Friday, May 23, 2014

William is TWO!

Hi there, my big first-born, second love of my life, my two year old boy.

Who can I talk to about slowing this down? Can you please take a few more years to turn three?
Really, has any parent ever asked for that before?

My transition to motherhood was a little rough. Nursing was so killer for so long. I felt like my old life was completely gone. I wondered if I would ever look good again, or sleep normally again. But never, not for one milisecond, was I not completely head-over-heels for YOU. I remember weeping when I looked at you, my perfect blond boy who looked like ME. I couldn't believe how lucky I had gotten.

I believe that God knew it would be a little bit of a bumpy road, and so to give me strength, he gave me that mountain of love for you. I hope I can relive those days in heaven.

Last week, one morning right after waking, you asked for a hug ("hock") in the midst of your diaper change. This is customary. So before putting your diaper on, I sat you up, wrapped your worn, faithful blanket around your shoulders, and squeezed you as hard as I could without cutting off your oxygen. Behind us, the Michael Card CD Come to the Cradle was playing. This was the same music we listened to for hours upon hours as I nursed you and rocked your little infant body. As I hugged you, I closed my eyes and heard the music and was transported back to that room in North Carolina, with its wooden blinds letting the evening light stream through as I rocked you to sleep. I continued to hug you and you sat very still, for a long time, as the song played. I wondered if you remembered those moments too.

Thank you for being my first born. It couldn't have started any better than with YOU.

At two years old, you are just plain wonderful.

- You have a habit of exclaiming "Oh!" before many of your sentences. I'll ask, "William, do you want to play with your truck?" and you'll answer, "Oh! that truck. HUGE." Or - "William, do you want some blueberries?" "Oh! blueberries." Or, "Do you want to come inside?" "Oh! nectarine." (Which sounds more like "Tangerine," and means, "No, I don't want to come inside, I want to eat a nectarine out here if you don't mind.")

- Your s's are silent. "Hee tractor?" you'll ask whenever we go outside. "Hocks on!" you'll cheerfully exclaim.

- You love asparagus ("goos"), venison steak ("meat!"), and all fruit. Really, there's not much food you don't like, although I'm having a hard time getting you to drink milk. Your breakfast every morning, by request, is banana and peanut butter. ("nana ba-pu") You've just started saying, "Mmmm," when you take bites of food. When I hear that, I want to bottle up the sound and save it for hard times.

- We have little inside jokes. When I sneeze, you say, "Bless you, mama." (Which sounds like "budge-you-mama.") Then it reminds you of our inside joke and you say, "Bless you, Papa Bear." Then I catch on and imitate another great, big, exaggerated sneeze. "AAAA-CHOO!" Again you say - ""Budge-you Papa Bear!" Then I say (and if I forget, you prompt me): "I never get sick! Yes you do Papa Bear, you're sick right now!" You love it. Or often, when I'm changing you, you'll get a little glint in your eye and say in a coy little voice, "Popcorn!" (Only it sounds like "Ca-ko!") Which means you want me to find the popcorn that's hiding in all your chub and EAT IT! And we have a good old tickle session! Until mama needs to get on with business. Or when you put on your little hardhat, I'm supposed to say, "I can't see! I can't see!" ... until you shake it off your head and I go, "Ahhhhh" in a dumb sounding voice. You laugh and laugh.

- Your daddy says what he wants to remember most about you being two are these two memories. First, when you were chasing Bo behind the barn, yelling, "Get 'im, Bo!" with such glee and joy that it seemed no one could be happier. And when you were out keeping him company while he was attempting to plant raspberry bushes, and you wouldn't stop talking his ear off  about riding the tractor. ("Dada-holdyou-tractor-trailer!") You were so fed up with waiting that you bent down low to the ground where he was planting the bushes, looked up into his face, waved a hand in patient request for his attention, and said very seriously, "Dada. Tractor." He laughed, put down his work, and took you for a ride.

- You love - and by "love" I mean adore, cherish, are infatuated with - tractors. Our riding mower is a sorry excuse for a tractor, but you are so thrilled to see your old friend each time. You hold your hands to the heavens and look upward and say in a serious voice, "Tractor BIIIIIIIIIIIG."

