August 02, 2010

18 months - The Z files

My heart and mind are full and overflowing. How do I write about this boy, this child, without seeming trite and cliche?

He rocks our world daily. He is full of light, full of laughter, full of life. He is my greatest joy and greatest love. He is a mystery to me, and someone I know like my own skin.

The last six months have been monumental in terms of Zane's development, in terms of my development as his mother. This is by far the most fun I have ever had, and the hardest work I have ever done. Wow.

Six months ago he was crawling, and walking along furniture, standing, but not ready yet to venture out on his own two feet. Three months ago he began walking across the room. Today, he runs full speed through the house, and runs out from his hiding places when we wonder aloud, "Where is Zane?".

Six months ago he first began to cradle baby dolls and offer bottles to his newborn cousin. Today he concocts gourmet meals at his sandbox, asking for spoons to stir his various creations and then offers tastes to me and his "babies", announcing "Yum, Yum, Yum!".

At Christmas time we greeted our tree each morning and thanked her. Today he hugs any tree he can get his arms around and stops to smell the flowers as often as he can.

He has this incredibly mischievous side to him, deliberately "hiding" quietly just out of our view and then popping out in breath-stealing laughter as we go looking for him, looking at us and laughing a moment before he initiates some forbidden behavior.

He is intensely physical, hugging with his whole body, asking to be thrown onto the bed again and again, throwing his entire body on the floor, biting, or slamming his head into the hardest surface within reach when he is angry or frustrated.

He is sweetly sensitive, becoming upset when someone else is injured, whether in real life or on television, or in the painted image on one of his toys or in his books; kissing his "babies" when they fall, lifting my shirt to kiss my gall bladder scars every day, tenderly pointing and saying "Owwww" as he does so.

He becomes quickly fascinated by anything he imagines might need fixing or might be able to be dismantled. He reaches for nuts, bolts, screws, and tries with all his might to manipulate them, even when they happen to be holding in place the safety glass between him and the very large and ferocious lions at the zoo. You can almost see his mind working as he approaches something, such as his "bubble train", and turns it over in his hands, removing what he can, trying to understand how it works, how it all fits together. His focus and his concentration are amazing to behold.

He has recently become increasingly aware of his appearance, stopping to admire himself and frankly, sometimes make out with himself, in mirrors. He has favorite shirts (we have dubbed them "super cool dude shirts") that he literally struts around the house in. He picks out his outfits, refuses certain clothing items and refuses to allow us to remove others. Of course we have begun manipulating this to convince him that hats that protect him from the sun are indeed "super cool dude" items as well.

He is both incredibly independent and incredibly affectionate, making for this constant cycle of his stepping away to explore and do things for himself followed by his running wildly back to me for a full body hug and kiss and cuddle. It seems at times neither of us can get quite enough of the other. But it is certainly I who is the more love-sick one, having trouble walking away and leaving him, even when it is for my own good. He, on the other hand, fully secure, delights in his one-on-one time with Daddy, his auntie, or his favorite babysitter. He knows I will return, he knows he is loved. I am so grateful for that.

Speaking of Daddy, his adoration for my husband is legendary. He somehow knows exactly when to start expecting his father's return and stands on the couch, spreads the curtains and looks eagerly down the street while singing "Daddy, Daddeeeeeeeeeee, Daddddddddy!" over and over and over. He points out things throughout the day that remind him of his dad and sometimes just sits singing "Daddy" over and over to himself. I won't lie, I have been a little jealous at times over this devotion. But mostly I am just so grateful that I chose such a phenomenal man to have a child with. I love that Zane has this connection with his dad, something they have created together, it is a gift that unfolds before me daily.

There is a lullaby I have been singing to Zane since before he was born. It is the song of a mother singing to her son and at one point she sings, "And sometimes I will ask the moon where it smiled upon you last and shake my head and laugh and say, 'It all went by so fast'..." Never did those words penetrate my heart like they do now. It is already going by so fast, so very fast. I want to hold each day and pin it down in a book, but the days are quick and fleeting, and for every moment I have the presence of mind to remember, there are a thousand I have forgotten.

What a gift and what a torture. To love this person unfolding before me with such fullness and such completeness, knowing his growing means changing, means a thousand new discoveries and a thousand more good-byes.

There is one thought I have every single day and that is how incredibly fortunate I am to be here. I feel as though the whole of my life has led me here, and I cannot stop saying "Thank You".

Thank you.

1 comment:

s.e. said...

Heart-wrenching, poignant, beautiful.