Nearly 24 hours ago, R. turned three. It's been a whirlwind week and weekend with my mom here, R.'s party with friends on Saturday, etc., and I wanted to take a few minutes to thank God for the precious gift of my beautiful boy.
Every day, R. amazes me with his thoughts and feelings. He is, of course, a boy. He can be loud and crazy and filled with so much energy that he has to climb on everyone and everything. But he is also so thoughtful and loving - to me, to A., to our friends, to his friends, to his teachers, to Harley. When he spontaneously says, "I love you, Mommy!" and wraps his arms around my neck to hug me, my heart almost breaks with happiness and love and thanksgiving. Tonight, he put a bunch of stickers on the seat of my chair so that "when you sit down, you won't slip off - that's why I put them there for you." When I get off the subway in the evenings and I look up and see R. and A. standing there waiting for me, and then R. yells, "Mommy!!!" and runs into my arms, everything else in my life loses meaning. My life is my boys, and I am so thankful to God for them.
R. is smart and silly. The other night, after we put him to bed, he came out of his room and said, "But it's impossible! Boys can't stay in their beds!" (He likes to blame a lot of his actions on boys' or kids' needs/tendencies in general.) He makes crazy faces and loves to dance around with this half insane/half happy look on his face. He loves music. His current favorite artist is Toots Hibbert (or, as R. calls his band, "Toots and the Maytowels"), and his favorite song is "Monkey Man." He and I invited a special dance to accompany the song, where we sashay back and forth across the room sideways and sometimes crash into each other. We call it the "R. Shuffle."
We've been saying grace together before meals for awhile now. While my mom was here this past week, R. started volunteering to say grace himself. He squinches his eyes closed and half whispers: "Dear Lord, thank you for this wonderful day and thank you for this wonderful food. Amen." You only hear about every other word, but it's so sweet, it brings tears to my eyes.
People comment about how tall R. is for his age. He does seem to be growing taller very quickly, but I guess we'll find out this week at his 3-year appointment what his stats are. I *think* he's about 32 pounds, but I have no idea how tall he is because he won't stand still long enough or stand up straight to allow us to measure him. :-) He's definitely long and lean just like his daddy.
He notices everything. If I clean up the house and move things around, he notices right away and puts the things back, saying "This doesn't belong here!" He sees the tiniest flowers growing in the yard. He sniffs the air when a candle is burning downstairs or when flowers are in bloom outside and says, "I mell somefing!" He spent 10 minutes on Thursday looking at a dead worm at the playground. He asked lots of questions about it and then gave us his theory as to what happened.
R. is really adept at climbing. At our first few visits to the playground once the warmer weather arrived, I was blown away by all the things he can do now that he couldn't in the fall. He climbs up the really high rope ladder without any help - and VERY quickly. He's agile and has excellent balance. At the Museum of Science, he scared the daylights out of one poor mother of a younger boy by jumping from seat to seat and level to level in the live animal exhibit area.
Tonight, A. and R. and I played with his new marble maze/run, and it was wonderful. R. kept saying, "This is a really fun game! I like playing with you and Daddy. This is my favorite of all my presents." I love it because we can all play together, and I see us doing that for years to come. I love hanging out with my boys.
So, tonight, I thank God for sending R. into my life and entrusting me with his care. I thank God for showing me what life is really about. I thank him for the fun, happy, silly times; for the sweet, loving, tenderhearted times; and for the times when R. is so challenging or frustrating that I want to scream. It's all wonderful, and I wouldn't change a thing. R. is such a precious gift, and I'm grateful to God for giving me just a hint of experiencing what unconditional love is. For in loving R., I understand better how much God loves me as well.