Friday, March 9, 2012

my most favorite stage

I have never been the mom to say "this is my favorite stage" to every stage. I don't know if I've said that even a handful of times. I love my child with every tiny ounce of my being, but I am by nature a little pessimistic so it takes a lot for me to be all "the world is perfect." It wasn't long ago that I wrote about my precious toddler monster. But today, I can safely say that 20 months is my most favorite stage.

20 months ago, I gave birth to a beautiful, tiny, high maintenance, car-seat hating, noctural baby. Today, I have a beautiful, petite, sometimes high maintenance, car-seat hating, non-noctural toddler. She is my glimpse into the life of someone who feels joy easily. Every day in recent weeks, I watch her, study her. And I get a little flicker of what I am sure is JOY.

There are many reasons this is my favorite stage but a few include:
  • learning that there are two parents in this house and finally saying "mama" regularly. I have yet to grow tired of hearing my name of those little lips.
  • her discovery of affection. Oh how she will hug you, kiss you, lay her head on your shoulder and say "awwww." But my favorite has to be when she grabs your face and pulls you forehead to forehead. Melting.
  • how lovey dovey she gets when I pick her up from somewhere. Whether church nursery, mops, or her best friend's house, she walks in willingly. But she walks out oh so happy that I have indeed returned to get her. And she hugs and hugs and kisses me for a long while after we're gone.
  • her memory is getting so good and I love the little sponge this child is becoming. Singing "yeah! Jesus" (yes, Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me) or ABCDEFG, or her current obsession, old macdonald, I adore watching that little brain work
  • seeing and hearing her daddy teach her. Listenting to those two go over animal sounds or body parts or colors or words is precious. When I was pregnant with MK, Ross said he was most excited about teaching her. While I would argue that we have both been much more student than teacher, I am happy to see his dream come true.
  • watching her with friends. Today at lunch, she and Joy Elizabeth made faces at each other, mimicking each other and cracking each other up. My little girl has a true friend and "Cakes" nor I could be any happier.
  • watching her love her dog. Oh how I could live without a dog for the rest of my life. He is almost as good as a dog comes but he still drives me bonkers. But Mack makes MK and Ross so happy. And for that, he stays.
  • This kid's zest for life, especially "ouside." What I would give for 1/100th of her energy and exploring little heart. I know this does not make her unique in the world of toddlers but what it does do is make her mama just a little more intrigued by the world. She loves nothing more than seeing a "cretty" flower or a "cretty" rock or making herself dizzy in the grass. She may look like me but kid has her daddy's everything else.
  • Her love of a lap. If you are sitting on a floor, she will come from playing happily in another room to throw her legs over your hips and make herself comfortable. While this is terribly uncomfortable for mama and new baby, I happily endure it.
  • I haven't witnessed this yet, but Ross said one of his favorite moments is at night when she is waiting on him to come in and begin reading to her. She has a cup of milk in hand and waits patiently next to the rocking chair, eager for him to sit down and begin their nightly ritual of reading and snuggling and teaching. What I love about it is their deep, deep bond and the most precious love between a father and his daughter.
  • The name of Jesus coming off those lips. Y'all, nothing in the universe is as sweet as hearing my daughter say, "Jesus?" at a statue of St. Joseph in my in-laws church. Or pointing at any cross and confidently saying "Jeeeesus." I am waiting on the day she sees an older, long haired man and calls him Jesus. It is a daily reminder that she is a sponge and she will absorb whatever "food" we give her. My greatest prayer for her is that she know and deeply understand the words from Isaiah 41:10 "'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'" I pray my heart out that no matter where she is in life, she will feel the comfort of Jesus right next to her loving her and protecting her.
If I have said it before, I don't remember. But this is my favorite stage. Yes, we have moments of toddler monster but those grow fewer as she continues to learn to communicate at a rapid fire pace. I simply can't believe God gave her to us. The question that plagued me as an adolescent and young adult, "How could he possibly love me?" no longer exists. Simply watching that child for a few seconds tells me, "obviously He does."

her favorite place- with Mackey

little peanut still fits into last year's St. Pat's dress. Sweetest 20 month old in the world!

After a 30 minute power nap at ShaSha and Pops' house to celebrate ShaSha's 65th!

1 comment:

  1. She is a precious, precious girl and we LOVE her very, very much!