Yes, Zeek’s birthday was 2 months ago. But I just took his 3 year old photos last week. A nice day in January is hard to come by… so 3 years and 2 months, it is.
Oh Zeek boy. What to even begin to say about you.
YOU, my dear, are quite the character. If I were to day dream about your personality back when you were an infant, I would never have dreamed as big as reality would be. You are funny. Daddy has always called me his comedian, but you are my comedian.
Your perspective on life and your not-quite-understanding of some situations make the things that come out of your mouth just too, too funny. (I’ll post some of the recent Zeek-ism’s down at the bottom.)
You smile sweetly, but there’s often a little glint in your eye (as your grandparents would say the same of your daddy when he was a young boy). There’s a hint of “I’m smiling sweetly, but what can I get away with?!” And also, “What am I going to eat next?” Yes, you are quite the foodie. See above. You were being well behaved and smiling so nicely, but I know you were only thinking about the chocolate chip mom was going to give you as a bribe for taking photos.
You love your baby. Which is often what you call him, “my baby”. “Mama, you need to change my baby.” “Mama, my baby wants to play with [insert toy that YOU actually want to play with].”
While you frequently show Asher some “aggressive love”, you do truly love him and watch out for him. You are always quick to holler for help if Asher needs it or you take things out of his mouth that he shouldn’t have in there. You are a mama’s big helper, that’s for sure. Thank you for caring for your Little B so sweetly.
You two are adventurers waiting to happen. You have loved Asher even all the more since he started walking a couple weeks ago. I just know that between the two of you (your wise, cautious side plus your charm and negotiating skills and Asher with his carefree, wild-side, nothing scares me, life is fun and his happy-go-lucky attitude), you will have some wildly fun adventures some day. You two will make a great partnership.
I can’t even stand how big you look in this picture. It’s been a gentle reminder to do the little things you’ve asked for lately – rocking you before you go to sleep, cuddling on the couch with you, holding you in my arms after naptime – because someday very soon, you’ll be too big. You are always comparing your legs to mine, your feet to mine and your arms to mine. You want to visually see how big you’re getting and how long your legs are growing, so you compare them to mine to see if you’ve grown as tall as mommy yet. Unfortunately for you and fortunately for me, you haven’t yet. But all of it is good reminder to just savor these moments a little more. I have found myself mourning the last year, just a little bit. Because I was so preoccupied with Asher as an infant, I didn’t get to put you to sleep very often. I’m so glad you and daddy have such a sweet bedtime routine and that he gets to have the joy and memories of rocking and singing to you, but it’s bittersweet and I find myself a little jealous because I haven’t had much of that time with you myself, since Asher was born.
Your Grandma Miller taught you how to hold three fingers up and you are so proud of yourself every time you do it!
You paused during this photo session to pick the tulip for mommy. You are so very often doing sweet gestures like this for me. You’re always finding me pretty leaves and wildflowers and proudly presenting them to me. Then you smile with glee as you see them sitting in a small vase of water on my kitchen windowsill. You are such a kind-hearted boy and quite the giver. Mommy’s love language is gift-giving and I’m certain yours is too. I love bonding with you in this way because we understand each others’ unspoken needs.
The sweetest gift you gave me was a couple months ago when you gave me a pearl necklace. You had picked out a toy for yourself while in Sunday School at Grandma and Grandpa Miller’s church, but upon seeing the pearl necklace in the toy box, you decided to put your own toy back and get the necklace for mommy instead. You were so so pleased to be able to present me with this gift – and let me tell you baby boy, when I think of your selfless heart and how you picked that necklace out for me, it brings me right to tears.
In the same way, you so very much appreciate your gifts that are given to you. No matter how big or small (and often it’s the small things you appreciate and love the most). You always remember exactly who gave you what – even new clothes or shoes. You remember who gave it to you and when they gave it to you. I don’t even have to remind you to be appreciative of what you’ve been given because you are always so thankful that you just say it yourself. Even after something small – like a trip to the dollar store and I’ve let you pick out a toy animal from the bin. On the drive home, you always are admiring your new toy or stickers or ball (or whatever it is) and you say, “mommy – thank you for getting me this toy.” It makes me smile every time, knowing that with that small dollar gesture, I helped fill your “gift love language” tank.
