Watching you grow up this past year has been a blur. A blur of you. You’ve changed so much, so fast! It’s been hard for me to keep up. One minute you were unsteady on your feet and the next you were running through the house like a silly boy. It’s so hard to remember the days when you were stationary.
You went to bed one night barely speaking and woke up the next morning with words exploding from your mouth. You want to know the names of things! And when we tell you what things are you say them back to us. You love to read books and even though Mama has hidden a few of her not-so-favorites, she loves to read to you.
You love to point out the cows on our morning drive to school. Animal noises are your favorite. Harmie laughed tonight when you made the elephant noise and raised your arm like an elephant’s trunk. Daddy taught you a goat sound on Friday and it’s your new favorite.
You’re a very introspective little guy. You like to feel out the situation before you warm up to it. If you’re not comfortable, you’ll just stay with Mama and Daddy until you are. We’re comforting for you, and while we want you to experience the world, we want you to do it on your terms. Never on ours. This world is yours, Joshie.
It hasn’t been an easy year for us, you and me. We’ve had some…adjustments. With these newfound words of yours has come a serious case of toddler ‘tude. You like to say “No, no” when you don’t want to do something we want you to do. I know you’re just testing out the world a little bit, trying to find your own sense of control over the little things, so I cut you some slack sometimes. But not always. You have to bathe. And brush your teeth. And change your stinkbutt diapers. And be nice to girls. Even if they have cooties. (And they ALL have cooties until I tell you otherwise. Except me. Mamas don’t count.)
You need lots and lots of cuddles. You are most happy sitting in my lap or being carried in my arms. This is getting more difficult now that you’re so big! (And how you got so big I have no idea. You eat virtually nothing.) Sometimes you still need a few middle of the night snuggles, and while I’d rather stay in my own bed, all comfy and cozy (and asleep), I’ll give up a few minutes of rest to breathe in your toddler scent in the middle of the night. That’s when you snuggle your face into my neck and sleep the most peacefully. It’s hard for me to put you back into your crib when you snuggle like that.
In the past year you’ve taught me how to be a mother–your mother. This is something I always wanted, and there was a time when I didn’t know if I’d ever be even sort of good at this. But your cuddles, your kisses and hugs, tell me that I’m more than just sort of good. I’m pretty okay. Even when I’m not.
I’m thankful that YOU still love me even when I don’t love myself very much. Even when I don’t think I’m very good at this and we’ve had a terrible, horrible, no-good, really bad day. You still come to me and say “Mama, up!” waiting on me to show you the world above your eye level. And there’s something kind of poetic about that. Something kind of awesome.
Joshua, I love you. More than anything in this world. And I will always love you. No matter what. There is nothing you could do in this life or any other life that would make me not love you. Ever.
I love you. Now and forever.