I often ask my two year old “what makes you happy” as a way to start conversation or to keep him entertained. His answers are so sweet and simple, and they give me a look inside his ever developing mind. He often says things like dump truck, bath, bulldozer, Mustang, water, dirt, or goldfish. He also usually adds in Mommy, Daddy, and a few other family members. My mom heart swoons at all of this, but especially the latter answers.
It’s so sweet to hear his thoughts and learn about him as an individual. I am constantly reminded that he is his own person, despite his permanent role as my little baby who was completely dependent not too long ago. In the span of about seven hundred days, this little guy has progressed from immobile to highly mobile, from non-verbal to very verbal, and from unaware to extremely aware. Just try and pass a Dunkin Donuts with this kid in the car. I can assure you that he will express his displeasure at the missed opportunity. We are a family of donut lovers, what can I say?
While he is quickly gaining in awareness, independence, and mobility, he is still small, and he still needs a lot of guidance. This is one of the many paradoxes of parenting. They are so big, but they are so small. They can do so much, but they can do so little. While this child can say what he wants and what makes him happy, he still needs help getting dressed. We want them to grow, but we want them to stay small. We can’t wait for bedtime, but then we miss them while they are sleeping.
While everything has complexities, everything has simplicities too. I love hearing the simple things that bring my baby joy. They are so easy and uncomplicated: food, cars, construction equipment, books, snuggies, and company of the people he loves. It’s a great reminder that most of the time, easy and simple are the way to go. Enjoy the here and now, without looking too far forward, or too far back. Little kids live entirely in the moment, and it is a beautiful thing.