It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. ~J. Maynard
You're the happiest of little men when you get your way. Smiling, affectionate, and readily armed with a brilliant blue gaze. Trouble with being two and a half is that your life is a lesson in limits, and you don't like it. You become a 'little bear' in every sense of the word. You kick at me, scratch me, yell, collapse, and bang your head on the floor on purpose. It makes my heart ache to hear you so grieved and upset, but you need to learn. And sometimes I turn into you. When you are angry and yell and cry, I yell and cry too. And then we're both angry two year olds with pouty faces and stubborn hearts. Sometimes I wish you would just hurry up and grow through this phase already, but then I turn around and catch a glimpse of Monkey and Scootch, and realize that you'll be through this in the blink of an eye.
Which is why your nap time is my favorite time of day. Whether you want to lie down, or you're insisting you're "not tired," you still cling to me with your chubby arms around my neck. I lay you down in your little bed and you refuse to loosen your grip, so I lay my head down next to yours. And somehow, no matter what the fight was, all is forgiven. You look at my face and my eyes and offer me wet kisses. You sometimes still refuse that you need rest through your own yawns and my soft shushing. The music plays as the minutes pass and I watch you fight sleep, your little lids and lashes lowering and flickering. Your arms still locked around me, fingers flexing against my neck in a mimic of my hand patting you on the back. I stroke my fingers through your hair and I can tell the moment sleep drags you away from me. I can feel it when the heavy weight of your embrace releases the slightest bit. And then I can ease away, tucking a stuffy in your arms as my replacement. You'll clutch at it and stir for a moment, but then fall back into your dreams. And when you wake up, we have both been given absolution. And we can both try again anew.