You turned two in August, your dad started his second semester of PT school, and we thought about sending you to daycare two days a week but chose to hold off. I arranged my schedule at work so I have more consistency and specific days to do specific things. It’s brought structure to my week and helps with knowing when I need my mom and Lauren to watch you while I’m away.
My full-time program ended a few weeks ago and I’m now on winter break but in January I’ll need to take two final classes to earn my bachelor’s degree. It’s been a long road. My first college class was in 2000 and my last will be in 2015. Although I don’t particularly recommend taking the long way ’round, I also recognize it was a scenic way to travel and I choose to honor my path and not live in regret. It feels surreal being just around the corner from my destination. It was hard and it wasn’t. It took me many years – off and on – to get here but it was also manageable and it’s almost over and I’m proud of myself and I didn’t do it alone. I’ve been lucky because I’ve had support in many forms – angels and cheerleaders and gift-givers and paper editors and baby-watchers… a small camp of ‘yes you can’ers”. I believed them all mostly and sometimes didn’t but, in the end, they were right. I can. I am. And I will.
It’s Christmas in less than two weeks and we just put up our tiny, fake tree a couple of days ago. Each day we’ve been opening the doors of your first advent calendar and you clasp your hands together with anticipation while we check to see which shape the tiny chocolate is in… a star! a train! OH… a bear! You exclaim excitedly when you pick it up and then run off to eat it.
Two has brought tantrums and opinions and telling me, “Stop!” or “Go in the kitchen!” (?!?) It’s only a little bit funny. Mostly I try to remember it’s a phase and breathe and keep on. You spend time in a ‘time out’ chair now but we think you like it there so I’m not sure how effective it is. Recently I asked you, “Do you want to sit in time out?” and you responded, “Yes!” I think you’re winning…
I honestly do get irritated at times but at the end of the day I have to remind myself of who’s kid you are. Did I actually think I would have a kid who didn’t have opinions or a strong will or an “I’ll do it myself!” attitude? Let’s get real. And truthfully, you’re the sweetest and gentlest little guy around. But you’re two. TWO.
We tell you all the time that you’re too smart. You say and do all kinds of funny and clever things and it keeps us sharing stories constantly. “You won’t believe what Mo said today…” I wish I could tell story after story here of some of the top hits but it’s truly hard to remember! There are too many and they’re too frequent to list.
You love trains and puzzles (24 piece ones are your favorite right now), and chicken nuggets and apple sauce and your new favorite book is “Where the Wild Things Are”. You tell us you “Wuv” us and chatter about “giants and bean stocks and Grandpa Nelson and ghosts and halloween”. Halloween was such a smash hit that we still haven’t heard the end of it. You were a dinosaur this year and we took you to Boo At The Zoo. You ate a bag of donuts and walked around like you owned the place while everyone pointed and laughed and told us how adorable you were.
2015 is going to bring the big ‘3’ and another fun spring, summer and fall. It will also bring preschool and tricycle riding and fun at the beach. I’ll graduate and your dad and I will get married and we’ll grow more as people and as a family. I think this year has been the best yet in so many ways. It’s been tough to juggle work and school and family but it’s also been productive, interesting and fulfilling. It’s been worth it all.
I love you and I love getting to know you as you grow. I looked over at you the other day while you were in your car seat. Your leg was slung over the side of the chair and you were looking out the window thoughtfully. I thought, “That’s Mo. Two going on thirty.” You’ve always been cool and you’ve always been funny and you’ve always been wise beyond your years. You’re a soulful little being with a giant heart and I want to be just like you when I grow up.
Hugga Mugga, Mosi… and Merry Christmas.