Today, you are two years old.
You are very proud of this fact. You have been telling me for weeks that you are only one now, but that you will be two soon! The prospect of having a number “2” on your birthday cake is also quite tantalizing for you, ever since you found your old number “1” candle in the pantry. I won’t be surprised if you start asking about a number “3” candle in short order, though – you like keeping those numbers together!
It’s hard to remember sometimes that you are just now barely two years old. You speak in long, fluent, clearly understandable sentences; you can write all the letters of the alphabet in both lower and upper case; you can count up to 10 and write most of the numbers; and you have several books memorized to the point where you will sit and “read” them to me instead of the other way around. On top of that, you run, jump, hop, and wrestle right along with your older brother, and climb with incredible balance, coordination, and lack of caution (you’ve almost given me a heart attack several times, up on ladders and bridges higher than my head, but you’ve also made me proud of the way you focus on your goal and keep trying until you accomplish it).
Most of the time you seem like a fairly laid-back little guy – you take the yelling and pushing and bouncing dished out by your three-year-old big brother in good grace (and often provoke it with a big grin on your face!). You try whatever crazy new food I come up with, and usually eat a decent amount of it even if you don’t really like it all that much. If another kid takes the toy you’re playing with, you typically just find another and keep playing and exploring the world around you happily. You banter and laugh and do ridiculous things with me and Rondel and Daddy that make us all fall over laughing together!
However, you can be extremely intense when you’re concentrating on something that you want to be able to do! When you’ve decided that you’re going to open a door or pick up an object (no matter how high the handle or how heavy the item), you won’t give up until you’ve figured out some way to do it all by yourself. “You want to do it! You want to do it!” is the cry we hear all day long, since you’ve picked up Rondel’s habit of referring to yourself as “you” – and while it can lead you to great frustration, your perseverance and desire for independence also empower and strengthen you. “You did it!” I tell you: and the joy on your face at doing it, whatever “it” was, is deep and authentic and beautiful. In the same way, when you play independently, you are often serious and unsmiling, intent on the task at hand, focused on discovering or accomplishing something to which you’ve set your mind.
The physical world around you is your easel and paint, the clay in your hands, tools and raw material for you to work with and shape. You inhabit that world with an ease I still don’t have, absorbing its power and potential with uncanny natural ability, creating, building, making with talent beyond your years. It amazes me to watch you practice and develop those abilities even more, with no more motivation than your own internal joy in the process of it.
You are two years old today, little man with the deep blue eyes and charming smile, two years old, and I can hardly believe how much we’ve already gotten to do together! I can’t wait to see what all the years ahead of you will bring.
I love you,