Oh, how I love you, little one!
You are funny, smart, sweet, careful, obedient, happy, and passionate. You continue to evolve from toddler to little boy as you grow taller and leaner, run with confidence, get your own straws from the kitchen, and open your own fruit snacks.
The weather has changed from winter to summer, with a brief brush with spring, and now you live to run outside--buying lemonade from our neighbor boy's lemonade stand, kicking your little soccer ball with your dad, blowing the seeds off dandelions, throwing rocks you find in the garden, chasing robins, and sitting on the back steps with me watching for airplanes that fly by.
Aces is a book Dap (grandpa) gave to you. It's not a kids book, it's your great-grandpa's book about ace pilots from World War II and their planes. You flip through the black and white pages and tell me all about the "heroes" and their airplanes, several of which you can easily identify as "the Spitfighter,""Corsair," and so on.
You're growing to be more independent: you play by yourself longer, you trot into your Sunday nursery class with a smile on your face, you actually tell us when you're hungry or when you need a new diaper, you walk pretty much everywhere sans stroller, you own the playgrounds without needing a spotter, you put away your own dirty laundry, and you even "read" to yourself--reciting word for word one of your favorite books as you turn the pages. You have them so perfectly memorized, more so than I do, and often after reading just two or three times, that sometimes I actually have to take a minute and wonder, "Wait, can you actually read?" until I remind myself that you're two and you have a spooky-good memory.
You are getting to the age that you love, love, love your dad. He is the funniest, strongest, biggest guy you know, and you live to play basketball with him or chase him around the house and yard. You can hear the garage door from almost anywhere in the house, and when you do, you gasp, drop whatever you're doing, exclaim under your breath "Daddy's home!!" and run to the door to greet him and then the two of you go to the mailbox to get the mail together. Quite the thrill. But deep down, when it comes to sympathy when you "hurt the head," or "hurt the knee," or when you're tired or snuggly--you're still a world-class momma's boy and I wouldn't have it any other way!
You are my little friend, assistant and shadow everywhere I go--accompanying me to "Costco for snacks," Target, cleaning the house, making church visits, and more recently, the doctor's office. Lots and lots of doctor visits. You sit patiently next to me as they take my blood pressure, and when the nurse leaves you tell me, "Now we wait for Dr. Waters. He might take a minute because he's helping other mommies first."
You play doctor with your bear, wrapping his injuries with painter's tape, but most often you find the "baby's heart" by rubbing a stick around on bear's tummy, then suddenly stopping and making a sound just like baby brother's heartbeat on the ultrasound. Wearing a stethoscope and pajamas the entire time, of course!
You speak really, really well. People usually think you're a little three- (sometimes even four-) year-old because you know so many words, and you say them so well. At your 2.5 year check-up, the doctor started to ask me about your oral development when you told her that your toy airplane "was ready to take off from the aircraft carrier for a rescue mission." Your doctor just looked at me in surprise, laughed, and said, "Well, never mind. That answers that. How's he eating?"
Like your dad, you are a master negotiator: up-selling from "just one cookie," to "how about two cookies," to "five cookies," to "maybe eweben cookies?" Or suggesting "just one more Jon show."
But as you grow bigger and more grown-up, you continue to be the sweetest little guy. Playmates take away a toy while you're playing with it and you just shrug and find another toy. You are happy to help me with the laundry, with dinner, or "cleaning." If I ask you to clean up your toys for nap time, you say something like, "I don't want to, but... umm, okay." And then you clean up your toys. When you do disobey, you cry from your time out chair, "I want to say sorry and try again! I want to choose the right! Please? Can I choose the right?" You are quick to say sorry when you bump into someone, or something. You love to pray, and always thank Heavenly Father for your brother (and for the missionaries to find more bread to eat... they came to our house for dinner a couple months ago and ate over a dozen breadsticks each, you must have thought they were starving because it left quite the impression on you!).
And much to my relief, you are still a snuggle-bug. You nuzzle into the crook of my arm to read books, you climb up on my lap when you first wake up and rest your head on my shoulder for five or more minutes while you clear the cobwebs, more often than not your crises can be fixed with a long hug, and you've been so patient as my lap has slowly disappeared. You've adapted--and now you use my belly as a pillow to rest on as I run my fingers thru the hair in the cow-lick at the nape of your neck, slowly drifting off to sleep.
You are a dear. I love you more than words can say, and you bring me more joy than I ever could have expected or asked for. You are my shadow, my side-kick, my refining fire, my mirror, and my darling little friend. I am so lucky to spend my days with you by my side.
May you ever stay so sweet, loving, funny, and determined.