Dear Alex

Well Little Man, you are now 14 months old. It’s so crazy to think that you’re on your way to 2 now. Yeesh.

So, let me tell you about who you are these days.

You started walking in earnest just as we got back from our vacation last month. In the last month you’ve gotten a lot more sure on your feet and have even realized that if you concentrate you can get going at pretty good clip and go places faster. You used to cry when you fell, now you just pick yourself up and keep going. You’ve figured out that when you decide you really want something it’s worth it to just stay focused.

Your little personality is starting to come out more and most of the time your antics are funny. You’ve figured out how to charm Mommy, especially when you know you’re going to get in trouble for something. Daddy is not so swayed by your efforts as you learned today when you kept climbing on the table and giggling when he told you no.

Speaking of climbing… it’s one of your favorite activities. You love to be higher and higher and higher. You figured out how to get on the kitchen table a while ago, and daily we have to tell you to get down. A couple weeks ago we were getting ready to play Settlers of Catan and turned our backs for a minute, only to find you standing on the table with one foot up on the box like a conquistador. Whatever extra inches you can get you take. Thankfully, you haven’t figured out how to climb out of your crib. Yet.

There are times when I look at you and you give me a silly little grin and I realize that I’m in trouble because if you can melt my heart that fast now, when you’re older and you really know what you’re doing I’m sure you’ll have me wrapped around your little finger.

 

I don’t want you to go thinking that life with you right now is all roses. You’re still waking me up every morning sometime between 4 and 5:30 am. And then you think you need to stay up in most cases, but we’re trying to teach you differently. The mornings where I do get you back to sleep you’re so much happier in the morning. I don’t think that weighs heavy in your decision making process though, especially when you think that going to sleep again means you might miss something. I just keep telling myself that we’re in a season and that this too shall pass. And that one day I’ll be able to get up and having a shower and a cup of hot coffee before you start your day. One day. Though, you’ll probably be in college by the time it happens.

You are also a very determined little boy when you want to be. I wouldn’t know where you get that from. It’s not like your parents carry those genes or anything. Aside from determination and, ahem, stubbornness, you have inherited your Daddy’s persistence. Sometimes it drives me crazy, but I know that when you get older it’ll be one of those things that helps you go places that others can’t, so for that I’m grateful.

I have to admit, when we found out we were having a boy, I didn’t anticipate how different the experience would be from having your sister. I’m going beyond the personality stuff here. Boys are just different from girls. Your sister was so much more calm and mellow and happy to just watch the world go by when she was your age. You want to be in it up to your elbows, and then some. You notice everything. Every loud vehicle that goes by on the road. Every time someone shouts in the neighborhood. Every movement on the property. And you point and say, “Oh!” You stick things in holes and open doors and make sounds into the the saran wrap tube and stack things up and throw things on the floor, just to see what happens. You love all things with wheels and engines and have already learned how to make a car sound, which you now make whenever you’re driving anything with wheels.

 

You get mad when things don’t go your way and will keep trying until it works. You are a thinker and we can literally see you processing through things. The crazy thing is that you get it. You figure out how things are supposed to work. How something is supposed to fit into something else. You imitate. Last week I was building something and had just finished putting a bunch of screws in. You took the screw driver you had been playing with and tried to screw the screws yourself. You are so on it, all the time. It amazes me and scares me because I realize that we’re going to have to be so much more careful, sooner, about the example we set for you. And I fear for the day when you figure out that you can use those brains to outsmart your parents.

Alex, you were the part of our family that we didn’t know we needed. I can’t imagine not having boy around now that you’ve been in the picture for over a year. I love watching you and Daddy, especially when you reach for him and give him a big open mouthed “kiss” or when you flop down on the bed next to him and chill out like you’ve been doing it for years. Just today I watched you follow him around the kitchen and I realized that this was just the beginning.

I love you so much Little Man. I love when you blow on my neck or my face to make a farting sound and then giggle. I love when you just look at me and we make eye contact and you lean in for a kiss. I love when you snuggle in and your messy hair tickles my nose. I love when you body slam me on the bed. I love when you try to do “this little piggy” on your own toes. I love when you say, “OH!”. I love when you shake your head “no” and then get that sneaky little smirk like your Daddy. I love when you get excited to see Olivia and you jump on her and snuggle in. I love that you want to hold my hand when we pray at meals because that’s what we do with each other. I love when you climb down from my lap when I’m trying to put you to bed, and head for the door giggling because you think you’re going to escape. I love when you say, “Um, num, num, num, num!” when you’re eating something that you love. I love the way your head smells when I snuggle you. I love the way your chubby little fingers feel when I kiss them. I love the way your eyes dance, like you always know something more than everyone else. I love the way you tried to put the thermoses for the workers in the fridge this morning while Daddy was getting things ready for deliveries. And I love that you are totally okay with wearing a necklace and barrettes if it means you get to play with your sister, and that you will wear them while you drive cars :)

Alex, I’m so grateful that God entrusted you to us. Some days I worry that we’re going to totally mess you and Olivia up, and other days I feel like maybe we’re doing something right after all. Those things surface in between the days where I feel like my head might explode because the house is so loud and someone is always screaming or yelling or crying. Or hungry. Or needing something to drink. Or needing discipline because they’re doing or eating or touching something they weren’t supposed to. Those are the moments I take a deep breath, look at the clock, and count the hours until bed time.

And this too shall pass.

Sniff. Sniff.

~Love Mom

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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

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