I feel and fear that this week will be a blur. A blur of chaos -- Ethan's party is this weekend, after all -- and a blur of the last fleeting moments before my baby is two. It isn't with fear or apprehension that I watch him grow, it isn't a longing for the newness of a newborn -- I'm one of those strange people who much prefers the toddler stage -- it's just the time. The time has flown by so very fast and now he is two, talking my ear off throughout the day and voicing his opinions, his wants, his dislikes, his never-ending quest for "no more night-night Ethan's bed!" until eventually his eyes close peacefully from where he lays on his pillow. It's the way he surprises me everyday with what he knows, the way he can look out the window while we're in the car and recognize where we're on our way to: Grandma's house, Starbucks, the mall, Jamba Juice. It's the way when you ask him simple questions like what he sees at the beach, he will answer you with sand and water (which has made the transition from wa-wa to wa-wer, all of the sudden, overnight) and birds and even jellyfish though he's never actually seen one. It's the way he can suddenly remember past times and instances and still talks longingly of the day at the water park he spent weeks ago now with two of his friends, playing with sticks in the mud and running through the water. He recalls this day and smiles, and tells everyone he meets about it, and for that it will always be one of my favorite days, too. It's just that he's growing up before my eyes and while I recognize and appreciate the transition into boy my baby has become, and while I welcome it and encourage his growth with pride coursing through my body, I want to hold on a little longer. I want to hold onto the days he still wants me to rock him in our glider before bedtime each night, singing my own concocted lullaby renditions of Guns 'N Roses and Hanson and The Monkees and Bright Eyes medleys until his blinks become a little longer, until it's time for "Ethan night night, big boy bed," his thirty-seven pound body heavy in my arms, his hair nestled against my shoulder awkwardly as his legs dangle over the arms of the glider. It's just that On The Night You Were Born now gives me chills and tears welled up in my eyes because that night is but a memory now, a distant one, the moment this little boy made me a mother and breathed this purpose into me that I never could have imagined, the night everything changed for the better.
That baby is almost two -- almost -- and I will be reiterating the almost until 11:45 p.m. this Saturday evening when he truly becomes two. Two years old, and the beauty he possesses leaves me breathless.