birthday party. You’ve never even seen Star Wars, but you have action figures that you play with each day. You like Dad and me to be the bad guys, and you and R2D2 fight us. You’ve made up a song and sing, “grown ups be bad guys, kids be good guys.” It’s hilarious.

Everett, you are emotional. This year has been full of big feelings and lots of screaming. We moved you and Denver into the same bedroom, and you dropped your nap much earlier than planned. You wake up at 6am each day and have the hardest time staying awake until bedtime at 7pm. Dinners are rough and full of meltdowns since you’re constantly overtired. I’m hoping that the big feelings get better soon, because it has truly been tricky to navigate.

On the bright side, you and Denver are best friends and love sharing a room together. You love your bunk beds and often make forts on the lower bunk. The two of you play together all day, get into all sorts of trouble, and laugh at all your inside jokes. What a gift to have a brother so close in age, and I pray that you will remain great friends as you both start school this next year.

Speaking of siblings, Savannah arrived halfway through the year, and you are a big brother now! You love your sister and are often found snuggling her and brushing her hair. You are so sweet, have nicknamed her Savannee, and get excited whenever she learns something new. I’m so proud of you and how well you’ve adjusted to being a big brother.

Regarding nicknames, you continually remind me that you are “just Everett.” I had so many nicknames for you, and you want nothing to do with them! You sing your name song, “E-V-R-E-T-T,” skipping a letter each time, and reminding me that you are an independent little guy with a very determined personality. I love that about you.

Right before your third birthday, you visited the ER for the third time. You were running through the house right before dinnertime and fell in the kitchen, hitting your forehead on the bench. Six stitches later, Dad and I are so grateful that it wasn’t worse, but it was one of the scariest evenings of my life. You are really good about wearing hats when we are outside now, and we have to keep your head out of the sun for the next year.

Sweet Everett Isaac Sledge, you are so loved by so many. Thanks for being the perfect middle child in our family. Dad and I love you to the moon and back, and we’re thankful for you each day.

Love,

Mom