My baby turned two on August 3rd. I still can’t believe that. It feels like just yesterday but also a million years ago that I first found out he was coming. And now, here we are. I share a home with a wildly funny, blue-eyed boy with a mop of curly hair who will be the first to bat your hand away so he can do it himself.
I love this little guy so much that I can feel it in my chest when I breathe. It’s like a constant swelling and squeezing of my heart that makes me feel upside down with worry sometimes and completely punch drunk and like I could float at others. And man oh man, is he a wonderful teacher. I know you’re thinking that sounds totally cliché, and it is. But sometimes clichés exist for a reason. All of our kids teach us amazing, valuable lessons. And if you don’t have your own kids, I would place a bet that someone else’s have taught you a lesson or two.
Here are my favorite lessons from my favorite baby:
- Eat ALL the chocolate. And then run around like a maniac. Life is about balance. And while I often criticize my own body and attempt to either workout more or eat less or both, I often feel out of balance. I feel like the only way to do things is in extremes. But Logan has taught me otherwise. The kid will maul a brownie and then sprint around the house fifteen times, laughing like it’s (gasp!) fun! SO MAYBE, instead of eating rabbit food and then lacing up my sneakers with dread, I should have a piece of cake and then do cartwheels out back. Finding balance should be fun, not place you in a constant state of deprivation. Eating should be pleasurable (note: starvation and binging are not), and exercise can be fun (moving our bodies and feeling those endorphins does not have to be a total drag if we do something we love)! Thus, I have just eaten three pieces of chocolate while writing this and will be googling Zumba classes near me after this entry is complete.
- Sleep more. Ok, so I have always sort of lived by the mantra that I can sleep when I’m dead, but insomnia might get me there quicker than I anticipated. Every night I lay this kid down and he puts his arms behind his head and smiles and stretches. Then he sleeps, all night long. A) I am beyond lucky that my kid sleeps, I know that. And B) He doesn’t worry. He just sleeps. Now granted, his job is to play and he doesn’t pay bills, and people feed him, bathe him and snuggle him. Sounds ideal, right? But still, the lesson remains the same. Go to bed earlier, sleep in once and awhile when you can, and know that the house will still be standing when you rise and shine.
- “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Well, Logan didn’t come up with this quote. Boss Baby did. Actually, wait, it was Henry Ford but I lifted its brilliance from the Boss Baby script (thanks for getting me hooked on that Netflix series, kid). But my child is this quote personified. Except he always thinks he can. He lifts things that should be too heavy for him, tinkers with toys until he gets them working, problem solves and is incredibly independent. I love watching his mind in motion. And I love that he holds back from nothing – he just plows forward into every activity and situation with no worries about NOT being able to accomplish what he wants. Again, he’s 2. But I remember being younger and doing some crazy shit – entering into dance-offs, singing karaoke at bars, taking all honors classes and assuming I would be able to study my way to an A, applying for internships and jobs with every confidence that I would be a great candidate, trying out for school plays and teams… I always had this “sky’s the limit” attitude about my life and was excited for every big transition and milestone headed my way. I am still fearless in SOME ways, but I find myself questioning and holding back much more than I did when I was young. I no longer assume I will just get the job… or do something bigger or greater… or be chosen as the best at anything. Sometimes I notice myself trying to take up less space – to be a little bit quieter, or more diplomatic or something… not always, just sometimes. Part of that is from the experience of failure and rejection, part of that is from the wear and tear of adulthood and motherhood. But what I have realized from looking at Logan is that no one is to blame for that but myself. Any self-doubt or self-limitation is imposed upon me by my own brain and it is up to me to fight past that and gain back that fearless, I can do anything attitude without worrying about taking a misstep here or there.
- Love unconditionally. Actually, I can credit both Logan and my dog Mazin with this one. I love coming home to greet them – they squeal/bark with delight every single day that I walk through my front door. Sometimes all I have to do is come out of the bathroom to get a “HI MAMA!” and a smile. Wow, I mean, what in the world did I do to deserve that kind of boundless love? And maybe I should give away some more of it. To my husband, my parents, my sisters, my friends. Maybe I should wrap people in tighter hugs and kiss their cheeks and scream I love you for no good reason at all! Because it feels sooooo good to be on the receiving end.
- I am a kick ass mom. There, I said it. Maybe it’s the dark chocolate giving me this sudden burst of energy and confidence, but I am. I worried every single day for 9 months and beyond that I would fail in some way. That my body would fail at growing a baby or delivering him, that my body would fail to feed him, that something bad would happen or I wouldn’t be enough in some way. I would either work too much or too little, discipline too much or too little, cook healthy foods too little, hire the wrong caregiver, not create enough childhood magic, miss some health issue, etc. That sounds dramatic, I know. And I don’t mean to say that it’s been all consuming (although when I was pregnant it ABSOLUTELY was). But you know, little voices in the back of your head pop in for a visit from time to time. And then I look at this boy’s face. I feel the joy and happiness that radiates from his little body, watch him grow and learn and change, see him share toys and treat animals and babies with gentle kindness, feel his tight hugs and his little chubby hands against my cheeks when he kisses me, watch his muscular little body run and lift with ease, hear him try to mimic what I say, study his face when he’s engaged in a book and I know… I’m doing OK as a mom. Better than OK even. I’m doing great. Because how could I not be with a kid this awesome.
What incredible lessons have you learned from your little ones?