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My little man is 2.5 years old. He is about the size of an average 4-year-old. He is currently growing out of his 3 T clothes faster than I had ever imagined. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by his size. I am a tall momma, 5 foot 9 to be exact and daddy is 6 foot 3, so we created a small giant with our gene combination. He is the sweetest thing in the world and my father has so graciously nicknamed him the tornado. But this last year he has taught me so many things.
After losing our other son last year I wasn’t sure how I was going to get up every day. There were moments when I just wanted to crawl into a dark hole and even just a few weeks ago I still wanted to do that. If it hadn’t been for Mr. E and my step son C, I am not sure if I would have found the strength to crawl out of bed. Toddlers have a way of being difficult. They are stubborn and very emotional tiny humans. Mine is no exception. He is for sure bull headed and he sure as hell knows how to get his way. But this past year he has taught me more than just patience. He has taught me more lessons than I could have ever dreamed.
Mr. E LOVES to dance. He will watch his favorite shows on Netflix and if it has a catchy tune you can be sure he will be shaking his booty. He doesn’t care that he looks silly and he always has the biggest smile on his face. This life is short, this world that we exist in is very temporary. We all have ups and downs and some of them are lows we never thought we would see but if we dance through this life and make our vodka lemonade with the lemons it throws at us; well it makes it a little more enjoyable.
Be Silly & Laugh
Ever listen to a baby giggle? How about a toddler who loves watching cat videos? Laughing just to laugh is heaven. I came across a memory on my Facebook feed from last year. About a month after Owen’s death Mr. E was waddling around our coffee table. He was only 19 months old at the time and he was attempting to pour water into a glass from a water bottle. His fat little clumsy hands couldn’t balance the task and the whole bottle of water ended up dumped on the table. My husband and I couldn’t stop laughing. We couldn’t get over how focused he had been and how he grinned at his small amount that did end up in the cup. My son still finds a way to make me laugh almost every single day. Find a way to laugh at least once a day, more is highly recommended. Check out this cool article from The Chopra Center on why laughter is the best medicine.
I am sure this one goes without much saying. When children enter grade school something shifts, we have to be serious about homework and reading and tests. We limit play time and pretend time. Books become less enjoyable and more of a burden but when you are little books are magic and boxes are the best toys. Some of my most favorite days are the days where I get to spend time building block towers and knocking them over or watching him jump on his bed with delight. We as adults don’t get much play time at all, with our kids having sports, homework, dogs need walking, day to day activities and ya know… jobs. Play gets thrown out the window. But really look for even small moments to play, even if its just a few minutes of pretend time to look for shapes in the clouds or putting a puzzle together. An article by the University of Wisconsin gives more health-specific examples of why we need to play as adults.
This is not to quote Frozen, although you know the song I am sure. I live in a house full of boys so letting it go has a different meaning than for a Disney Princess. We are full of mud, dust, blood, and stink at my house. I had to let go of the perfect idea of home. I had to let go of having the dishes done every night or the laundry all put away (really who does that??!) But instead I have been able to let some of those chores go and be more in tune with my boys when I am home. We have two furbabies too so I really had to lower my standards. But in the reality, the memories of making those mud puddles or creating sidewalk chalk scenes are what we will remember most. We won’t remember which pair of jeans were destroyed after just being bought or the couch we owned when the glue was spilled on it. But we will probably remember why those things happened and we will giggle.
I am beautiful
What a weird thing to learn from your toddler right? But is it really? As a mom, it is so easy to get caught up in the comparisons and guilt. How does that mom look so put together with twins who are almost walking? How did that mom lose the baby weight after just six months? Why don’t my boobs look that perky after bouncing back? But my sons think I am one on the most beautiful people on the planet. I get looks of adoration no matter what I am wearing or even if I have brushed my teeth. Mr. E always tells me just how pretty his momma is and how much he loves her. Every night with my kiss good night and a tight squeeze around my neck, I remember that to him, I am perfect and really that’s what matters most to me. For good measure, I added this beauty of a shot. This is over a year old, but it’s still one of my favorite photos of me.
What have your children taught you? Let me know in the comments below!