July 22, 2008


Three years ago - at 9:52 AM if you want to be precise - the world changed. Mine at least. Mia was born and the world was instantly a better place to be.

I really have no idea how these past three years flew by. Despite the promise I made to myself that I'd somehow develop a photographic memory and freeze all the important memories and moments inside my brain so I could remember them forever, it's all a blur. That mental camera is somehow faulty and what I've got is a grossly inadequate time lapse sequence in which she goes from a baby blob incapable of sitting up to a little girl who can spell her name and the duration of this film passes in the split second it takes for a hummingbird to flap its wings.

We started three years ago with a little baby. A helpless, cranky little thing who wouldn't sleep or eat. When she wasn't swaddled, her legs shot up so her feet covered her ears. Her shock of black hair - which never fell out, merely lightened - surprised us. As did her lungs. Her entry into the world was miraculous though we didn't know it until she tasted air for the first time. Her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck three times. Three short years later, we find her no less miraculous but altogether different. She's this hilarious, independent person who dresses herself, tells off and not altogether successful knock-knock jokes*, and wants to be a paleontologist-astronaut when she grows up.

Of course, life as I knew it changed but so did I. Things reprioritized themselves. What was important before, wasn't any longer. And the opposite. After she was born, I wrote this:

Being a parent lets you add "parent" to the list of things you are. And it becomes the most important thing on the list. I was in the local drug store picking up some stuff for Mia. Behind me was a guy buying simply a case of Bud and a fly swatter. Now, call me crazy, but I'm so much happier having a child and wife who need me to run home to instead of a roomful of insects and bad beer buzz.

And it's true. I was a husband, an IT geek, a wannabe musician, an avid reader, a music lover and, while I remained those things, I was instantly and above all other roles, a father. But I have learned that a good beer buzz helps.

I could spend hours speaking in euphemisms and idioms describing the ways in which time flies but instead I'll just wallow in the challenge that is parenting and the beauty that is my daughter. And try not to fuck either of them up.

Dearest Mia Bean - Miasaurus, Bean, Squizzle - I love you more than you will ever fully comprehend. I could say that repeatedly until I'm blue in the face but it'll make more sense when you grow up and have kids of your own. But don't do that anytime soon. The time just goes too fast. In the mean time, you'll just have to trust me. Sure, I might tell you that princesses like banana yogurt so you'll eat it but I'm not skirting the truth about how wonderful I think you are. I love you, Bean.

* Knock knock.
Who's there?
Pink who?
Pink nose.
(I don't get it either but she claims it kills in Albany.)

Posted by Chris at July 22, 2008 7:09 AM

Happy birthday to Mia!!! What a wonderful post about parenthood. Everyone tells expecting parents that their lives will never be the same - instantly you think sleep deprivation and diapers, but it's all the stuff in between that makes it special. The first belly laugh, steps, the first conversation that uses REAL words, seeing that she is getting it and understands, sloppy kisses and too tight hugs, bedtime stories, singing in the car... It's all so amazing and makes you realize that your life before kids couldn't come close to comparing.

Posted by: sarah at July 22, 2008 7:26 AM

awww happy birthday to mia!

Posted by: denise at July 22, 2008 7:27 AM

Happy Birthday sweet Mia! And happy fatherhood anniversary Chris. I hope if I have children one day, I can be as great a parent as you and Beth are to Mia and Owen.

Posted by: suze at July 22, 2008 7:53 AM

Happy birthday Mia! xx

Posted by: Katherine at July 22, 2008 7:58 AM

Happy Birthday, Mia! I hope it's a great one!

We have a birthday today, too...my baby is 5 years old as of 2:34 this afternoon.

Posted by: Alissa at July 22, 2008 8:01 AM

happy bday MIA. Looking forward to the party this weekend!

Posted by: jodifur at July 22, 2008 8:05 AM

You're not supposed to make us cry this early in the morning!

Happy birthday, Mia.

Posted by: claire at July 22, 2008 8:38 AM

Sweet! Happy birthday, Mia!

Posted by: Maria at July 22, 2008 8:44 AM

Happy Birthday Mia!
My daughter just turned two a week ago, and my son will turn 7 in 2 more weeks. I'm completely feeling ya on this.
Keep enjoying the ride. It just gets better.

Posted by: varinia at July 22, 2008 8:45 AM

Please pass on my birthday wishes to Princess Mia Bean.

