I had an allergy attack a few nights ago, and was all red and splotchy. You pointed at me and told daddy that I had “allergies”. I said goodnight, and asked for a hug and a kiss, and was met with a hesitant look. You quietly said no, before resuming playing. Your dad and I laughed, and I had to reassure you that I’m not contagious, that I’m just itchy and you won’t catch it, too. So I asked again, and you looked at me and thought about it for a few seconds before shuddering and saying, “Corwin itchy, too.” Hahaha. You are so much like me sometimes, it’s funny/scary. I’m sorry for creeping you out, little boy. I’m afraid it’s like this often for me. Also, you had atopic dermatitis when you were a baby and looked far worse at times, and I held you anyway, so you know, cut me some slack and hug me anyway, too.
It’s been a busy work month for us, but I did my best to space them well so we would still have plenty of time for you. It’s not easy, giving our all to both work and raising you, but it continues to be amazingly fulfilling. I think having you has been really good for our work. You inspire us. You have brought new depths to how we see and understand love. It’s an immense, overwhelming feeling that I don’t know how to put into words quite yet, but I see it in the photographs we take. You surround me. You light a fire inside me like nothing else.
Next year is going to be our busiest year ever. You’re also going to start preschool. I can’t believe you’re going to be a preschooler! I still think of you as my baby. I ask you often if you’re my baby, and when you feel like being kissed and snuggled, you say yes. And you close your eyes and squeal with glee and happiness as I shower your face with kisses. I’m so excited for everything that’s coming. You, me, and daddy, we’re a little team of three.
I took some pictures of us snuggling while waiting for dinner the other night. As you were walking away, you quietly said, “You look pretty, mommy.” It was something so completely unexpected, my heart felt like bursting inside my chest.
We had lunch out a few days ago. You sat in your high chair, and I felt you fussed a little bit while asking for a straw to play with, but it was a pleasant meal. We talked. You hugged and kissed me. You ate on your own. I noticed the table next to us had two ladies, a grandma and maybe her youngest daughter, who looked at our table often. For a moment, I wondered what grievous parenting mistake your father and I were committing that they were judging us for. It wasn’t always pleasant, our meals together. You would sometimes refuse to sit down and eat like a civilized human being, which is fine because you were a baby (a.k.a. a little caveman), but it was challenging at times. I’ve been sorely tempted to let you watch cartoons on an iPad just to get through a meal together, but we sucked it up and bore it.
At the end of the meal, I told you to say goodbye to the servers. They know us already, and it’s only polite. Instead, you turned around and said goodbye to the two ladies. They beamed back at you delightedly, and it felt nice. The grandma asked me how old you are, and I told her you turned 2 recently. She was genuinely surprised, and exclaimed, “He’s so well-behaved!” And it was my turn to smile from ear to ear. It was one of the best compliments I have ever received as a mother. I know you’re smart and funny and kind, but I have always wondered if we weren’t strict enough with you, if we are not as firm as we should be. And it was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. We’ll be just fine.
We spent New Year’s Eve with relatives. Tita Jenny and Lucas slept over, and you boys had the time of your lives. You rode a train, played Lego, read books, played hide and seek. You looked out for him and held his hand when he was scared. You hugged and kissed when you weren’t grabbing each other’s toys, and over dinner you hugged him again and told him, “I love you.” My heart swells at the thought that you’ll grow up together, and you’ll have each other’s backs forever.
Your dad recently made a video of the past three months of your life and made me cry. It’s beautiful. Seeing you grow up is the most profoundly beautiful thing in the world to me. I hope your childhood is filled with wondrous things, and that you always find magic here.
Happy New Year, little one.