A Letter For Noah On Your 2nd Birthday

Dear Noah,

Another year has gone by. There are moments as of late where I stop in the middle of what I am doing and think, my goodness you are two. So much has happened in these last twelve months that I could write a book, if only I could remember half of it.
Last year at this time we were waiting for you to walk, and now you move so fast and with such purpose, there are days I struggle to keep up with you. Your personality has grown right along with you and it has been amazing to watch you turn into a caring gentle little boy who comes running when his little brother starts to cry. You are so helpful, pointing out and then throwing away garbage, though there was a time when it was not garbage at all and I found myself digging through the trash. You let us know when you have made a mess, by saying “mess” “mess” and then asking for a towel to help clean it up. ¬†Sometimes you like to clean just for the fun of it.
You gave us quite a scare in Florida when you ended up in Pediatric ICU with RSV.  I have felt absolutely helpless a handful of  times in my life, but never as much as I did for those three days sitting at your bed side.  Ever since that trip there are nights when you wake up scared and I have found myself sleeping on your floor, next to your big boy bed, in [close space] the old sleeping bag your grandpa gave to me when I was a boy.
A year ago you said a word or two, but mostly used sign language, then you began to talk up a garbled storm, and now you speak in phrases, such as, “I want to dig.”, ‚ÄúNana better than Momma” (that made Nana’s day), “I want to go down.”, “Truck, guy driving.” , “Luke crying.” ¬†When we don’t know what you are saying you are not satisfied until we figure it out, never have you allowed us to get away with saying “that is good” and then moving on. We hardly carry you anymore. When we walk you hold onto my finger and know took watch out for cars,¬†to look both ways before we cross the street and to stand aside on the trail when a bike comes along. You love to pretend to pee in the woods, complete with the shake and the zipping of the zipper, sometimes stopping every few feet to do so. ¬†On our hikes, you are tired of walking; you are no longer happy riding in the kid carrier preferring instead to ride atop my shoulders while I have Luke on my chest and a backpack on my back. This works out well until you fall asleep and I have to fireman carry you back to the car. ¬†You love ¬≠to go driving knowing that getting in the car means a new adventure and there is a chance of seeing some kind of large vehicle on our journey. A few times during our trip to Montana I let you sit on my lap and “drive” through the empty parking lot back to the condo where we were staying.
This summer you got your first shiner at daycare, where you have been called the cleanest eater of the class when it comes to eating yogurt, which has been your staple food for the better part of the last year. You never go anywhere without MoMo, your stuffed monkey. ¬†We thought ahead when you first started carrying him around and got a second one, you can tell the difference between them though just by looking at them, and Monkey does not hold the same status as MoMo. ¬†We have been to the zoo so many times this summer to see the monkeys, tigers, ride the train to watch the rhinos “mow” that I am surprised they do not know us by sight. When we went this last time just a few days ago you were more interested in watching the construction of the new exhibit area than you were at looking at the animals. ¬†When you finally got bored with the construction, you weaved your way through the school groups and pushed your way past the older children to get up to the exhibits so that, with wide eyes, you could watch the animals. You have a regular zoo of stuffed animals in your bed with you at night, including a moose of which we have seen many this past year, along with the foxes on our trip to Montana that would come right up to you and sniff wondering if we had any food to give them.
Together you and I flew back to Vermont to visit Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Tycen, it was a bit cramped on the plane with you sitting on my lap but we made it work. Once while you were sleeping you twitched and stuck your hand right into the drink of the lady next to us. We also went to see Nana and Grandpa in Michigan. On every flight your favorite thing to do is to stare out the window and watch all that is going on before the plane takes off. We watched the horses in Vermont and tried to catch minnows in Michigan, we ate fruit and dug in the sand at the beach. We have flown so much this year that you know that MoMo has to go through the x-ray and you need to take off your shoes when we go through airport security.
There are so many things that happened this year, and with each word I type a new memory comes to mind. I have been your jungle gym, all your teeth have come in, we have built countless tunnels with the pillows from the couch, and collected many rocks while on walks both in the city and in the mountains. ¬†¬†You like to make noise with parts of vacuum and other random house hold items, though you never make a vroom sound; you just say “noise” over and over. ¬†You have become quite the chef with your “cooking” in the pots and pans and then when you are tired of that you head outside to dig, on hot days making your way between the sandbox and the pool several times. You have gone from stacking one color of Legos together to drawing on your easel and putting the track of your train together. Other than MoMo, Tigers, trains, trucks and tunnels are your favorite things.
I am truly amazed at all that has happened in the last year and when I think of how fast it has gone and how much you have grown I feel a little bit of sadness, knowing it will be all too soon that I will be writing about your first day of school.  Though the one thing you have taught me this year is to focus on the now and not the future or the past. For right now, when you are in the moment is when you have the most fun.

Happy second birthday, Noah!



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