21 months today. Time doesn’t appear to be going any more slowly, Hank, you know that? I keep blinking, and you keep creeping closer to two. Three more months, and we’ll be celebrating another landmark birthday…all this time we’ve had to love you and watch you grow.
I know as you get older these entries will likely start to embarrass you a little, but I’m not shy. I want your someday-wife and kiddos to be able to read about your humble beginnings if God permits. I want you to know that almost-two is normal and healthy, and that all of the wrestling you’ll do with your children someday is par for the course. I don’t know where they’ll get it from, but I have a sneaking hunch there might be a firecracker or two in the mix if, years from now, you grow up to be a dad. I pray you will if it’s in your heart. And I pray that your babies stretch you in the beautiful ways you’re stretching me. Stretching all of us.
For a while, I think you called me to a higher standard of life and accountability on the sheer fact that I was suddenly your mom. Little people will do that to a new parent. It’s just a right of passage. But nowadays, and more readily, you call me to a higher standard of everything because you see and hear and notice everything. You remember it. You repeat it back. You tell me how it makes you feel. You reflect the light of whatever is around you, and if I’m dim, you’re dimmer, too. (I mean, you’re always bright to me, but I can tell–when my disposition isn’t rosy, it hurts your heart.) I’m imperfect and you’re discovering that more and more, but of far greater importance than that, I’m discovering you in a whole new light.
You observe from the moment you wake up until the moment you rest. I thought I talked a lot, but you’re giving your mama a run for her money. It’s hilarious. And glorious. And sometimes altogether exhausting, because I just can’t seem to find enough energy to match your speed. Still, it’s a marvelous thing.
Sometimes, we stand in the mirror and look at our faces together. You make your funny face, then your sad face, then your happy! face, and you wait for me to do the same. We talk about how our hair is a different color, how our eyes are almost hard to tell apart. You recite fill-in-the-blanks of the verse taped to the mirror frame to my heart’s delight: “If any one is in…’Christ’…he is a new…’ation’ [creation]. The old has…’pass away!’ [passed away]. ‘Behold!’ the new…’has come!’” 2 Cor 5.17. Your voice sweetens every word.
You are still chasing the dog everywhere possible. You hide under the dining room table when I ask you to stop, and then your little voice announces from underneath, “hiding.” Thank you, wee one. I didn’t know. You still can’t chase the dog ;) We play, “Where’s Henry?” even if you are standing right in front of me, and somehow, you believe I can’t see you until I say I can. If I take too long, “Right here. Henry’s here,” you remind me. You want to read The Little Engine That Could six times a day. You always ask to read your Bible at bedtime. You recite, Night, Night Little Pookie with a comic flair that makes me bubble up with happiness. You still snuggle with the best of them, and I am soaking it in like crazy all I can.
You love your LEGOS and anything that starts with the word, “Surprise!” A sticker. A matchbox car. A bill in the mail that I let you open. Your morning yogurt. If I’m not careful, a “surprise” will not mean much for long, but you get so “cited!” I can’t help but point out delights in the little things you’re not expecting in the moment. You look after your zoo animals, sea creatures, bedtime buddies and car collection with care. You make me a salad and cookies everyday in your kitchen. I love to see you begin to diversify your interests at this stage: coloring, painting, play doh, building, reading, magnets, anything with water. Your firsts swimming lessons have been (mostly) a hit.
Right now, one of my very favorite Henry-isms is the fact that you want to “snuggle in the rocker” after every bath time. You cozy up in a bundle on my lap and help me to sing, “Jesus Loves Me,” currently number one on HD’s Top 40 hits. You shout the words, “I know!” and “so!” and “belong!” but you whisper the word, “strong,” and it gets me every time. I imagine you being in awe of God’s strength, so much so that you have to whisper as you marvel at it. I marvel at it, too. “Yes, Jesus ‘Loves Meeeeeeee!’” you sing over and over. I pray that this truth is implanted ever so deeply in your heart.
We are rounding the corner on all kinds of exciting things, not the least of which include more playtime in the snow, your very first auto show(!), Valentine’s Day and card-making, a trip to Colorado to see your favorite cousin (and her mom and dad:), Easter, and then before you know it, the big numero dos. Are you ready for it? Throw in a few molars, probably a few more days relegated to the indoors, plenty of trips to Target and the grocery store, bagels at JP’s, a few more swim lessons, and a surprise adventure or two in the making, and we’re in for a full Winter/early Spring. I hope you’ll be happy as we make our way through these next days and weeks and months of discovering. If you’re having half as good a time learning as we have watching you do it, you must be faring decently well. Keep growing at your pace, on your time. We’ll be along for the ride!
love you to pieces, sweet munchkin boy. still couldn’t be more thrilled to be your mom!