My darling boy is officially two and a half.
He's not my little baby anymore. He wouldn't let me call him one even if I tried - he's a self-acclaimed "big boy" now - and yet in some ways he'll always be my baby.
My first, the one who made me a Mother, the one who taught me so much about love. He's still teaching me and I imagine he always will. So many of his lessons these days are about pure and simple joy, the kind he approaches each day full of.
I am ashamed by the number of times a day he sees me getting annoyed, impatient, angry, and stops to ask me, are you happy, Mommy? No, darling, but thank you - again - for the reminder. Our lives are so full, our Souls so deeply loved, and yet here you notice me sighing because you tell me you need to use the bathroom again. (As though I go any less infrequently, with your little brother or sister bouncing on top of my bladder!) What foolishness I get impatient over, what little things I allow to steal my joy. But there's always you, bringing me back to reality - are you happy, Mommy?
I am continually amazed by his hunger and thirst for knowledge. Always asking questions, always seeking more, always wanting to know about this world around him. Every time I start to worry - should he know this by now? how do I go about teaching him this? - he surprises me by beginning to show a natural interest in it. And yet I keep forgetting. Just leave him be. He will learn when he is ready, as evidenced by the constant stream of what letter is this? that I am now responding to countless times a day. He will have me convinced in no time that unschooling truly is the best choice for us.
I am so humbled, too, as I watch his understanding of God grow. I envy his eagerness to read "Jesus stories" - where did my thirst, my hunger, for the Word of God go? I love how naturally he talks about Jesus and the innocent way he incorporates his enthusiasm into his daily life and play. I can't help but laugh at some of the deductions he arrives at, like the way his boat must have come from Jesus because it is made from a tree ("Jesus bought it for me!"). Oh, that I could remember so easily that every good and perfect gift does indeed come from our Father in Heaven, and praise Him so readily for every blessing.
As eager as I am to meet our second child, I am almost as eager to see him meet his little brother or sister. I love how excited he is about it, and I pray that excitement continues when a little baby is actually here, occupying his mother's lap, time, and attention. It's fun to watch him make his own connections - to realize that he was once in my womb as well, to learn about the reason for his bellybutton, to arrive at his own conclusions as to how things must work. His sweet and compassionate spirit is encouraging as well, as I know that the kisses he gives me to make my owies better will be lavished just as freely on another little child. His impatience for this little one to arrive is catching - I find myself wishing the weeks would go faster, even while feeling a sense of mourning that this incredible boy will no longer be my only. It is so hard to imagine right now that I could ever love another child the same way - and yet I know it will be true.
Until then, I will make the most of these last eight weeks together. Our days are so full and so enjoyable - stacks of books that must be read through, puddles that must be jumped in, muffins that must be baked, cars that must be driven along the "roads" on the bedspread, and an incredible blossoming imagination that must be explored. How I love each new phrase and idea that pours from him in a steady stream of chatter all day long.
I've said it every step of the way so far - this is my favourite age yet.
Happy half birthday, my sweet and silly boy.