I’m not sure how the magical switch from “baby” to “toddler” gets flipped but as I interacted with Caleb this morning I had the distinct thought “he’s not a baby anymore.” Folks, toddler-hood has replaced my precious baby boy. It seemed to happen almost overnight but the change is pronounced, however it came about. I’m not sure what it is that pushed him from one realm to the next…
Maybe it’s the teetering steps he takes several times a day now. And his solid stance, (mostly)unshaken by clapping, dancing, bending or turning.
Maybe it’s his wide and easy grin full of new teeth.
Maybe it’s his grimy little boy hands that have replaced his soft, clean, brand spankin’ new baby hands.
Maybe it is his new way of playing that is much richer than simply holding and observing objects, it is interactive, using objects as tools, setting cause and effect into motion, creating play, hiding objects and laughing when mama can’t find them and then proudly showing her where they can be found, bending and stooping to “search” under things for lost items (namely his balls that roll under the bed, the dresser, the coffee table, the dining room table).
Or how at naptime he transforms his pacifier into a toy car, “driving” it along the rail going “vroom, vroom, vroom.”
Maybe it’s the fact that he moved from his pack n’play (the bed he’s used these past 10 months) into a “real” crib that is almost twice as big and has a real mattress, sheets and everything.
Maybe it’s the way he wraps up in his blanket and lounges back while I read him story after story.
Maybe it’s the way he calls for me from the other room: “mama.” “Mama.” “MAMA!!!”
Maybe it’s the way he watches his daddy to see what he is doing and how he responds…the way he rushes to see him the minute he wakes up and is “rescued” from his crib.
Or perhaps it is the way he is starting to insist on doing things himself or the way he wants to hold the spoon when he eats (although he is still a LONG shot away from actually being able to OPERATE said spoon).
Or the ways he makes crystal clear exactly what he wants, thinks or feels without even needing to use words.
Or the way (in just the past few days!) he has learned how to throw a major temper tantrum, complete with flailing arms, kicking legs, arched back and screams when he doesn’t get his way or doesn’t like something.
Or maybe it is the big wet kisses he gives.
Or the way he notices every time we laugh about something and throws his own head back in laughter like it is the funniest thing he’s ever heard.
Or how he is learning to fold his hands and pray with us before meals.
Or the way he teases and flirts, with that gleaming mischievous little boy look in his eyes and then laughs when he succeeds.
I don’t know what it is but there is a difference and it is noticeable: I don’t hold a baby anymore. I hold a little boy. A little boy who will soon grow into a man. My eyes fill with tears as I write and my mama- heart bursts, full of both pride at my little baby growing up and sadness as he (literally) is walking out of my arms and taking those first steps of independence. Oh Lord, watch over this little life! Grow him in your ways. Capture him with your love. Bind him in your mercy. Wash him in your grace. Carry him in your arms.
“And so [Dear Caleb] from the day we heard [in May 2009] we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened [Caleb] with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father [May He] qualify you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. [May He] deliver you from the domain of darkness and transfer you to the kingdom of His Beloved Son in whom you may have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
~ Our prayer for Caleb, based out of Colossians 1:9-14 ~