It's the small things about you that keep a smile on my face. The way your eyelashes blow in the wind, the way your soft cheeks feel under my lips, the way you belly laugh every time I startle you. When you entered into 'this phase' I braced myself... this phase of curiosity which, left unguided, would have you eating all the dishwasher soap or careening head first into the deep end of the pool. This phase of having an opinion yet unable to express that opinion which, to the trial of my patience, has me listening hour after hour to tantrums, trying to problem solve and ever wondering why God doesn't grant mothers with the gift of mind-reading. This phase of exploring which, while fun for you, leaves tupperware strewn across my kitchen floor and toilet paper strung through the hallways. This phase of seemingly unending energy which, you may not realize, makes it quite impossible to 'just sit' anywhere. Church? A nightmare. Relaxing at the pool? Those days are gone. Sitting on a blanket watching the kids play in the waves? You either want to be in the ocean with them, or filling your swimming suit (and mouth) with sand. Sit on the side of the pier and watch the boats drive by? You'd rather crawl along the pier yourself,
and lick the salt from the pavement.
Sometimes my patience wears thin and I feel raw and overwhelmed. In these moments I'm sure you've heard me say I do not like this phase. I believed myself, too, you know.
But the more I watch you and care for you and get to know you, I've realized that, actually, most of my days are filled with laughter. Because licking the pier?! You're funny. And I see that for every little (or big) thing that tries my patience and empties my energy cup, there are more little (and big) things that give me happiness, sweetness, and that fill that empty energy cup with love. And though I may wish that somehow love could recompose itself into energy, I'd rather have that cup filled with love anyway.
You are beautiful, baby. I love the way your eyes brighten when I walk into a room, the way your eyebrows lift with expression, the oblivious way you smear peanut butter and jelly into every nook and cranny.
The way you concentrate on my words, the way you slowly mimic them, the way you chicken out just before taking that first step, the way your heart attaches itself to a new treasure that must be strung along behind you for hours.
The way you wrap your tiny arms around my neck and bury your head in for a hug, the way you bounce and clap whenever you hear any sort of beat, the way you giggle and rub your eyes, the way you look up at me with that face, trying so hard to tell me what's on your mind.
I love it. I love you. And despite what you may have heard me say out loud, I love this phase.
I just also love that it won't last forever.