Didn’t I just write you a letter for your first birthday? I feel like just yesterday I was eating the remaining puppy chow and packing up Clifford decor. Poor Clifford, he’s no longer a favorite. I think he misses you – who wouldn’t? Ah, yes, nothing speeds the clock like motherhood.
These past two years have been the most fun, exhausting, memorable and challenging years of my life. In just a year, you’ve gone from toddling to running and jumping. You’ve gone from knowing your colors to SAYING your colors (even complex ones, like bronze and grey). You’ve gone from saying simple words like bus and fire truck to full sentences, like “Mommy, where is the yellow school bus going?” (I’ve counted 9-10 word sentences coming out of you!) You’ve gone from knowing a few letters to knowing and saying them all, complete with the sounds they make. You’ve gone from a bottle to a big boy cup and a crib to a big boy bed (well, mattress on the floor). Each milestone is bittersweet. Sometimes I wish I could keep you little forever. At the same time, I love watching you discover new things. I’m trying so hard not to forget what your lion “rawr” and fire truck siren sounds like or how much fun it is to dance around the living room with you before bedtime. I’m trying not to forget how you like me to sing twinkle twinkle and the Blossom Song to you or how much you love bathtime. See, I’m storing these memories away, tucked snug and tight in the back of my mommy brain under lock and key. I have a feeling they might come in handy later in life, when dancing with mommy will no longer be cool.
And while this past year has brought remarkable changes, you are still the same rambunctious, remarkable little boy I fell in love with at first sight. Your Daddy and I joke a lot about your “spirited” disposition. You aren’t the kid who sits quietly and plays – or the kid who lets us sleep in – or the kid who calmly sits in a shopping cart – or a kid you can distract with a simple toy. No, you are the little boy who figures out how to climb out of his crib, opens doors he knows he shouldn’t and laughs with glee as he runs from me in any populated, public place.
The truth is, we wouldn’t have you any other way. Because spirited people get stuff done. They don’t take no for an answer and they don’t give up on what they believe in. I hope and pray that you, my little boy, laugh in the face of “no,” keep fighting for what you want and never let any dream die.
I love the way you confidently announce what you want to do – you, always absolutely certain of what you want. I love your curiosity – how you always ask, “what’s that, what does that do?” And you never cease to amaze me when you pull the word out – weeks later. “That’s a scaffolding truck, Mommy!” Why yes, baby genius, it is. I love the look on your face when you yell, “we are having fun!” and “we are dancing together!” I love the way you say “please” and “thank you.” I love the way that the vein in your neck pops out when you are SO freaking excited that I think you might explode. I love the way that you are always on the move – dancing, twirling, running, spinning, climbing – a ball of energy, a blur of activity and life — my blur.
You are the light of our lives, the heart of our family and the reason we go to bed every night with (exhausted) smiles.
You are such a happy little bean. I so treasure your smile and feel so lucky that you share it with me and the world so frequently. Keep giving it away, even if it’s not reciprocated. You’ll soon learn just how far it can take you in life.
When the house becomes a little too quiet, I know that you’re either racing your cars and firetrucks or sitting on the floor with your head in a book. I love that you’re a reader. And I hope and wish that you’ll continue to read – books are cool! I promise that the escape provided by words cannot be duplicated with electronics. And readers have interesting opinions. Have some of them!
I’m your mom, so of course I love to give you advice, count your vegetable intake, and imagine you reading these letters as a well-adjusted adult. I can see it now – you’ll wipe some tears (you are you mother’s child, after all), pick up the phone and thank me for my eternal love and wisdom. But maybe I should thank you too.
Thanks for encouraging me to let the dirty dishes pile up a wee bit longer to play chase, camp in the tee pee or read one more book. Thank you for making me your dance partner – with at least two performances per day. Your adorably demanding, “mommy dance!” never fails to bring a smile to my face and make my heart smile. Thank you for helping me stop, slow down, and take the time to find the perfect red leaf in the giant pile of nearly identical leaves. Thanks for making us a family, for being all mine and for giving me the absolute joy of being your mommy.
I’ve heard some mommies say that their kids make them a better person – a better woman – a better version of themselves. You do more than that, Sawyer. Quite simply, you make me.
I love you more.