this is you, at three.
this is the face you make when you are told to smile, if you're feeling cooperative, and the face you make when you are told to absolutely, whatever you do, don't smile, if you're feeling silly and defiant. either way, it's contagious.
when i stop to think about it, on a day like today, i'm left without words. a thousand memories and things about you flood my mind, like way your voice sounds when you pronounce certain words or laugh in a real, grown up way sometimes (not always just in that belly giggle) or when you reach out to hold my hand or give me hugs and say "i love you" at random moments.
the truth is, i love all the things about you, simply because you're you. your mere existence brings me the most joy, and all the words in the world wouldn't be enough to describe how much value you hold.
it feels crazy to me that you've been here for a whole three years, and at the same time, it's crazy that you haven't always been here. because, in a way, it feels like you were always part of us. it feels like you are a part of my heart i didn't know i was missing until you showed up, and i will be forever grateful you did.
happy birthday, luca.
i love you.
love always, auntie.