- You love trucks, Grandpa (and all the good things he stands for: driving in the Caddy, playing on the pool table, dancing to his guitar), basketball, and stringed instruments. Don't ask me how this got started, but you're obsessed with the double bass. Almost every vertical, thin object is your "big bass." You have banged out many a beautiful tune (I'm sure) on the microwave handle, your water bottle, the hammock stand, and several poor trees in the yard.

- At snack time, you like to clear off your little white table (by depositing all the toys thereupon onto the dining room table), take your snack to your fresh clean spot, sit down facing the wall, and eat very seriously. This always tugs at my heart and I feel compelled to sit with you and keep you company.

- You have a wonderful imagination. The other day you offered me one of our cork drink coasters as "hot coffee." I took a sip and told you it was delicious. You then reclined onto Bo's bed and continued sipping your hot coffee, complete with slurping noises.

- I've been rotating your toys in a new system, and it's working well. Still, I think we could get rid of them all and only keep your plastic ride-on Tonka truck, your tiny plastic basketball net, and your basket of balls, which you thrillingly dump out a couple times a day. You're not too bad about picking them up when told, too.

- You love basketball. You love the way the ball goes through the net. You love saying "basketball basket" whenever you see one. It sounds like "bookaball backet!"

- You are very comfortable in your crib. It's your happy place. Some mornings when you're having a hard time (maybe the world seems a little overwhelming?), I put you in there with a big old stack of books and let you have a 45 minute break. You seem much calmer after your world has been shrunk down for a bit. When I go to get you in the morning, it's usually after I've listened to you jabber for thirty minutes or so. Even still, when I get there, you roll around in your crib and play hard-to-capture. It's difficult considering transitioning you out of it, since you haven't tried to climb out and since you seem to happy in there. We've got some time, I suppose. You're still sleeping in your own room, but when Barrett gets to be about six months old or so, I'll move him in there with you. I have a feeling you'll love it.

- You're sleeping great. It seems as though you've always slept through the night but I have to remind myself this is not the case. I am having a hard time breaking away from the winter pajamas routine though. The winter was so cold that I got used to putting you into bed with multiple layers on, then covering you with a couple blankets. Last night I put you in a light (light? come on, mama) footie pajama and covered you with a quilt. When I went to bed a couple hours later I was so warm in a t-shirt under the sheet. I walked upstairs to check on you and make sure you weren't too hot. Gosh. It had to have been 80 degrees in your room, yet you had fallen asleep under your blanket like a good trooper, wet with sweat. I changed you completely, diaper and everything, putting you in a t-shirt and shorts and covering you with a light muslin blanket. You smiled in your sleep. I'm sorry, son. I just didn't want you to be cold. Can it really be almost June?

- You shut doors and drawers behind me. You are my little neatnik. You are just like your daddy. You also do this funny, compulsive little thing - when I say a word that ends in a soft t, like "fruit" or "Barrett," you add a distinctive, hard t sound under your breath. You're not correcting me, simply enunciating for me. I find it fascinating and funny.

- You are such a sweet boy. I know that seems like such a generic phrase, but your heart is truly so tender. You love cuddling, being held, giving kisses to us all (especially Barrett), loving your stuffed animals and even animals in books. You are an example to me to be kind to others. One day, I was driving to grandma and grandpa's and got stuck, waiting to make a right turn. All the traffic signals were in my favor, but an old lady on her bike was shuffling her way across the street and I could not turn. She was stradding the seat and moving herself by her tiptoes, creeping along verrrrrrrrrrry slowly. By the time she crossed, my opportunity was gone. I was just about to say something horrible, like "Nice" or "Thanks, lady", when I saw you looking out your window with a smile, waving at her, and saying, "Hi!" I realized with a horrible THUD that YOU treated her better than I had. And that God was saying to me, "I sent him down with a love for people. You better not show him the wrong way to treat them."

