Dear Super Owen, at 27-months-old,
This picture of you was taken at your cousin Ronin's second birthday party in March. It was the most amazing day - bright sun, hot weather, enough that you could wear shorts and a T-shirt under your Superman costume. It was a super heroes birthday party so you wore the Superman cape and everything - with your blue Crocs of course! Your aunt just sent me this picture last month... and honestly, it made my world stop for a moment.
This picture is YOU. The O that we adore and who makes us laugh harder than your dad and I think we've ever laughed before. This is also the O who drives us crazy sometimes because just before this type of laugh and smile graces your cute face you have probably done something you shouldn't have or something we have to say "no" to you for the thousandth time today.
This super hero picture depicts the Owen who is bubbly and happy and social and busy, busy, busy. You are a very busy two-year-old boy. You're all boy in fact. I know people say that, but really, with you it's so true. Although you do have a baby doll that you adore and have a sweet high-pitched voice you use when talking to her, the same voice you use for your new baby sister.
You are in this crazy fun stage right now, which for me as your mom is, well, crazy and fun at the same time. I am in awe of all you have learned. I find myself counting the words you just said all in a row all the time - 9 is the most I've counted recently. Nine words! Nine! Last summer I remember saying, "Wow, Jared, he just put two words together, can you believe that?!" Now you are saying sentences, real sentences.
You know things. You know more than I ever imagined you'd know. Sometimes that is bad, like when you repeat a curse word we should not have said. But it's also very good, like when you point out every "motorcycle bike" on the highway and say in a sad voice with your nose all scrunched up, "no helmet ma, not safe," because I taught you people should wear helmets when riding motorcycles or bikes. Or when we are driving behind a car that looks just like your best friend's car and out of no where you tell me, "That Eli car, ma, in front us?"
You remember when I tell you something, too. If at 7 a.m. I tell you before school that in the afternoon we are going to your uncle's house, it is the first thing you say to me when I walk through the door to pick you up at 3 p.m.
You are so innocent, too. As smart as you are and as tall as you are - people think you are 4 years old instead of 2! - you still are a little growing boy, a toddler, just passed the baby stages really, I would like to think. You still jump up and down when excited, and you run in circles at the playground. You talk to yourself in your crib in the morning, and you suck your thumb when you are tired. You develop a shyness when we are at the playground among the bigger kids. You keep coming back to me saying, "Play with those kids, ma?" and I urge you to go see them, and you, my oh-so-social and active boy otherwise turn into this shy, nervous little guy, slowly inching toward the kids... before you turn the other way and giggle to yourself that you found a caterpillar on the ground. (Ah, the short attention span of a two-year-old!)
We were just at the playground yesterday when this all happened. There were bigger kids, maybe 8 years old, there. And I was sad. I was looking at you - running and jumping at the basketball hoop that was about 10 feet too high for you and yet you still acted like you could get it, "O do, mama, O do it!" And you were sucking your thumb as you watched the girl climb the monkey bars that I told you were too high for you right now. And your eyes were wide and your smile was bright... yet I could see the top of your diaper when you reached your arms up and your shirt came up a bit.
And I realized that yes, you are sorta my baby still, and yet at the same time you aren't. You are this growing toddler, this growing boy. You are going to be one of those 8-year-olds all too soon. Really, I know it's not far away. I know one day soon we are going to be at that playground and you are going to be the kid hanging from those monkey bars and I'm going to wonder when I ever stopped being afraid of you getting hurt on those things and allowed you to try it.
And here's the thing, Owen, I just hope that when you are hanging from those monkey bars someday, that you are laughing your head off, still screeching with excitement like you do now at two years old. I hope your face lights up with joy like it does now over the smallest things.
I admit you as a two-year-old is not easy. Sometimes it's really hard actually. Keeping up with you and all your ball of energy is challenging when I'm exhausted and have a newborn also to tend to. Yet it's invigorating, too, seeing how happy-go-lucky you are; seeing how invested in the world you are. You love life, that's for sure. And that is refreshing. Yes, you are active and busy... but it's what makes you, you. I adore that about you. You don't ever want to slow down because you are too in love with all that is happening, you don't want to miss even a second of it.
That Superman picture of you is everything I know and love about you as a two-year-old. You are sneaky and curious. You are so smart and capable. You are loving, laughable, and hysterical. You are so damn happy. You are emotional, too, and wear your heart on the outside. You are full of something I hope everyone who comes in contact with you can grasp, understand, and then take some for themselves to enjoy later.
I adore you, O. You are certainly my super hero. You always will be. Even when you're 8.
(really, we couldn't have waited until you were like in your 20s and I was in my 40s or 50s to call me "ma"?! Sounds so old...)
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