I have a force in my house.
He is 2 1/2.
He is stubborn and headstrong.
He has a routine and he likes it.
Be damned if you try and switch things up on him.
But when you do and he realizes he likes it, you get this.
He should be talking, yes? In full sentences and so on. Everyone else’s toddler seems to be.
He is not.
We talked about being worried. About intervention.
Because like typical parents, we worry over every little thing. We needlessly compare him to other children.
He knows his letters. He can read flash cards. He counts from 1 to 20. He knows his colors. He knows his name and how old he is. He knows many words in two languages.
And so we are holding back on intervention. We will let him be for a little while longer, let him take his time to come to that ‘language explosion’ we’ve heard so much about.
Because I know he can talk. Mixed in with his seeming unintelligible chatter, is a growing vocabulary and a smart mind. But he’s stubborn. Like his mother.
This is a boy who sings songs with half-made up lyrics.
Who likes to park his vehicles around the house with great precision.
This is a boy who’s been sleeping in his own bed, in his own room since he was 18 months old.
Yet, at nap time, he insists I climb into the bed while he arranges his things around him just so – pillow here, blanket there – creating his own little space.
And he lies down facing me, 2 inches from my face and he slowly falls asleep.
Because this force still needs his mother. Of course.
And so he is all this and much more, the complexities of toddlerhood and soon-to-be-boyhood pushing through into our lives like raindrops on budding flowers – welcomed, but coming to mean that things and people grow, much as we like to pause time and let them just be small.
As the days go by and my firstborn gets to be more boy and less baby, I ask myself, how much of it do I play a part in?
We, as mothers, provide a safe environment for our children to grow and be their own person.
Safe to be who they’re supposed to be.
Yes, my son is a force all of his own.
Like a river rushing down its path, wherever that may lead.
Who am I, to steer that river?
All I can do as his mother, is to gently guide him on his way.
Do not try to steer the river. ~ Deepak Chopra