Here’s a letter with no particular occasion, apart from capturing some of the sweetest moments of this time in your life, your toddlerhood. They escape me so quickly. My mind is like a sieve these days. Know that I love every minute with you. Every minute. Even the ones that throw my back out (it’s not your fault Henry is almost eighteen pounds).
Without further ado, here are ten, scratch that, fourteen things I love about you these days:
- How often you want to read. No matter how many books we get out from the library at a time—be it three or nine—once we start reading library books, we have to read them all. You are the same way with books given to us as gifts. If we receive two books together, we read them together, always. I love these little glimpses of how your brain works. You fascinate and amaze me.
- I love how you find the things you know in the books we read. For example, in a book called Bake, Mice, Bake, you found a rolling pin, like the one we used to make cookies a few weeks ago. You also managed to find an airplane in said book. Very little gets past you.
- Your favorite activities are: Reading, cooking (Whatever I’ve recently cooked, you do, too. You also make the noises of all our kitchen appliances surprisingly realistically.), painting
- You are at the stage where you repeat things we say, though I’m not certain you totally grasp their meaning. With a big smile on your face, you’ll say things like, “Remember how I fell of the chair? That was bad news. Let’s not do that again.”
- At every opportunity, you give Henry a kiss on his head. We can’t leave your room at naptime before you’ve kissed him. You love to take pictures with him, hug him, and tell him things. You love to show him toys, too, though you haven’t mastered the concept of a line of sight yet.
- You often tell me you want to go to your grandparents’ houses. You know there are aunts and uncles at TT’s house, and they will play with you!
- The other day, your daddy put a cape on you. You decided that meant you were a priest.
- You know most of the responses at Mass—and a good deal of the priest’s lines, too—and you say them loud and proud. People six pews ahead turn to smile at you belting out the Our Father. I am so proud to see how you bring joy into something that a lot of us take for granted, things we say without always thinking about them. You bring us—me, at least—back to the moment.
- When Henry’s upset, you insist on singing “Who Loves You” with his name in it. I thought I’d be all sentimental and save that song as a special one for you, but you want to share it.
- More reading. Whenever we read a book, you insist we read the title page. I end up saying things like, “Harold and the Purple Crayon. Harold and the Purple Crayon. Harold and the Purple Crayon” before we start the story. Darn half title pages.
- We’ve tried to introduce you to the way a piano works. On your cat piano, the keys are marked with the notes they play. You logically think the letters of the keys should correspond to the alphabet song. You are very confused when we tell you to press the key marked “C” while singing “A.”
- Sometimes you speak like a kid who can’t spell. You told me you wanted lunch on a tort-a-tilla the other day. You are a little too free with your consonant usage, but it makes you say cute things.
- Earlier this week, while doing a puzzle, you told me, “I being born today. . . . Just a little bit . . . Not much.” Oooookay . . .
- Not only do you like to help swaddle Henry, recently you asked to be swaddled, too. You thought this was hilarious.
- You think that the fact your smoothie goes back down the straw after you take a sip is equally hilarious. You’re right.
That’s all my brain has for now, though my heart is very, very full of little things like these. I have spent almost every day of the last two and a half years with you. What a blessing. I love learning more about you all the time. You are polite, you are sweet, you are learning gratitude every day, and that makes me feel like we are doing something right. I hope we are. My mission is to help you be the best you that you can be. So far, so good.
With all my heart,