Tomorrow you turn 17 months. 17 months! For some reason, 18 months has always been a milestone. I'm not sure why. Perhaps in my mind, it is when you are truly no longer a baby. But I see now that as you begin yet another month, a baby you are not.
You prove this more and more every day.
You spot horses before we do and the way you say horse is just too cute. "hoees" Nearly as cute as "Oyeenge", combined with the excitement on your face when you see them on the counter. You LOVE oranges and that makes me very excited for the bounty of fruit to come and the eating of strawberries from the farmer's market. I expect you will have a lot of pink and red stained clothing this spring.
As I write this post, you have a fever. Your daddy gave you the flu. Bad daddy. 45 minutes ago you walked to me. I was in the kitchen making turkey noodle soup and you held up your arms. I picked you up and you waved outside and said, "night". I asked you if you wanted to go night night and you didn't say no. (at this point, that is your yes.) Still doubting you, I half-heartedly walked through our bedtime routine and as I entered your room, you clung to me and started to cry. "I didn't think so," I thought. But then, THEN you reached for our bedroom and our bed. I put you down and you crawled up, put your head on my pillow, and assumed your typical butt-in-the-air sleeping position. I covered you with blankets and you closed your eyes and went to sleep.
I am moved by your assertion of independence. That is what I wish for you. All too soon you will be going to slumber parties, getting in trouble with your cousins, going through middle school drama, high school heart breaks and off to college - your first glimpse of the real world. If I can do anything for you as your mother, it is to give you those strong roots, strong enough to keep you level when you make mistakes and keep you upright when you feel like you might fall.
I recently read that if you teach your children to be kind, they will by nature be polite. You are easily frustrated and you cry out, yet you will sit under the table for the longest time, quietly, gently playing with the cat. You will kick and scream over not getting your dammed goldfish crackers, but you will crawl to Wendy, pet her, and put your head on her belly and let her lick your face. You have a kind soul, an old soul. It is my job to nurture that soul, to protect it for as long as I can. Because as you have so elliquently proven to me, you are growing up. You are asserting your independence. And I am so, so proud.