Three years of Coen

Three years ago, I had been in labor for 29 hours, and a doctor came in to assure me my baby would be out by the end of her shift at 7 a.m. THAT doctor was a big, fat liar. She was only 13 hours off, but who’s counting? At 5:20 tomorrow night, it will have been three years since Coen Jeffrey Brunner entered this world. And, he’s made every day of it a grand one – tantrums, hissy fits, and attitude aside.

One week, One year, Two years, Three years

Three years in a nutshell:

He was a horrid sleeper. Didn’t enjoy long stretches of sleep until he was old enough to run so hard that it became a physical requisite for a body of his size. He was a hunk of a chunk until about 18 months old, but it just made his dimples stand out more. He enjoys arts and crafts and anything involving glue and glitter. He is particular, and incredibly accurate. He’s not the fastest or most aggresive athlete, but I’m sure he’ll make one heckuva center fielder some day! He does nothing without thinking it through first. You can actually SEE him observe, process, visualize, and react – in that order (his mom’s order is: react, process, remove foot from mouth, so he’s benefitting here from his father’s genes on this one). He is insanely cautious and slightly fearful. New things make him nervous until he tries them once. Then, good luck getting him to do anything else! This has been the case with 2nd gear on his riding tractor, kiddie rollercoasters, and ketchup. Trying new things is a wonderful habit to get in to. Things he loves more than life itself: Kayla and Katelyn (the neighbor girls); Danielle (our fantastical and irreplaceable nanny); the Mall of America; feeding the deer and riding his tractors (you’d never know he lives 1.3 miles from downtown Minneapolis); Blue’s Clues; his grandparents and godparents; trying on oversized shoes; jumping on beds; pancakes and ketchup (sometimes together, yes); Buzz Lightyear; playing pretend with his new cash register and doctor kit; making his sister laugh and the dog “speak.” He signs “thank you” as he says it, without even thinking, and has a steel trap of a memory. His first word was “ball” which then became “butt” which became the preface for every word that came out of his mouth. He likes to watch football and basketball with daddy, even though he tends to flip the channel during the most critical of plays. He has quite literally mastered the iPad, the iPhone, and a Macbook Pro. He likes going down slides, but not the tube kind cuz they’re “too dark.” He would do anything for fruit snacks or a night out at Park Tavern for a couple quick games of bowling. He’s patient, but easily frustrated. I know that is an oxymoron, but it does describe him well. He hits when he gets angry and hugs when he gets sad. He is three. And I love him.

Tonight as we were going to bed, I laid next to him upon request. We talked about the weekend and how much fun he had. We talked about how he is going to bed as a two-year-old, and when he wakes up, he will be three! We talked about going to Chuck E Cheese tomorrow night to celebrate. He eventually rolled over and said good night. I stared at the back of his little head for a long time, wondering where the last three years have gone. How his life has changed. The experiences he has had already – and everything that is yet to come! My mind was racing and just as I was about to have a mommy-emotional weep fest on his Elmo pillow, he turned around, bent his elbow back, and reached his hand out towards mine. “Hold my hand?” he asked. Shit yes, I will hold your hand, kid. I’ll hold it until you want me to let it go. Cuz me? I’ll never let go.

We love you, Coen J. You were a life-changer for sure. The best darn life-changer that’s every changed my life. Thank you for being who you are. I can’t say that enough! Easily the three best years of my life.

All my Love, 


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