-You wake up from each nap asking to see "Doc talk?" and when I get out our puppet "Doc", you are very attentive to him, showing him all the things in your room in order to impress him. I don't even try to hide that it's me talking for him. I don't even put full effort into it every time. But you are always very serious about impressing Doc. I try to do it with a happy heart, knowing there is a day coming when you won't ask to see Doc anymore.

- You are very social. You love people. You enjoy telling everyone at Meijer that the horse is broken ("hosie broken!") even though they fixed it a long time ago. You are becoming very good with please and thank you. I think you know that people find you delightful.

- Every day you become more attached to your brother. You have always been sweet to him, perhaps a little aloof, but now you want to share your toys, hold him often, give him kisses, hold his hand (with a death grip, I recently realized), talk to him, and ask about him. I tell you every day that Barrett has a wonderful big brother, that you are my wonderful big helper, that Barrett loves you so much, that you are going to be best friends. I pray every day that God will plant love in each of your hearts for each other. You are Barrett's protector and he is your loyal companion. I wonder if, even now, you remember the days before he came?

- You and your daddy spend a lot of evenings "working" in the yard. Daddy of course is working, and I hear your loud chatter all the way inside the house as you keep him company. I for some reason can't seem to get any yard work done with you outside, as you're always asking me to "take a walk" or push your bike or take you to see the tractor, but you seem content to let daddy work while you enjoy his manly company. You are very impressed with all the big equipment he uses. You talk about the chainsaw, compressor, tractor, blower, drill, and splitter. You talk about how he "cut oak". My dear little funny boy, my heart hurts to think it won't be long before you are using all of those things beside him.

- Your vocabulary and language has exploded in the past three months - since we brought Barrett home, pretty much. I find you saying phrases different ways ("William ride horsey? William hold horsey?"). I get the feeling you are trying to learn and practice your English. I'm sorry it's such a complicated language.

- You love books. In your toddler talk, I've discovered that you've memorized many of them. I often can decipher you quoting passages to yourself (like "BANG! POP! SSShhhhhhhhhhhhh.... Oh no! A blowout! Back off the hammer! Hit the brake! Use the Jake!" from Big Rig).

- You love church, and worship, and clapping. You are Silent Bob still when it comes to singing, but I'm sure that will happen in time. You and I have a good time during morning devotions. We usually start out at the piano, you playing your tambourine, until you take my hand because you want me to dance around the room with you as we clap and play our instruments. How amazing it will be when there are several of us, playing and singing our hearts out to God! Your favorite Bible story is of Elijah the prophet, undoubtedly because of the picture of the ravens bringing him food by the brook. (You try to cuddle the birds in your hand.) I was a bit concerned at first, because you shouted "Baal!" whenever I'd bring the book out. You just loved the picture of Elijah jeering at the prophets of Baal, but your limited language did not allow anything but the troubling, "Baal! Baal!" The more I tried to correct this, the worse it got, with you all confused thinking that our wonderful God was the light fixture. Eventually I gave up, deciding to ignore it. Now you say, "Baal - blech." That's right, buddy. Baal is blech.

- Your daddy could not love you more. He delights in you so much and is often more of a softie when it comes to disciplining you than I thought he'd be. It breaks my heart a little bit to say this, but sometimes your relationship reminds me of unrequited love. Your daddy looking at you with adoring eyes, saying, "You know what, buddy... daddy loves you so much." And you, totally blowing him off, running after your basketball or (once yet AGAIN) talking about your HUGE truck. Your truck is not huge. But your daddy sure loves you. I wonder if he will continue to be so expressive when you get to be a big teenage boy. If he's not - if his love mellows into a more unspoken emotion, that is - I will point back to these days and assure you with everything in my being that you and your siblings are the light of his world.

There is so much more to you. I can't fit it all into a blog even if I tried. You are an excellent child. You have your tough days of course, but they bring me to the cross and I hope someday they will bring you there as well. And even during those tough days, which I have to say are really few and far between, you are still my affectionate, creative first born who - I have to brag - LOVES his mama. I love you too, sweet boy. You are as close to perfect as I could have hoped.

Happy second birthday, William Bernie!

Love, Mama

1 comment: