On Sunday morning, right as the clock ticked to 8:17am, my sweet little baby boy turned two years old. I don’t write regular updates on the kids here anymore, but I couldn’t just breeze past a second birthday either. There is so much I would love to say about him at this age, and at the same time I don’t feel like there is any way my words can capture the enormous personality that is – Graham.
It’s a whole other thing, raising a second child. And while I’m sure that could be a post entirely of it’s own, I’ll sum it up by saying that while I thought I knew it all from raising his big brother, Graham has shown me just how fun and unexpected it is the second time around too.
So Graham, on your second birthday, I’d love to tell you just a few of the things that make you so uniquely YOU. And the things that I lay in bed thinking about at the end of our long days – the things that makes me smile, and feel excited to hear you call “mama” the next morning from your crib.
There isn’t a day that goes by that someone doesn’t stop me to talk about your eyes. Ohhhh those eyes. They have melted me from your first moments, and they get you out of the worst kinds of trouble. I have a feeling they always will.
And when they aren’t talking about your eyes, others stop me and ask where that bleached blonde hair came from in a family of brunettes. “Your guess is as good as mine!” is always my answer, and I love to brush it our of your eyes while we rock and read books. Before you were born, your dad and I both had this nagging feeling that you would be blonde, and it makes me smile to think that we were in on your secret.
You are the ultimate little brother – you love to joke around and make everyone laugh. You love knock-knock jokes, and whenever we ask, “who’s there?” – you shout “CULLEN IN THE SINK” and then crack yourself up, which of course cracks all of us up too. You almost never laugh for me, but you think your big brother is the funniest person in the world, and I live for the moments when I see glimpses of the best friends I hope you will become.
Most people know about your wild, adventurous, daredevil side. But you are also ridiculously sweet and surprisingly sensitive. We went to see the Fremont Troll the night of your birthday, because we needed to snap a picture there for Cullen’s school project. When we got out of the car and walked toward the bridge, you clung tight to my jacket and whispered, “Mommy, troll eat me.” And so that was as close as we got.
But about that wild side… You sure have taught me a thing or two about what it means to have a daredevil – when it comes to the physical stuff, you are absolutely fearless. You will climb anything, jump off of things that are way too high for you, and you don’t hesitate to hop in and play with kids of any age. And somehow through all of it, you rarely actually fall or get hurt. However, you are unsurprisingly the first in the family to have earned stitches.
While I see a lot of little siblings copying the older ones, you want none of that. Cullen likes green, so you like orange. He loves baseball, so you love “hoops.” But your greatest love of all is TOOLS – hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers – there is nothing better. But of course, you don’t want toy tools, you want to “do daddy’s tools” and you will sit and play with nuts and bolts for hours if we let you. (Notice the drill bit in the hand of every photo.)
You love to do things with daddy – like go to the store, throw balls at the park, or play out in the garage. But you are still a total mama’s boy, and you cling to me every chance you get. You were never a super snuggly baby, so I savor the few minutes you rock on my chest each night before bedtime. You give the best hugs in the world – we call them “super hugs” – and you wrap your little arms so tight around my neck and I wish that you’d never let go.
You talk nonstop about everything and anything. I have never heard a two year old talk so much, and others tell me the same. Life with you feels really easy right now, and a big part of that is how well you communicate with me and tell me exactly what you’re thinking. You woke up the other day and said “Ouch, teeth hurt” and pouted your lip, and I was so thankful that I knew just what you needed. You also love to sing – your favorite songs are ABC’s, Happy Birthday, and the theme song from Super Why (embarrassing).
You are incredibly strong-willed, just like the other two boys in the family (ahem), and I fear your teenage years with those blue eyes and that wild personality. At least once every day, Cullen and I find ourselves shaking our heads and watching you do something crazy. I’ll say, “Cullen what are we going to do with that kid?” and he always laughs and replies, “PUT HIM IN THE SINK!” Can you tell this is a running joke in our house?
You just started “Graham’s school” and you go once a week and you absolutely love it. You love playing with kids your own age, and dancing and singing with your teacher. And now that it’s fall, you also love a few mornings each week where you are home alone with mommy. You are a totally different kid when it’s just us – you happily entertain yourself playing with all your brother’s toys. And it’s our little secret that when he is at school, you get to sit in his seat at the table and use his beloved baseball placemat. Shhhhhhhhhh.
You are such a bright spot in our family, and in every single day. When Cullen was still a peanut baby and we started talking about having another, I had no idea what that would mean or look like (and also, clearly I was insane). I had no idea how much I needed you and wanted you, and you have made my heart grow bigger than I ever knew it could.
Happy 2nd birthday, my sweet Baby Graham. I can never kiss your cheeks enough times in a day, but you can be sure that I’ll keep on trying.