There are five boys at my house right now. Ryle, age 6. Web, age 4. Garrett, age 4. Ben, nearing 3. And you, the baby, age 23 months. You're holding your own. The dads are all out helping a couple from the church move. There's truck playing and popcorn eating and sword fighting. There's thumb sucking.
Oh boy is there ever thumb sucking.
It's become a problem.
All the time, your thumb is firmly planted between your teeth, slowly making your tremendous overbite that much more, well, tremendous. Yesterday we had a battle all the live long day for you to, "Get your thumb out of your mouth!" It inhibits whatever limited speech you actually have. It's starting to make your thumb whitish and shriveled. It's...becoming a problem. So I'm fighting the battle. Suck away at bedtime or nap time--I don't so much care about that. The rest of the day, if you could be a productive member of society without your thumb in your mouth, that would be great.
You want so desperately not to be the baby that it astounding just how frequently you stick that digit in your mouth and go to town. You want to do whatever your big brother is doing, whenever he is doing it. Now that his bed is back in the room you sleep in, you crawl into it at night, pull the covers up around you and grin--as though I won't care that you've taken over, as though I'll just put him in your crib and call it a night.
Whenever we take your brother to the church or school to ride his bike, you follow behind on your tricycle. Trouble is, you can't reach the pedals. So you sit squarely on the seat and run along behind him, Flintstone style.You are talking more and more and will, at least, repeat just about anything we say. And, of course, the incessant babbling hasn't ceased. Monologues escape your mouth many times a day. You're also very fond of pointing your finger at me and saying, "No! No!" It's a charming little experience, you lecturing me.
When we tell you to fold your hands before we bow our heads to pray, you instantly throw a hand over each eye and sit quietly. It's priceless. It certainly isn't the folded hands that we're asking for but you are slowly and surely learning a reverence for the Lord.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, you have the strongest little personality. Yesterday a friend told me that if we get you pointed in the right direction you will be unstoppable--for good. I replied, "Yeah. Heaven help us all if he ends up pointed in the wrong direction." Seriously. I thought your brother had a strong will. Then I met you. It's alright. I've always maintained that strong-willed kids were the best kind, that they turn out the best in the end. Something about my own past lends a certain fondness for kids who know what they want and stick to their principles. If your stubbornness over wanting your own thumb when you want it is any indicator, your morals will be undeterred.
I love you.
I love your morning cuddles, your kisses and hugs, your infectious squeals of laughter, and, not least importantly, the way you look in overalls.
Son, whenever you want something from me, put on a pair of overalls. Your sweet smile, chocolaty eyes and a pair of overalls are a trifecta I simply cannot stand up to. Although I do have a feeling that this is limited to your youth. When you're eighteen and want some money, don't put on overalls. I think they may have the reverse effect and I would be doubled over on the floor laughing. Although, your sweet smile and chocolaty eyes will likely always have a powerful effect on me so the adult overalls are worth a try.
It is unbelievable that you'll be two in less than a month. The time has somehow escaped me. Diapers, smiles, steps, baths, snuggles. Too many of each to count. Too many blessings to measure.
As you grow into a boy, know that you will always be my baby.