Let me just add that while Mama adores this sweater on you, Daddy hates it. He thinks it makes you look like Mister Rogers.
Sorry buddy. Mama dresses you = Mama wins.
You are my quiet and thoughtful boy, most often. While playing with daddy or friends you are loud, energetic and fun. But while in the comfort of home or in a group of people you don’t know well, you are often quiet and thoughtful. You are an observer, like your mama. I remember back when mama was only about 5 years old and was playing barbies with my older sister. I never was one to really play with dolls. I would observe. I would watch your aunt Krista play barbies and only pretended to play when she’d glance over at me, probably because she thought I was being too quiet. I never thought about it much until I got older, but I did that a lot as a kid. I enjoyed my time watching other people playing and having fun, just as much (or maybe more) as I enjoyed it myself.
Daddy is a do-er, not an observer, and I often have to remind him that you aren’t the same in this way. He’ll see you standing outside the circle of kids, not wanting to do whatever activity the other kids are doing, and he’ll encourage you to get in there and play. I have to remind him that although it looks like you’re being timid and not having fun, you’re actually really quite enjoying yourself just watching the other kids playing. (This also makes a lot of sense as to why you’ve always just wanted to BE with someone, rather than play with toys. You’ve never really taken to playing with toys by yourself. You just want someone to sit on the floor with you and just BE with you.)
I think you’re going to be more of a creative type like myself and I think that’s where a lot of my creativity comes from – just being an observer. Just standing back and watching others, watching life unfold and thinking about my circumstances. I think someday you might enjoy taking on projects with me, and that thought really excites me.
Whenever mommy is working on a project, you always want to hop up at the table with me and want to color or cut paper. I love having my little buddy create with me.
You’re also daddy’s best little buddy right now. You adore your daddy. You always want to go on “bear hunts” and have him chase you around the house. You love to be outdoors with daddy, riding bikes, digging for worms, playing at the park and the river. Anything daddy wants to go do, you want to go with him and explore. You show interest in hunting with him and playing paintball when you’re older. I know this makes daddy’s heart happy.
You’re my good little cooperative boy. When mama says it’s bedtime or naptime, you don’t whine. When you wake up what mama deems as too early, I tell you, “too early, go back to bed!” and you always do – at least for another hour. You are like mama in her sleep, so I try to keep that in mind. While daddy and Asher love sleep and will sleep as much as they can get, you and I are both early risers and need less sleep. You wake up happy and ready to start the day; the only time you’re grumpy is when I have to wake you up from nap early to leave the house. Then you’re pretty angry for about 30 minutes (understandably). You still wake up “late” compared to what seems like many people’s kids, which is around 8 – 8:30 usually. But seems early compared to Asher and daddy who often sleep in until 9:30-10:30 usually. So you and I are often up in the morning together and I appreciate that solo time with you, and cuddling on the couch together.
(taken straight from my FB statuses, because that’s the easiest way to remember them! And only from the last couple months since he’s been three.)
Zeek boy – I just can’t even gather the words to tell you how much I love you. You are the sweetest thing to come into my life and I am so so thankful for the tremendous joy, and even the challenges and heartache that has come from raising you for an entire three years already! Your daddy and I often look at you and Asher playing, smile to each other and thank each other for making you two. We are so grateful to have you in our lives – to hear your crazy laughter, to hear your sweet and loving comments, to laugh over the funny way your toddler mind works (and not laughing AT you, my dear. For your mama had quite the strange ideas as a child also.), to answer all your questions and explain things to you so that you understand. All of it – we are so thankful for.
YOU are a precious treasure and I can hardly believe you’re mine.
Thank you for being you Zeek, and through it, teaching me more about who I am too. Thank you for challenging me as a human, as a mom and as your mentor. Thank you for making it downright difficult some days because while I’m supposed to be molding you, you are also molding me into a better person.
Love you, first-born.