(This is understandably long!)
Today you are thirty months old.
That's right: Two and a half.
I can't believe we're almost to three.
The cliche of how time goes by so quickly is a true one. Right before my very eyes you have changed from a baby into a little boy. For the first time in your life, I'm wanting to freeze time. I always look forward to the next stage, but Buddy, time is flying more quickly than I want it to, so maybe you could slow down juuuuuuuust a bit, okay?
No, no, not okay. I know. I'm selfish. Keep growing!
We're doing our best to keep up.
Developmentally, you are more of a sponge than ever. You soak up information faster than I can give it to you. Just the other day we were sitting in the car and you suddenly exclaimed, "Gwobe!" I had no idea what you were talking about, until I turned around and saw you pointing to a picture in the book you were holding. Tucked away in the picture was a small globe on the fireplace, to which you were happily pointing. Oh, right, GLOBE! I know we've used that word before, but not with that book, and not for a long time. Since it something we do not see every day, I was taken aback that you had remembered it! Your current favorite books include Gossie, Itsy Bitsy Spider, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? These books have been your staples since you were born and you continue loving them now (you can quote Gossie in its entirety)!
You know your letters, your numbers up to fifteen, your colors, and you are learning what sounds different letters make, and the difference between capital letters and lowercase letters (we just use "big" and "little"). The other day you were in your room playing and I heard you kind of humming/singing to yourself. I stepped closer to the door and realized you were singing your own little rendition of "Amazing Grace" (the CD in the car has that song on it). I smiled as you sang, "Amaaaaazing Graaaace how sweeet sound! Saved, wetch like ME! Once lost, now found, blind but now, I seeeeeee!" I giggled to myself and then froze as you continued, "Was grace, that taaaaaaught my heeaaaaaart fear, grace my fear re-weeeeeeeved! ..." and you continued through the second verse into the third. I stood there, teary-eyed and stunned! Such profound truth coming from a sweet little mouth. You continue to bring us daily joy and surprise.
You have a sweet and friendly personality. You are quiet when you meet new friends, but you are not shy. You say "hi!" to almost everyone we pass and your greeting is typically followed by a fact that they were not necessarily expecting, like what you had for breakfast, what toy you are holding in your hands, or the destination to which we are going. You are the official Family Narrator, making our lives into a storybook as we drive down the road with you in the back explaining every cow, tree, water tower, school, and church we pass. You continue to be as you were as a baby: Compliant and pretty easy-going. This is the stage where you begin asserting your independence, and it's been a challenging joy to find the balance in obedience and doing everything "by self!" (by yourself)! Don't get me wrong--you've got a stubborn streak, too! You have a look that your Papa refers to as the "Dennis the Menace"--a smirk that turns into a set jaw, showing the determination of your current endeavor. When that look comes, wild boy is about to emerge!
You are learning the importance of sharing and working together (a lifelong lesson, right??). Even though you know your manners, I still have to prompt you most of the time to use them, although every once and a while I'll get an unexpected, "Thank you, Mama!" after handing you your sippy cup. You are more interested in manners now that we are teaching them to Naomi (please and thank you), so I'm curious to see if that makes your own manner usage go up--you love teaching your sister!
Speaking of Naomi, you are a big brother! I think your last letter was written before she was born. You definitely take your sister in stride. You were slightly wary at first, but as she's grown into more of a friend you can play with, your interest in her has increased, too. You like to pat her head, throw away her dirty diapers, and, of course, boss her around (I have a feeling the tables will turn shortly!). If I correct her, I typically hear a little husky voice standing next to me parroting what I've said. If you see Naomi doing something you do not like, you say, "No NO Nomi!" and it cracks me up. I explain that Mama and Dadda are the only ones who may speak to Naomi like that, much to your chagrin. ;) You are becoming protective, too. Blind ambition has left Naomi wedged between the couch and the wall several times and when this happens, you rush to me and exclaim "Nomi's stuck!" before rushing back to Naomi declaring, "I'll go check on her!" I love to see that part of your heart surfacing. Just as God gave us Naomi as our child, He gave her to you as your sister. He chose you, buddy! This past weekend Naomi spent time at Memere and Pepere's house and when she came back, you ran over to her and greeted her with a big hug, totally unprompted. Melt my heart!
