Sunday, August 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Little Man!

Our just-turned-two-year-old insists that he is a "man" and not a boy, and although Michael has repeatedly emphasized to him that he is not a man and that he will tell him when he is a man, Gabriel continues to call himself by that title. Although I understand and respect the important coming-of-age implications the title implies, I was quite tempted to write “I’m the birthday man” on his birthday crown. True to form, whenever anyone exclaimed “you’re the birthday boy!!” last night Gabriel would just look at them and say “Man. You’re the birthday man.”

Although he’s got quite a ways to go before he can legitimately claim that title, I have to admit there are so many moments when I feel like he’s on to something with it, and I can’t help but smile at them. From the way he paces purposefully while talking on the telephone to someone, to the way that he animatedly discusses some of his favorite activities–grilling and lawn mowing-- with us on our evening walks around the neighborhood, he does seem like a little man.

Of course, there are many occasions when I know he’s not a little man, and still quite a small boy who needs lots of love and patience from his mommy. With the two-year-old days upon us (seems like they’ve been here for a while, actually) there have been emotional meltdowns about who will remove his shoes and when and where it will be done, about teeth brushing, outside time, and struggles with naptime that seem never-ending. But I know that this too shall pass, considering it seems like it was just yesterday that he came from the hospital and I was learning how to wash diapers and cook dinner while doing the little bounce-the-baby-to-sleep-in-the-sling dance at the same time.

My little man, how much you’ve taught me in these two years! Here’s to many more years of mutual education. :)

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