But when I opened my eyes, my baby boy was all grown up. His baby fat had melted away and his tiny little body was replaced by a more "kid-like" version of itself. Syllables had turned into words and words into sentences. He now uses logic and reasoning and compassion. I looked up and he was giving his runny-nose baby sister her lovey and saying "Here, Sa-Sa Bean. This will make you feel better." He tells me "You look cute tonight Mama" when I'm heading out on girls' nights or date nights. He "reads" books to his stuffed doggy, explaining the pictures on each page (and often telling the story that goes with them). He understands abstract concepts. He tries to apply new words (I love the way he misuses "probably"). He learns something new everyday -- and always with a smile on his sweet face.
Those hilarious first steps (naked and with a football) are so far removed from this running, jumping and climbing toddler who loves spinning in circles and pretending he's a helicopter or airplane. He is capable. Oh so capable. And on days like this I can't even believe it. Those days of tummy-time and middle of the night nursing seem like they were just last week. How is it that my silly little baby has turned into this amazing little boy? I'm not ready for him to be a kid yet.
|...at 2 years and 2.5 years...|
And my newborn? How is she not a newborn anymore? She's almost 11 months old. Which means she's almost a year. How is that even possible?
Suddenly, my tiny ball of smiles and stubbornness is taking steps. She's walking around the place... growing more independent every day. The flirting and smiling and opinions have always been part of her personality, but now she finds new ways to express them. More grown up ways. She still seems so small to be interacting with such a big world in these ways.
I spend every day with these two kids. Every day. I get to see it all. The first time Brayden draws something and identifies it as an actual object... or fills in the words to books and songs... or tries to help his sister figure something out. I get to see Elissa making steady progress on her way to walking - growing more confident every day and proudly smiling when she impresses herself. I get to see the two of them climb up the stairs and laugh. And make up games to play together (even though Elissa doesn't always understand what she's playing). I see the smiles and the tears. I hear the cries and the laughter.
And I love it all.
I see everything. So how did I not see this coming? I swear I just blinked.