When we were at the beach in April, I posted this picture of Jackson pointing out into the water after spotting a seagull or a buoy or something equally exciting.
To me it captures the very essence of toddlerhood, and it’s one of my favorites.
While I’m one of those people who loves the newborn stage, my next favorite stage is older toddlers. I’ve never quite understood why anyone called it “the terrible twos,” and the thing I mourned the most when we decided our family was complete was never having a two year old again!
Don’t get me wrong: This stage is exhausting. Even with two parents and four big kids around pretty much all of the time, we still spend all day chasing him, cleaning up after him, and repeating things like, “Where’s Jackson? Put that down, Jackson. Jackson did it!”
We sometimes call him Destructo, and he lives up to it daily.
But I love it anyway.
He’s saying new words every day, learning the sounds that animals and vehicles make, and generally enthralled by life.
Even though he’s only talking a little bit, he has an amazing grasp of language (more so then most of my girls have at this stage), and when he doesn’t understand something we say, he cocks his head to the side and says, “Hmm?”
But it’s his enthusiasm for life and learning new things that I love most. It makes me see the world in a new way, to celebrate the smallest milestones, to stop and observe what’s happening around us.
He’s not afraid to try new things, to get right in the middle of the big kids (and adults!) and do whatever they’re doing. And while he can be cautious about new things and definitely knows his limits, he’s not afraid to push them—climbing higher, running faster, carrying heavier things.
He’s calmer than everyone warned me a boy would be (unlike the little boy in my womb who flips and rolls and kicks and moves all day long!), but he’s always taking in the world around him, ready to explore and discover!
And that inspires me to do the same.
Three year olds on the other hand? Now that’s the stage that no one warns you about ahead of time! (At least with girls…we’ll see how it goes this time around!)