Saturday, June 26, 2010

Three Is The Magic Number

Three. Three years old! How is that possible?

Well, I know how it’s possible. Time moves at oppositional speeds during babyhood: the days are so slow, and the months fly by. I look back at pictures from a year or two ago and barely recognize the baby I see, even when you’re wearing the same clothes as now. That time seems both far-distant and just-a-minute-ago.

Because here you are now, my little boy. You’re still a size I can easily pick up and carry around, your body still curls into mine like a nursling’s, but your personality gets bigger and bigger every day. You have your typical pre-schooler stubbornness, no doubt, but it’s balanced by sweetness and silliness. Your default opinion of people is “Love!”, which makes me all the happier that you are constantly surrounded by those you adore. And those you are quickly adored by, because it’s basically impossible to resist your goofy charm.

People always say nice things about small children, and a mother knows not to believe the hype, but when you hear the same things over and over again, it’s hard not to take it as truth. And what every person who meets you says is, “He’s such a joy!” This is something I’ve always felt, and it’s so fulfilling to see that trait let loose on the world around you. As someone who enjoys being around people but never feels quite natural at it, I admire your social ease and know it will serve you well.

Although your baby days weren’t especially difficult, relatively speaking, I don’t regret that they’re passing. I’m too excited to see what comes next, to see the boy you grow into. The idea of having a son as fun as you are, but without the diapers to change or bites of dinner to coax, is thrilling. I look so forward to knowing you as you become the funny, kind, thoughtful young man you’re obviously destined to be.

Happy birthday, son. I love you so much.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sunset At The Shoreline

As you may have heard around the interwebs, the SAM-Sassy-Urf!-Chockleyblog caravan of fun recently pulled into the white sand beaches of the Florida panhandle. Yes, white. For now, at least. We all expected the enjoyment of our trip to be cut short by tar balls and beach closings, but fortunately for us (and the coastline), the only petroleum we encountered during the week was in the form of Happy Meal toys.

We’ve made these multi-family trips for several years now, and although our cottage itself left some things to be desired (like about 500 more square feet and some quality time with Peter Walsh), the actual beach was the loveliest we’ve visited. Gorgeous emerald water, soft white sand, and, ironically, our first view entirely free of oil rigs. Tidal pools for the littlest ones to play in, and a bay full of hermit crabs that fascinated the older kids. And no jellyfish!

The water itself was pretty rough for most of the week, with the lifeguards flying yellow and even red flags at times. Miss M was eager to swim, but not thrilled by the waves and riptides, so she wanted me with her as much as possible. Which was in direct conflict with Mr. Baby, who wanted to be with me yet didn’t want the water anywhere beyond his ankles (and for one entire day, didn’t want to go on the beach at all). It wasn’t until our very last day that the surf was calm enough for us all to float together, and neither child wanted to get out of the water all day. Knowing they were about to spend the next ten days vacationing without me, I was grateful to have that long stretch where their desires were peacefully aligned, even if it meant getting pruney.

By the end of the week, we were already scoping out a nearby rental house and making plans to return next summer. Whether we’ll be coming in swimsuits or waders, we’ll just have to wait and see.

The Photo Albums: