I'm glad I started this blog.
I'm glad because the other day I had a few minutes to sit down and read through some old posts, and glance at some pictures from earlier in the year and it reminded me why I started it in the first place.
To look back and see from whence we've come and how much we've all grown.
I'm glad because reading about 3 year old Aquaman reminded me what a pleasure 4 year old Aquaman has become.
And because there are little things about The Dude and his earliest toddlerhood that I thought certain I would never forget, but I did. And looking back through my posts I can relive them for just a moment.
It's important to take some time to look back once in a while. I have shelves and shelves of prayer journals that are collecting dust, but I keep them because I know someday I might need them to remember God's grace from the past so that I can rely on it for the future. Future Grace. One of my all-time favorite books, by John Piper. Because it's our faith in future grace that keeps us going, but it's remembering compounded past grace that gives us that faith.
It's been a tiring week so far. JT has to work all weekends this month due to staff shortages, and since he switched his days off from September, he is in the middle of a 9 day work week. The Dude has awakened me at 4:30 am for the past 4 days in a row, so I have been going to bed at 10, experiencing multiple night-wakings, and then getting up for good at 4:30. I'm tired.
And I'm so happy.
It won't last forever.
If some part of me didn't remember that, after reading back over these past 9 months, it remembers now.
The Dude is 19 months old today. I am cherishing toddlerhood.
He loves to read his favorite books to himself, particularly "first words" and "are you my mother?". He flips back over and over to his favorite pictures, and points emphatically to them: "BALL, oh hahahaha", "DOG! *arf arf arf*!"
Then he wants me to read it to him so he throws the book at my head and yells in his shrillest most angry voice "PEASE! BOOK!"
We'll need to work on our manners. But probably not today. Today he is a 19 month old. And those moments of fury end within seconds and he is back to smiles and giggles and playing trucks.
Aquaman is a 4 yr old in all his 4 yr old glory. I adore it. He loves me again and wants me around. He tolerates my nightly 25 kisses and 32 hugs. He shows off. A lot. And acts silly to the point of being ridiculous. He laughs way more and cries much less. He wakes up happy and excited for the day instead of demanding and weepy. To be sure, there are some things I miss about 3. Now, whenever I try to have a serious conversation with him, or ask him a question, he randomly inserts a funny word to change the subject and lighten the mood.
When I sat with him on the floor to write thank you notes for his birthday presents the other day, he wanted to address them to: "Mr. Nobody full of empty bags." If you're wondering what that means, so am I. These are the kinds of nonsensical conversations we have now.
But when I went to his recent school birthday party, and saw him gathered around his friends, I noticed a little girl sitting across from him who giggled with excitement every time he said one of those ridiculous phrases, and I realized, for a 4 year old: He's hip. He's edgy.
A preview of 15 yr old Aquaman, the show-off.
He's not who I thought he'd be, and I LOVE that. When I was pregnant with him I pictured a tan, curly-tow-headed ready-for-anything surfer boy. We got closer to that mark with the 2nd one.
Aquaman is cautious and thoughtful and infinitely sensitive, and I have been slowly but surely extracting my preconceived notions from my mind and my behavior and letting him fill them in.
Given his high sensitivity as well as his need to be in control, he doesn't seem to be a candidate for team sports. Maybe wrestling though. He is pretty fast and furious and goes into a full-blown panic if you so much as hold his hand (much less try to hold down his whole body)
And he's highly verbal and very bright but he does not enjoy anything that smells of school. I believe he told me the other day: "I don't like school because I don't like learning." Which I think actually means he doesn't like learning anything that's hard for him: sitting still, paying attention, writing his letters.
He plays "only with things that have wheels", and has recently changed from saying he was going to be a dentist (for the past 2 yrs), to wanting to become a pediatrician.
It's so much fun watching him grow, and learning to step back and let him become who he is. I know these interests will be forever evolving (after all, I went through an obsessive dog loving phase at age 11 and moved on), but I look forward to encouraging him to explore those things that make him tick and find out who he is, and I hope I don't get in the way of helping him become who he was meant to be.
In other news, we're having our kitchen cabinets and counters painted. I am very excited about this, since they have been looking pretty pathetic, but in the meantime our whole house is torn up from the mess in the kitchen.
We're doing a lot of reading from the library about Autumn, and hoping Aunt K can bring us some colored leaves when she comes to visit in a few weeks. We're making pumpkin muffins and cinnamon apple fruit leather this weekend.
And we're spending the next 2 days with this pretty girl.
Our house and our hearts are full.
Thank You, God.