My son just ran in to have his stuffed frog's teeth brushed and ran back out again,
tucking back into his little Dr. Lion-influenced medical story.
We've spent the last four days traveling with this little man and what a good sport he's been,
what a good dinner companion,
what good listening.
I kinda held my breath a few times because we've had some absolutely difficult tantrums
here at home usually around the moment I have to get to the post office
and always when it's just me.
The lighter I am, the lighter he is.
The more our family re-knits after the separation of game-cycle-crunch
the more he breathes easy.
I can see it.
I am celebrating it quietly and daily.
We've reached the age where concepts are graspable things,
and it's shocking to me that I find so much more comfort here than I did when he was an early toddler.
I always though that'd be my jam,
but instead I felt like I was floundering (well, I did just spend the day at the Aquarium!!)
and easily overwhelmed.
We have conversations now.
Yes, they're mostly nonsense and based on wants but we HAVE them.
And I love them.
He knows how to be cute now,
he knows that you get more bees with honey.
He also knows that even if I don't always like what he does that I ALWAYS love him.
That mama don't take no mess: there are ways to behave and ways not to behave.
That there are consequences (privileges lost)
and that he is safe and tenderly cared for.
He knows how deeply loved he is
because we tell him more than we think we do.
I worship the way he says, "I love you, too, Mommy"
with such simplicity.
He knows all about cars and trains and mechanical things
and he points them out with wonder
and says things that leave us crying with laughter,
things that I need to start writing down.
I need more pictures,
I will never ever have enough time with him, ever.
I have never had the opportunity to watch someone emerge from infancy
like a polaroid
from a fluttering kick
to a cheeky toddler
singing in the backseat at the top of his happy lungs.
I feel like we've reached some sort of plateau here,
and though I never rest easy in the phases (they pass so fast)
I see this strength of spirit and self-sufficiency
that tells me worlds about the man he will become
I guess all of this is to say that I like my son very much.
Loving him is a given, of course.
Of course I love him.
But liking him?
At this historically tough age where he's bound to be both Jekyll and Hyde in one day?
That feels like the most fun surprise of all.
I really like him.
I'm taking to this age
like (wait for it)
a fish to water.
(I'll be here all week, folks.)