Wednesday, June 26, 2013

letters to duke - 20 months

June 22, 2013

Dear Duke,

The past 2 months have been jam packed full of new and exciting things for you!

You had your first airplane ride at 19 months when we went to visit the Watson family in Portland.  You definitely had some fussy and interesting moments, but we all survived.  You became friends with everyone around us and brought smiles to all of their faces.  I'll never forget the way you looked as I held you while you were sleeping on the nighttime flight.  We loved getting to watch you and Norah interact.  You guys are just 3 days apart and it was so special to watch you play together.  That is a trip we will never forget.

You are using more words these days.  These are the new ones you've added to your vocabulary:  shoo-wee (when something is gross, smelly, or we just don't want you to touch it), out (which means "ouch"), bite, bubble, balloon, ba-too (which means "Tubby the Tuba"), doo-doo (which means "The Doodlebops"), cah (which means "car"), boat, teat (which means "eat"; and yes, it's really funny).

I think my most favorite memory of the past 2 months has been watching you explore when we're at various parks.  Watching you take risks and overcome fears and try new things is absolutely beautiful.  While I do want you to be a safe and careful individual, I want you to feel the freedom (a healthy freedom) to enjoy life (within reason, of course) without always thinking about "what might happen." 

You've been a pretty interesting eater lately.  It's a hit-and-miss kind of deal.  Some days I can't give you enough and some days you don't want to eat at all.  But one thing I can always count on you liking is snow cones.  Now that you're older, you know exactly what it means when we pull up to a snow cone stand.  You immediately yell out, "Bite!  Bite!"  You're pretty good about having patience and waiting until we get home to have your bites though.  And although your dad and I love our snow cones, we don't mind sharing them with you one bit.

You got to get in Grandpa Skip and Jmama's new pool for the first time.  Just like last summer, you love the water.  Of course, you're much crazier this time around.  You have tried many times to leap out of our arms and do things on your own.  You have no problem sticking your head in the water and then shaking it back and forth like a maniac.  I love the pool days we get to have with you.

Although we'd stopped using your sleepsack for naps, we brought it back again when we were in Portland.  It just gives you so much comfort and familiarity.  So, you're still sleeping in it for naps and nighttime.  We got the XL size so your feet would stop poking out the bottom!  I go back and forth on feeling the need to get rid of this.  But when I see how much you love it and how sweet it is when you bring the middle of the sleepsack up to your nose, suck your 2 fingers, and make little humming noises when it's time to sleep, I just can't get rid of it.  It's too precious.  I know there will be a time when I can reason with you and we can say goodbye to the sleepsack.  But just not yet!

Lately, when we ask you for a hug, you turn around (back facing us) and walk backwards until you're nestled perfectly in our arms.  I'm not sure where you picked up on this, but it's one of the sweetest things. 

Here's the deal, Duke:  Life is just better with you in it.  Sure, things get crazy and fits are thrown and food goes uneaten and messes are made.  But we have you.  You are a joy.  You are a gift, Duke.

When I look back on this age, I want to remember your sweet words, the way you spin around and make yourself dizzy, how you want so badly to put socks and shoes on our feet all the time, the way you look up at your dad and me when we swing on the porch swing, how you hold (pull) my hair while stepping in and out of clothes, and your little body when it runs and plays.  

I love you, my sweet boy.


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