Nineteen months old. So hard to believe. You've entered the wildfire age of toddlerhood, where you grow by leaps and bound seemingly every day. This week you discovered the thrill of momentary flight, hurling yourself repeatedly off of the couch into Daddy's waiting arms...and attempting the same tricks when he wasn't quite ready for the catch. And this week we discovered that you don't so much enjoy taking turns with your sister (not surprised) and that you can count to ten (completely shocked).
And tonight...oh tonight. My favorite moment of the whole week. When I laid you down in your crib, sleepy-eyed but still awake, I covered you with your favorite fuzzy green blanket and stood there a moment, leaning over to gently rub your tummy and return your big smile. After a moment I let my hand just rest on your chest, feeling the gentle up and down of your breathing. And then I felt your two little hands grasp two of my fingers, continuing the circular motion of the tummy massage. And so I stayed a minute more, gazing down at you as you gazed up at me. It was one of the occasions I've had so far as a parent where I suddenly knew without a doubt that I was to savor this moment. That I'll look back on this night as I dissolve into a sentimental puddle on your first day of school. That I'll remember it wistfully when you're fifteen years old. That I'll tell you about it someday when you're all grown up, causing you to smile, shake your head, and say, "Oh, mom."
Finally, I gave you a little pat.
"Night night, Bubba."
"I love you."
Melt my heart, why don't you. My sweet, crazy little boy. You seem more grown up to me all the time. So for now, I'll treasure these days when you love puppies and bunnies and "choo choos" and Barney and platefuls of cheese and blueberries and reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear 14,367 times a day. When you think your big sister is the coolest thing ever and follow her around all day long, preferably wearing her shoes and jewelry. When you announce the people you love every single time they enter a room. When you dance your heart out to the Wiggles and sing everything to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. When you charm friends, family, and total strangers with that big, mischievous grin.
I love you.