Posted by: Fraulein N at July 22, 2008 8:53 AM

Happy Birthday, Mia. Today is my birthday, too! It's a great day, don't you think?

Posted by: OddMix at July 22, 2008 8:56 AM

Please tell The Bean I said happy birthday.

Posted by: Gwen at July 22, 2008 9:06 AM

Happy, happy birthday Mia!! Where does the time go?

Posted by: Ann Adams at July 22, 2008 9:07 AM

Aww, Happy Birthday Mia. Making us tear up so early in the morning Chris!
Today is also my mom's b-day, so a wonderful day all around :-)

Posted by: diane at July 22, 2008 9:23 AM

Happy birthday, Mia!!!!!!!

Amazing how time flies. I've been reading your blog for 3 years!

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at July 22, 2008 9:44 AM

Happy Birthday Mia!

Posted by: bad penguin at July 22, 2008 9:46 AM

Yes, Happy Birthday to my Cyber-Grand-baby, Mia!
The Dackel Princess

Posted by: Maribeth at July 22, 2008 9:47 AM

Happy Birthday to the Beautiful Princess Mia!! Hope is wonderful! Have some cake for me - be sure to smear it all over, cuz it's not a birthday unless you have a frosting face ;)

Posted by: Kris at July 22, 2008 9:55 AM

Happy Birthday Mia! Summy (the bay-be) turned three recently and I was all, didn't I just push you out???

So, when's the Bratz Party? Should I wear my thong?

Posted by: Mymilabean at July 22, 2008 9:57 AM

Beautiful post - I hope she'll get to read that someday.

Happy Birthday Mia! I hope you do it up in grand princess style.

Three is a beautiful, wonderful, impossible, trying, amazing age for girls. You'll love it and simultaneously pull your hair out at the same time and then suddenly she'll be 4 and then she'll really blow your mind. (somehow, I think that's how every birthday goes)

Posted by: Jen at July 22, 2008 10:01 AM

Happy birthday, Bean!

Posted by: GreenCanary at July 22, 2008 10:34 AM

Happy Birthday, Mia! My son Isaac just turned 3 on Saturday. Yesterday he drove me insane by saying "How old am I? How old am I?" over and over and over again.

Posted by: Tony at July 22, 2008 10:43 AM

Happy Birthday Mia!

And Chris, well done, dude. :)

Posted by: oakley at July 22, 2008 10:48 AM

Happy Birthday Mia!
My little guy just turned 3 last Wednesday. I am still trying to figure out how he got that old this fast.

Posted by: kmum at July 22, 2008 10:58 AM

Happy birthday to Mia!

It's the lack of sleep. In a few years, when they both sleep fine and you and Beth do too, you'll start to remember the small things from when they were babies and toddlers. Then if you want to throw a wrench in it, have one more and you'll go back to knowing nothing. Or at least that's what I think is going to happen.

My mom is always telling me funny things about me as a baby. When we were kids, she barely remembered out names.

Posted by: Issa at July 22, 2008 11:14 AM

Mia! Hooray for THREE! She sounds like a truly enchanting little girl and I'm just as thrilled today as the day she was born. You and Beth are doing a fabulous job. Just in case no one has mentioned that lately...

Posted by: Sam at July 22, 2008 11:24 AM

Aww. Happy birthday Mia!

Posted by: cassandra at July 22, 2008 11:36 AM

Ahhh, what a great tribute! Happy Birthday Mia! I too was born with my umbilical cord wrapped around my neck...blue baby they called it. Based on what I've read here about Mia, and knowing myself, I just think it makes us spunkier ;)

Posted by: Jill at July 22, 2008 11:42 AM

Happy Birthday Mia!

Posted by: sunshine at July 22, 2008 11:53 AM

Happy Birthday Mia!!! Tell daddy to treat you even more like a princess today than we know he always does!!

And Chris, your post makes me want to run out and have a kid...sort of.

Posted by: Krush at July 22, 2008 12:06 PM

Can I tell you how amazing it has been to follow you in this journey? Really? Because it has been. I adored you before you guys had children, and watching both of you walk this path has been really beautiful. That little girl is one amazing child, and there is not doubt as to why. Happy Birthday, Mia Bean. Thanks for giving your momma and daddy really good stories to tell us. And for being so darned cute. Auntie Mr Lady likes her some cute.

