I know that every mother wants the best for their child. Every mother wants to fill their child’s mind with vidid experiences that fill them with a sense of wonder for the world around them. Every mother wants to see their child grow to be happy, secure, intelligent and confident. As I watch you grow, I think about these things.
There are days I am filled with such regret and frustration that we aren’t financially able to take you places and allow you to experience things that would be fun for you. Some speak to me like it’s a sin that you haven’t been on a vacation or to the beach since your birth. For that, I’m sorry. Those things ARE fun to do together and I’m sure that we’ll be able to do them one day. But, I know that your 21 months have been filled with more love than your little body and heart can contain. You are surrounded by people who love you. And, new people that come into our lives grow to love you almost immediately. Your smile and your sweet words ooze your precious personality. I don’t regret for a minute that I’ve held you back from words, shows, experiences that I believe would cause your mind to try to understand things that are inappropriate for your developing mind. I count it an honor that I’ve been called to make those decisions on your behalf. I pray everyday that when it’s your turn to decide for yourself how to fill your days and hours, that you will also filter out those things that are not worthing of allowing into your thoughts, memories and understanding.
It’s so true that your little mind is like a sponge right now. I can’t even keep up with the words that you’re learning each day! These months of “language explosion” have been so fun to watch. You’re putting words together to communicate what’s going on in your head. My favorite and most surprising experience happened last week. You went to your room and got your shoes out of your dresser drawer. You wanted to go outside and knew that in order to go out you must have on shoes (though you were still wearing your pajamas!). You sat on the floor with your shoes and put the right shoe on the left foot. As soon as you got it on, you said, ” Wrong foot!” and fixed your mistake. I couldn’t believe it! Where did that handy phrase come from? And, you’re learning some tricks of the trade as well. Whenever you want something badly, you always throw a sweet little “Peese” (please) in there. You know it works on me every time. And, I feel like such a proud mother when you say “Tank OO” (Thank you) without being asked. I wonder if you’re beginning to understand what it really means to BE thankful?
Thankfully, as you’re beginning to understand more and more about how the world works and as you’re able to express yourself more, your fit throwing is lessening. Don’t get me wrong, you still like to show me when you’re unhappy when something doesn’t go your way. I don’t expect it to leave completely anytime soon, but if you have other plans I’m willing to go along with them. 🙂 If one day you wonder about why I always leave the room or walk away when you’re kicking and screaming, I want you to know that I’m doing it out of love and a desire to teach you better things. Though my first instinct is to comfort you and make you happy by giving you everything you want, I know that’s not always best. I so want for you to NOT get a reaction out of me and then be forced to go to another place in your mind where you’ll have to come up with another way to show me what you need. I need you to search for the words and find new actions. I believe you’ll do it because I think you are the smartest, sweetest and most special little boy there ever was! You make me so proud.
I love you.
You are growing up and changing before my eyes. I know that seems strange that I’d say that at the tender age of 20 months, but it feels so true. You’ve developed such independence. You want to do everything yourself and if you get unsolicited help, you cry and scream and fall down on the floor. I don’t let this bother me because I know it’s who you’re supposed to be. You’re brilliant and you have your own wonderful ideas about how you’d like things to be done. Someday you’ll be able to share those with me and I CAN’T WAIT to hear them. Just a warning, though, I may disagree with you.
For example, right now you think it’s a good idea to cross the street or parking lot by yourself and you don’t want anyone to hold your hand. You scream and fall to the ground whenever I tell you that someone is going to have to hold your hand. I just want you to know that, even though it makes you angry, I’m doing it because I love you and never, ever want to see you hurt.
A few weeks ago I left you and went away on a trip for 3 days. When I saw you again, you had learned so much! You held up markers to me and told me what color they were. I was amazed! They say that every mother thinks their child is the smartest child ever, but I think I’m right. 🙂 The colors were only the start. Only days later we were outside planting flowers. I told you that we were going to plant 3 in the pot. I put one in and said “one”, as I was grabbing the second one, you said, “two”. I didn’t realize that you could count or even SAY the names of numbers. Now you’ll count with us to five and you like to say the names of other numbers. But that wasn’t all, that same week we were drawing in the floor of your playroom. I drew a balloon and you said “balloon”. Then, I put the letter B beside it and you said “B”. I nearly screamed with excitement! I kept drawing images and writing letters and you kept saying them back to me. Carter, I didn’t teach you any of those things, but you were ready to learn them so you picked them up and made them yours. WOW! Since then, we’ve been having a lot of fun learning more together.
I’ve also noticed that you’ve realized that all the words that you know can become words that you say. Just yesterday we were in your room. You took a book off your shelf that you wanted me to read. The name of the book was “Time to Say Please”, so you brought it over to me saying “Peease, peease, peease.” I absolutely love that I can learn things about you from the things you tell me now instead of just your actions. As you’re learning new words, I’m going to be learning to understand what you’re saying and why, so I’m praying every night that you’ll develop a patient spirit as we work out all this together.
I love you. I’m proud of you and I’m so glad that God gave you to me.
I am so glad that you are finally well and back to your old, fun self again.
We’ve had a lot of fun this week going place together and exploring. Today we went to the zoo with some friends and you were so much more interested in seeing the animals this time than when we went a few months ago. I think your favorite animals are the birds. You laugh when they start flapping their wings.
I was thinking today about how, at your first birthday, I told everyone how amazed I was at how much you had changed in just one year’s time. You went from a little baby lump that just grunted and slept to a precious little boy who interacted with people and the world around you. At that time, though, you were still a month and a half away from walking. Once that started, we entered a whole new game! Suddenly you had an opinion and feelings about everything. You could show me what you wanted and you could let me know when you didn’t want something. Your personality started to come out — and that has been an amazing thing to watch. You are such a curious little boy. You want to see how everything works. You have a ride-on Tonka truck, but rather than ride it most times, you’d rather flip it over and spin the wheels. You are taking in EVERYTHING we do and say these days and I’ve had to start watching what I say. This morning I stubbed my toe and said “PISS!” and I looked at you to make sure that you weren’t going to repeat it. Thank goodness you didn’t. I made a mental note to go ahead and remove that word from my vocabulary. Now I’m thinking that you’ve changed so much MORE from 1 year to 19 months than you did in your first year. You are really becoming YOU and it is an exciting thing to watch.
Your favorite thing to explore is the outdoors. Next door, at Papa and Yaya’s house, you’ll walk around their yard for hours picking up sticks and saying “STEEK” and pointing to rocks and saying “WOK”. I’ll ask you, “Where are the trees” and you’ll point to them and “Where are the clouds” and you’ll point to them. If we try to walk you back towards our house or take you inside theirs before you are ready, you’ll scream and arch your back so we’ll put you down. I’m glad you’re the outdoorsy type. I wouldn’t want you to get even a touch of my home-bodiedness.
I wish I could capture in a photo or video how much your Daddy is crazy about you. He was ready for you to talk, and now that you are he’s having a field day trying to teach you new words each day. Yesterday, he was reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to you and he taught you the word “moon”. Though, you pronounce it “MEEN”. Last night, I watched him chase you around the living room while you squealed with delight each time he’d catch you and throw you into the air. I think that you’re glad we’re your parents. We’re certainly glad that you made us parents and made us a family. We couldn’t love anything more than we love you. You are our favorite.
Bunches of Love,