Cub, your little sister adores you. She mimics your every move and oh, the sheer delight that spreads across her face when she sees you is indescribable. It's safe to say you are her whole world. I know it might bug you sometimes, but you will never know what it means for a little sister to have a big brother (oh boy, now I'm tearing up). You are her hero, no matter what. You'll never experience anything else like the joy of sharing life with a sibling, even if it's hard at times. You are doing great, Buddy.
(Wiping tears. Okay.)
You love to run and play. If the weather is nice, you want to be out on the trampoline. You've already mastered a "knee drop" and "seat drop" in your own little way and you are thisclose to being able to do a somersault. The trampoline was a genius idea from Dadda--you are absolutely loving it! You like to play with your cars and trains, build legos (or watch Mama build as you dictate), play in your ball pit, climb the ladder at the playground and go down the slide, and you still love books. You've recently started to take more of an interest in the piano, and as you tap away at the keys, you turn and around and with a huge grin, say, "I make music!" While the musician in me wants to scoop you into my lap and dive right into theory, the Mom in me is standing at the sidelines, watching your interest grow on its own. In good time we'll start at the piano! You love when I play your songs ("I've got the Joy Joy Joy", "This Little Light of Mine", etc.) and you are starting to be able to sing along. Your singing cracks me up--it's mostly certain monotone syllables being stretched out with the occasional change in pitch. It's been fun to see you learn to sing.
Your little voice shows more inflection than ever. You love to exclaim, "Oh!" in this high-pitched Eureka-ish voice when you see something you weren't expecting. "Oh! Mama!" or "Oh! Nomi!" It's hilarious. If anything is "big" or "tall", your little husky voice gets deep and even huskier as you describe the "BIIIIIIIIIIG water tower!" If you happen to be saying, "It's all gone!" or "I don't know!", you raise your hands in the air palms up and shrug your shoulders. Such a gesture! You still like to repeat a lot of what we say and I've learned that it's your way of processing and thinking before you give your own response or input. You've also learned to use "Hmmmmmm" when you're thinking, which is adorable. If I ask you what you did at church, you typically pause before answering, and say something like, "I went down the slide ... aaaaaand ... ate some goldfish ... aaaaaaand .... saw some friends!" I love the deep thought. Too cute, kiddo.
You are definitely a night owl. You love to stay up and sleep in (this is further evidence that you are, indeed, your father). When you wake up you like to snuggle and sometimes you ask if you can go back to bed. Little bedheaded buddy! You are a big fan of breakfast, though, and we are big breakfast people so it works well! You love biscuits, fruit, eggs, yogurt, toast, oatmeal and bacon, although there usually only two options at breakfast (um, a morning bun from Starbucks, that you lovingly refer to as a "cinnamon roll!", is also an occasional favorite). I realized recently that we don't really eat cereal for breakfast, but I know you've had it before. I'd rather have a hot breakfast, so I guess I'm kind of passing that on to you! You like to "help" me in the kitchen by standing on a chair and stirring for me or simply supervising and asking what I am doing.
Buddy, this letter is LONG.
I realize I could just go on and on and on and on and on about you. I've got to stop somewhere! We love you so much. You make us laugh every day and we still go to bed talking about you and the funny things you did that day. You are growing so quickly into a big boy and we love watching you! The twos have not been terrible (I've heard threes are tricky!). We've hit some bumps along the way, but it reminds me more and more of my responsibility as your Mom to train you up in the way you should go. This experience is not about doing right or wrong, but about discovering who you are in Christ and the journey that will take you there. To glorify God and enjoy Him forever. I am still learning as I attempt to teach you. You make parenting a joy and I can't tell you how grateful I am to you for that. Each challenge creates a new level of learning and accomplishment, and I love that I have the privilege of being the one who gets to see it firsthand. Even on the harder days, you capture my heart.
Every day, Cub, every day, I am humbled by the blessing that is you. I am humbled that God chose to give you to us; a precious, ordained life that has drastically changed our own. You are His, little Cub, and to Him we entrust your life. Our hearts are full because of you.
Buddy. I love you. Dadda loves you. Nomi loves you.
Happy Thirty-Month Birthday.
(I'm thinking a cinnamon roll for breakfast is in order.)