To Jack at 2.5 years

  Dear Bubba, 

I’m about five weeks late on this update. I hope you don’t mind; you don’t seem to have noticed.

Buddy, what an incredible little man you are becoming. We have seen such remarkable growth in you in the last few months. Your vocabulary, imagination, capacity for interaction have all exploded recently. 

Your inquisitiveness has been the catalyst for most of that growth. Why? What’s she doing? What happened? Where we going? You ask questions all day long, and as a result, you are discovering your environment by leaps and bounds. 

You’re also testing your boundaries, figuring out what flies and what doesn’t. When our interactions become strained, I have to remember what a wise friend told me: that you’re simply trying to learn how the world works.

Buddy, I don’t always get this right. I let myself get frustrated. I let your words and actions wound and anger me. I have to say I’m sorry, just like you do. 

I’m also learning how your world works. You’re teaching me how best to help you. I am discovering when to intervene and when to stay back. I don’t always get that right, either. Your daddy is a wonderful balance to me in that regard. You’ll understand someday what a gift it is to have a co-parent like your dad. I could not do this without him. I am so grateful to have him as a partner as we parent you and Grace.

  You’ve begun to express affection toward us, and it is the most genuine, beautiful thing I’ve seen. You give hugs and kisses. You try to help your sister. 

My favorite moments of the day are the last ones, when you stretch out your arm in your little toddler bed and say, “There’s space right here, mommy.” We snuggle together for several minutes. I make the sign-of-the-cross on your forehead and bless you. I tell stories. Sometimes you make up stories, too. We talk about our day, about Jesus, and family–all the things that matter most to you come out during those snuggles.

If motherhood has taught me one thing thus far, buddy, it’s that no phase ever lasts long enough. I don’t know how much longer you’ll want me to cram myself into your toddler bed next to you, so I am treasuring every one of our snuggle sessions.

We also pray before bed, saying the words to one of these together: the Lord’s Prayer, Psalm 23, the Shema/Jesus Creed. Last night, you thanked Jesus for “mommy, daddy, Gracie, Jack…and Gracie.” You ended with “Have a good day,” I think since you often hear us pray for a “good day tomorrow.”

I’ve been using Facebook to keep track of the adorable, hilarious things you say. There are so many, it’s easiest for me to share them this way.

  Just in the past week, you have begun expressing gratitude unprompted. It took me by surprise the first day, when you thanked everyone who handed you food or drink. It was still just as remarkable when, that night, you pushed back from the dinner table and said, “‘Ank you for make me dinner, mommy.” Your daddy especially has been prompting you toward thankfulness for a long time because we’ve learned that gratitude is an essential part of a fulfilled life. We are so proud of the thankful little boy you’re becoming.

We love you,

Mommy and Daddy

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