Posted by: Mr Lady at July 22, 2008 12:29 PM

Happy Birthday to Mia! I can't believe that she is three already, wow.

Posted by: Adi at July 22, 2008 12:37 PM

Hey I just left a message at Beth's blog to wish Mia a happy birthday.

I remember the day she was born also. I was heavily, heavily pregnant with my own little person and was somewhat jealous you guys were getting to meet your baby already (even if it was due to circumstances beyond your control).

It's been an amazingly quick 3 years, hasn't it? I can't believe I too have a (almost) three year old too. They are really fun. :D

Posted by: Jacqueline at July 22, 2008 12:41 PM

seriously, WHEN are they going to invent mind cameras?! i keep wishing i had one as well.

and once again you find a way to put it all into words... my daughter turned one on sunday, so i'm definitely feeling that crush of time.

happy birthday, mia!

Posted by: kati at July 22, 2008 2:04 PM

The clock. It is loud.
Happy Birthday, Mia!

The ages of 3-7 are the best. Enjoy.

Posted by: Pammer at July 22, 2008 2:09 PM

Happy Birthday, Mia!

And Happy Anniversary to Chris and Beth - 3 years of parenting.

And beware. Time? It speeds up. I swear. Hold on for dear life.

Posted by: Mindy at July 22, 2008 2:12 PM

holy crap, i've been reading you for a long time...haha.

happy birthday, Mia!

Posted by: ali at July 22, 2008 2:40 PM

Three. Three? Really? That's just...incredible!

Happy birthday, Miss Mia! Also - happy birthday to you and Beth as well - it was a wonderful day and is still a great one to remember!

Posted by: Emily at July 22, 2008 3:12 PM

Happy birthday Mia!

That was a beautiful post. We too are amazed at how time flies when you've become a parent. With the second one I feel like time goes by even faster. Mia sounds like a fun, smart girl. I'm honored we got to meet her!

Posted by: Nadine at July 22, 2008 4:28 PM

Both you and Beth have made me all squishy inside today :P That's beautiful and it's wonderful to think of Mia being able to read it someday! Happy Birthday, Mia bean!

Posted by: Heather at July 22, 2008 5:05 PM

Holy cow! Three years already? (Refer to my comments left for your Rude Cactus Birthday post.)

I'll bet you can't even imagine life as it was pre-Mia. And that's a good thing. It's obvious that she (and Owen) bring copious amounts of joy into your life (and Beth's as well). Take it all in, my friend, and savor every little bit!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Mia!!!

Posted by: ironic1 at July 22, 2008 5:11 PM

Oh gosh. As I just said to Beth (well to her blog anyway) congrats and Happy Birthday to Mia. What a sterling job you have both done. Thank you for sharing your ride with us all. You have helped me be a better parent, or allowed myself to observe myself from afar not be so hard on myself as being a parent is hard (and oh so good) so I thank you and Mia for that! Hope you all had a fab day!

Posted by: Beth at July 22, 2008 7:00 PM

Happy Birthday Princess Mia!!! May the next 3 yrs be as wonderful as the last 3!

Posted by: coolchick at July 22, 2008 8:58 PM

happy birthday mia! :)

you and beth have done wonderful jobs as parents. i always remember her birthday because it's the same as my mom's!

Posted by: tiffanie at July 22, 2008 8:59 PM

Happy Birthday to you, all three. As I see it, the person that I am was born the same day my first child was. So happy birthday to you, too, Chris and Beth. Congratulations on your journey so far, and no doubt the two of you will continue to be the outstanding parents that I believe you are. Well done.

Posted by: OS at July 22, 2008 9:57 PM

Okay. Crying here and over at Beth's.

Happy Birthday little girl. And congratulations on your third Dadaversary.

Posted by: samantha jo campen at July 23, 2008 11:44 AM

Happy, Happy Birthday to one of the cutest girls on the interweb!

Posted by: Isabel at July 23, 2008 3:04 PM

Happy Birthday to Mia!

My grandfather is now 85. The Boy and I have been together for three years. Life is good, my friend. Life is good.

Best to your princess, your queen, and your prince!

Posted by: alektra at July 24, 2008 7:46 AM

Various people in the world get the business loans from various creditors, just because this is simple and comfortable.

Posted by: RobynParsons19 at August 21, 2010 8:05 AM