"That's too big. You're getting too big."
"I'm not too big for you to hold me. I'm just a little big."
And hold him I did, wondering at my little baby turning boy. Wishing for the millionth time to slow down time, to keep him little forever. Nudging him awake just to spend a few more moments of his birthday together.
When we arrived here over a year ago, Finn was still very much a baby. He toddled around in his diaper, drank from a sippy cup, clung to his stuffed rhino like a lifeline...
Now he's a potty pro, insisting on his privacy when I dare to invade his space; when he's thirsty he grabs the juice, pours himself a cup, and chugs it down; and sometimes when I clean up at night I find rhino thrown in a corner, Finn sound asleep upstairs, without him.
He's his own person now. Fiercely independent and overwhelmingly stubborn. Endearing and sweet and manipulative, the great combination of toddlerhood.
One year older. Which I'm starting to view as a year gone, slipped through my fingers, vanished too fast.
But if a year's going to fly by anyhow, at least it's been a memorable one. From his second birthday until now, somewhere between the ups and downs, the giggles and tantrums, this boy has been some places.
All in all I'd say it's been quite a third year...
Finny's second birthday party. Our house. October 2011
Soon to be bit by a swan. Lake Bled, Slovenia. October 2011
Chugging with a broken collarbone. Venice, Italy. November 2011
Swimming at the Aquapalace. Prague, Czech Republic. January, 2012
Finny's favorite activity, anywhere in the world. Vienna, Austria. April 2012
My handsome man. Budapest, Hungary. May 2012
Soaking in the rays. Barcelona, Spain. May 2012
Cruising the Danube. Budapest, Hungary. June 2012
Throwing stones. Brela, Croatia. June 2012
Best friends. Filzmoos, Austria. July 2012
Loving daddy time. Prague, Czech Republic. August 2012
Back home! Our village, Hungary. August 2012
So I'll survive another birthday gone by. In a few days the sappiness and smothering will subside.
But these memories will remain. And though I'm sure he'll forget soon enough, somehow I know this adventure is shaping him, just as it is all of us.
And as much as I miss each stage, I love the Finn he's becoming, and I'm thankful for all of the moments that brought him here.