The joy of adding a third button to the birthday crown, the joy of wearing that crown all day, the joy of Willow's preschool teacher saying to you, "What a beautiful crown!" and getting to say back, "Iss my BIRFDAY!!!"
The joy of choosing exactly what cake you want Momma to bake with you (chocolate and stair-steps and pink frosting and rainbow candy), and helping to bake that cake and make the frosting and decorate it, and being too young to know that Momma is TERRIBLE in the kitchen and thus that the cake will look far less like the fairy-pink tiers that she imagined and more like that scene in Close Encounters of the Third Kind in which Richard Dreyfuss sculpts the Devil's Tower out of mashed potatoes only pink and with M&Ms melting down it, and the joy of running sobbing to Momma that you broke your big 3 candle when you weren't supposed to be playing with it and having Momma call Daddy at work and having Daddy bring a new 3 candle with him when he gets home, and the joy of seeing your brand-new big 3 candle lit on your hideous pink cake, and the joy of having a sister help you blow it out again (twice):
(It really does look like the Devil's Tower only pink, doesn't it?)
The joy of being a big girl, so big that your Momma for the first time is not haunted so much this year by memories of you in the NICU, and the joy of getting big-girl gifts, a huge stash of Land Before Time toys that Momma bought for you off of ebay and bartered for you from friends (the Anna bunting is in the works, Jenny!).
For me, though, the best gift of all--the joy of being your mother: