Dear Owen,

Happy 27 months, kiddo. A lot has changed in your world since my last letter, hasn’t it? Not only are you solidly a two-year old, but you are also officially a big brother, and a great one at that. You really do love Ryan and it makes my heart all melty every morning when you greet him with love and kisses and “brothers!” in a sing-songy voice. You always want to be near him…to the point that I often have to tell you to get out of his face. But really, it’s all good.

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The addition of a sibling has brought on some jealousy, though. I know this because you’ve taken to pretend crying in this awful whiny voice whenever the baby starts fussing. I understand your train of thought, I do. When the baby cries he gets attention. But, oh, KID. Please stop that. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. We’ve been talking about how Ryan doesn’t have words so that’s why he cries, but Owen has SO MANY words and can use them to tell us what he needs.

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You do have them, you know. You talk so much that sometimes after I put you to bed I realize the only time you stopped talking was when you were sleeping. You carry on entire conversations and are so very curious. You want to know what everything is, the name of every person we encounter, where we are going, what we are doing and who is going to come visit you. You are curious and thoughtful and interested in everything.

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Two is a challenging age. You are willful and demanding and self-centered. Some days you leave me ragged after a constant battle of back-and-forth. On the flip side, you are funny and sparkly and cuddly and loving. You are affectionate and smart and some days you leave me dazzled by what you come up with. Your accomplishments leave me beaming with pride and I think your cheeks are still one of the most delicious things to snack on.

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You are still a very cautious kid, although watching you slowly come out of your shell has been really cool for us. It took nearly the whole summer for you to walk on the beach without fussing or to actually go in the ocean, but once you did it, you were hooked. I love watching you experience these things for the first time. Seeing life through your eyes makes me appreciate it a little more.

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You love to be outside, riding your bike, playing with toy cars, shooting hoops, running with the neighborhood kids, collecting sticks and acorns and coloring with chalk. At the end of the day you are a mess. A happy mess, but a mess none the less.

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You are growing so quickly that some days I worry I’m going to blink and you will be leaving for college. I want to bottle these moments with you — however challenging some of them may be — and remember them always. (Sigh, maybe not ALL of them. Even as I’m writing this you had a mini-tantrum over crayons, of all things.)

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October 2011/September 2012. From cautiously toddling along, to always on the move.

Each time I write one of these letters it dawns on me how quickly you change in such a short period of time. How each time I sit down to reflect on the previous three months, a little more of your babyhood has faded away and a bit more of who you are becoming has emerged. It’s a wonderfully bittersweet journey.

I love you, through and through, you crazy kid.

Love,

Mommy

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