Every night after a wet, heavy on the bottom-lip kiss from my now 2-year-old, I turn off the light and say, “Good night my prince.” I shut the door and think over the day. The highs and lows of chasing after a toddler.
With Max, my days are filled with interpreting. I have become a master of Max’s language and as he mumbles a sentence with one or two understandable words, I can easily pick up one what he is getting at. Sometimes I have to interpret for others but usually Max just requests that I repeat back whatever he said to me, just to make sure that I was really listening. It can get frustrating because although I consider myself fluent in Maxese, I still don’t always understand. Puddles and bubbles sound so similar and sometimes get’s mad when I don’t get him right away. I get it though, we all want to be heard, to be understood.
Besides interpreting Max all day long, we dance, we read, we look out the window when we hear the siren of the firetruck (we happen to live across the street from a fire station so this happens often). This morning after a rousing early morning wake up and after Daddy had left for school, he played his little piano. We had recently rediscovered the microphone attachment and he squealed with sheer delight at hearing his own voice.
It overwhelmed me to be honest. Each time he made a squawk and heard himself he was so giddy he couldn’t contain it. His hands would rush to his cheeks and his eyes would twinkle. They twinkle all day long though.
They twinkle when he sees an ant or when we sing the teddy bear song. They twinkle when I praise him for making a good choice or when he discovers that he gets a special treat whether it be hummus or ice cream. They twinkle when he asks to be my baby. I cradle him in my arms and smother him with kisses all over his face and he asks for it again and again and again.
He will always be my baby, my first little prince. The one who surprised me with how tough and challenging motherhood would be but also surprised me with how much sheer joy it would bring. So much that I just want to squeal and let my hands rush to my cheeks in awe of it all.
It truly amazes me that I have been able to watch him grow for two straight years. There has not been a single day I have not seen him. It’s not that I wouldn’t like a grown-up trip or something, but by luck (or the poverty of grad school) we haven’t ever really been separated. He has grown so much since that first moment when they placed him into my arms and my instinct was to sing, “I am a child of God” to him and all the shock of entering this Earth flitted away. I knew he recognized my voice and that moment will stick with me for the rest of my life because this boy has changed my voice, slowly my voice is becoming more patient, more tolerant, more aware of it’s effect.
It’s effect being largely that I will be molding his voice. When he thinks of his value, his worth I hope his voice tells him how loved he is, how kind he must be to the world, and ultimately how he is a prince. A little prince that will grow up to be a good, kind king.
I love you my prince, happy birthday.