You’re six now, and I can see you getting bigger every day. Not just physically, but in mind and spirit too. You’ve learned to be helpful when you want to be, and are much better at taking on responsibility. You now shower by yourself, start to finish. You even comb your own hair and clean your own ears and you take care of it all while I bathe your brothers. It seems small, but it’s a big deal to me because it’s a BIG help.
But now that you are getting older, I see small glimpses of how you are going to cause me to be an emotional wreck and it’s absolutely terrifying.
As our oldest, you’re forging the path when it comes to independence and being without us at school and other activities. It’s all new to me; something uncharted and unknown and I don’t know how to quite handle it emotionally. Any time you have a hard day away from me, it breaks my heart a little bit. Some day you, too, will realize just how painful it can be to start loosening your grasp on your kids and allowing them to learn things on their own. I know it’s necessary, but I hate it.
You’ve been sick for about 4 weeks with a virus that just wouldn’t go away. You had 2 stomach viruses within 6 days that had you vomiting. You also got on a plane in between those two bugs and threw up due to motion sickness. Then, you had 3 occasions of migraines and fevers, followed up by 4 days of itchy hives. You’ve been through the ringer. And I HATED watching you go through it. When you couldn’t go to school and you cried, I cried a little too. When you had to go to the doctor and get blood drawn and you screamed, I screamed on the inside and gave the nurses dirty looks just for you. When you threw up for the hundredth time and yelled, “I don’t want to feel like this anymore!” I nodded in agreement and solidarity and pain.
Despite the hardness of this last month, you have been brave and done your best to endure. You are excellent at complaining and calling attention to yourself, but deep down I know how strong you are. I continue to be proud of you in so many ways, especially in those moments where you face that independence head on and thrive. I pray that you will always stand tall in the face of adversity and know that I am right behind you, even if only in spirit.
You’ve have grown up so much since in the last year. Watching you start preschool and get out of your older sister’s shadow has been so exciting. You are more social than I could have guessed (since up until now I haven’t really seen you around anyone but your sister) and you’re friends with everyone. You continue to have a super sweet nature and a sensitive heart. I know people with forever be drawn to you because of this. I get small glimpses of the kind and loving man you will one day become, and I am already so proud. Your wife will be so lucky.
I currently can’t get enough of watching you play alone (you’ve always been good at this and often prefer it to playing with others). You love playing Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers. The house can be silent and suddenly I will hear “Power Rangers – Go!” and see you run by with your foam sword. You’re just as funny as you are loving.
You can never be close enough; you try to snuggle up into the small crevice between my arm and my side. Although there isn’t any room for you there, I bite my tongue while getting kicked and kneed as you do your best to find space, because I know you simply want love and affection. Maybe one day you’ll teach this cold-hearted mama the love language of touch (I’m trying).
Oh and those baby blues. I claim them as my own and no girl is ever allowed to look into them and swoon. EVER.
What a firecracker you are! You’re 20 months and you have a bigger personality than anyone in this house. Your two favorite things are dogs and cars. Both make a similar “voom, voom” sound according to you, so when you get excited and point and yell this over and over I have no idea if a car just passed or you spotted a dog. Oh well.
Car rides have become particularly fun. You spot trucks and buses and say “WOW!” in the cutest little voice, then make the “voom, voom” sound, then yell “mo-i! mo-i!” (more, more). This repeats the entire length of the car ride. Good times.
But when you get angry – watch out… you grunt and you growl and you stomp your foot and cross your arms and you look us straight in the eye so that we know you’re serious. It’s often because I said, “no Graham, you can’t have another banana.” (sidenote: you would eat 15 bananas a day if I let you)
Despite your little outbursts, you have moments of such tenderness that I hold dear. You are rarely still or calm (you still have no interest in television, so I can’t find anything that will keep you occupied if I need to accomplish something), but every now and then you climb up into our laps and just. sit. Your stillness is beautiful.
And you never hesitate to walk us to the door when we need to leave and repeat “bye! bye!” with a little wave. You give a hug and an open-mouthed kiss and then you shove us out the door so you can have the satisfaction of closing it. So rude, but so cute.
Putting you to bed is when I finally breathe a sigh of relief from exhaustion. But walking into your room in the morning and picking you up again and kissing you is the best part of my day.
Photos taken by the amazing Jared Wilson Photography