Earlier this week, I shared something hard here–one of the darker parts of this year and certainly an experience that has colored our lives (and our life with you) over the past number of months. I want you to know that in the midst of hard things, you have been the shiniest light.
Today marks nineteen months since our family grew to have you in it on this planet, gracing this world. I thumbed through a photo album of your first eight months earlier this afternoon, and I can’t believe how much you’ve changed from that little person we brought home and hardly knew. It’s honestly a challenge to throw back to days without you in them–while life was sweet in many ways before you came, it is that much more rich and textured with you here.
At nineteen months old, you are steady, strong, still resilient. As you gain your sense of self and determination in this season, we are both active participants and bystanders to your precocious, humorous, stubborn, steadfast, and loving ways. You have us laughing one minute and bracing ourselves the next–just as you should as a toddler on the verge of two, with every bit of *both of* your parents in him. “Run for our money” doesn’t describe every moment with you, but more and more of them all of the time. You are witty and quippy and discerning, capturing the joy of circumstances in perfect ways and seeing through our attempts to tag team your discipline when your two-some side reveals itself. We are constantly on our toes with you, and yet, I think we’re learning you well. You have given us much to discover.
My favorite Henry-isms these days are both actions and words. Today, for example, you showed immediate remorse when you did something wrong, and did your best to correct the issue by hugging me tightly and patting my back with your chubby little hand. It’s terribly hard to stay stern for very long when you understand consequences and communicate that understanding with a loving, gentle action. Even when you’re in “trouble,” you’re our little buddy–we know there’s a sweet spirit behind your personality, and it blesses us as your mama and daddy.
You get right down to eye level with all of the pups in your life to say hello… “Hi! Hi Kruger!” you exclaim like his very best friend in the world. “Hi Rika!” you say as you lay down on the floor to get close to her face. “Hi Peyton! Hi Callie! Hi! Hello!” You are impossibly friendly and darling in your efforts.
You wake up in the morning with a whole list of things you’ve dreamt about or are thinking about that must. be. discussed. right. now. Goats! Pigs! Cows! Tractor! Wagon! Engine! Traaaaaaain! Thunder…Boom! Boom! Raining! Cars! Downstairs…Kruger…Water! Your morning train of thought is a far better wake up call than coffee.
You see everything from your backseat, rear-facing view. And I do mean everything. There is chatter from the car seat for miles as we pass cranes, ambulances, police cars, pick up trucks, flags, kids, bicycles, trees, clouds, the moon, sunshine, lights, animals, COLORS! Who needs the news when they can have the Henry Report? I am taken with your little voice and the way you notice the important things, distracting me from the unimportant and causing me to appreciate the world right where I am. Right where we are.
You tell me things. More than just words, you’ve begun to truly articulate your thoughts and needs and wants, and it’s so beautiful. As your mama, I love knowing what you’re thinking. Today you’ve said things like, “Mommy do it.” “Henry do it.” “Kruger did it.” (Uh, oh. How did you figure that one out so fast?) “Henry tired.” “Henry’s water.” “Funny.” “Laughing.” “Go get it.” “I need it.” And so forth. As your ideas string together and your words develop into sentences, I’m watching you become so self-sufficient in ways I never expected at this stage. I love how bold you are, but I wish the clock would stop advancing so quickly at the same time. Keeping up is an adventure.
Anything else that’s changed over the past month? You’ve gained two new teeth this week, bringing the grand total to eight. It’s amazing what you can manage to eat in one sitting with just eight front teeth, but you let little get in your way, and your pearly whites have been no exception. You LOVE to color. You liked it before, but it’s a daily activity now. That, along with lining up your cars, playing trains, running through the house chasing Kruger in hysterics, and reading your favorite books (Paint Pig, Construction Sites, Pantone Colors, your children’s Bibles, Dr. Seuss’ ABCs, Moo Ba La La La (still:), Little Blue Truck, and Let’s Go) a dozen times a day. You like to sleep with two blankets as of late, cuddle up with Giraffe-y to sleep, and often pray for our meals and at bedtime when you’re in the mood. You love going on a “hike!” and checking out all things in nature. Whew! You are a busy and growing boy.
And we love you like crazy. Oh, man, do we ever! You will never have any idea how fortunate and blessed and lucky we feel to be your parents (at least until you have a little buddy of your own). We thank God for you a million times over and we pray to honor Him as your mommy and daddy. All of this time with you is a taste of Heaven on earth–even on the hard days.
Keep being you, and keep acting two (if you must;), and keep chasing after everything good.
you heal my heart, Henry David. it’s true. xo.