You’re just over 23 months old now, a little less than 3 weeks from being the infamous 2. Daddy has been calling you 2 since you were 18 months old though, about the time you started asserting your independence in the form of tantrums. I though back then “the terrible twos started early! But they really aren’t that bad.” I jinx it. At 23 months old you have a clear idea of what you want and what you don’t. “No” is your favorite word. You know over 100 different words and are beginning to string them together, making it easier for Daddy and I to understand what you’re trying to convey. But we don’t always understand and sometimes even when we do, the things you desire you can’t have. Like when you want to run in the middle of the busy street, refusing to hold our hands. Or when you want a sip of Daddy’s special “juice”. Or last week when I took away the plastic wrap from the toothpaste you chewed apart as you tried to make it a mid morning snack. You don’t yet understand why we say “no” and that sometimes, most times, when we do it’s for your own safety. But I hope one day you’ll look back and remember all the things we said “YES” to!
I look at you, how fast you’re growing and changing daily, and try to be present each and every day to truly enjoy it. I try to remember, even in the challenging times, that these moments are fleeting and that all too soon I’ll be looking back on them with a smile, wishing for just one more moment of holding your tiny hand in mine, the ability to heal all your ailments with a single hug and of being your best friend.
You are fiercely independent. You rarely want to hold my hand when we’re out on walks which has gotten you into trouble more than once when you sprint up the street or across the parking lot, leaving me in your dust. You may be small but you are FAST. You are kind, sweet and caring. You tell everyone you pass “hi!”, “hello” and recently, “morning!”. You generously use “tank you” and have started to mimic me when we run on the trail telling people “tank you” and “sahwy”. You love to play and while you have an incredible imagination and are able to play independently, you prefer to have company. You constantly ask me, dada or G to sit with you and it breaks my heart when I can’t comply. You love to read. You happily pick out a book and sit down in my lap and listen intently, staring at each page as I read the story aloud. At night, after several bedtime stories, brushing our teeth and PJ changes I let you silently read in your crib for 30 minutes. You sometimes ask for another book and trade me. I love how much you love to absorb the pictures, even if you can’t fully understand the stories yet. You are a sensory kid. Playing in the dirt and rocks is your favorite thing to do, especially barefoot. You love to go on walks and we go out every morning and usually every evening as well (so long as it’s not boiling hot). I long for Autumn so we can spend all day, every day exploring.
You are fearless. It both terrifies me and impresses me. You can do most things that kids three times your age can do. You love to trek through mud, stand in it knee deep and don’t bat an eye climbing up the rock climbing wall or going down the steep slides. You laugh with glee. And your laugh is magical. It is one of my favorite sounds in the world and literally makes my heart throb when I hear it.
You are confident and I hope that never changes. Sometimes your clothes don’t match, you walk home covered in mud or soaking wet and you still strut your stuff, as you should. You have so much to be confident about. I hope no one ever makes you feel bad for who you are or makes you wish you were different. I hope your innocence in that sense lasts forever. You are so very very loved just the way you are.
23 months have flown by. You’ve become a big brother and such a wonderful one at that, always wanting to give brother hugs and kisses and to hold him. I’ve always known you were meant to be a big brother and now that you are one, you’ve surpasses all my expectations. Andrew reminds me how fast time flies and to soak it all in, in all it’s stages. I’ve loved the last 23 months, watching you become your own little person and cannot wait to see what the future holds in store for you. I love you, my baby boy.