I used to write these sort of updates all the time. I’d make a list of your weights and heights and milestones. I wanted a record all of the ways you were growing and changing month over month.
But for the past six months or more, I haven’t written a post like this. Your changes have come so fast I’ve barely had time to register them. Every day I wake up to two children who are taller, smarter, more animated than the day before. I come home from work and I swear you’ve grown while I was away. I curl up next to you at bedtime and try to imagine how it used to feel to hold you as a baby. Those little round bellies and chubby arm rolls have turned into long, skinny legs and feet that outgrow shoes at an alarming rate.
Every season, as I go through your closets and pack away the things you’ll never wear again, I do it with a lump in my throat. Sometimes, I cave to my own hang-ups, and squeeze you into a favorite t-shirt that should have been abandoned months ago…even though your belly hangs out and it’s tight in the arms. I just want one more day of seeing you run around in that silly piece of clothing you once wore daily.
I don’t know exactly how much either of you weigh or how tall you are now. I do know that the top of Everly’s head comes up to my hip and my arms grow tired while carrying Arlo much quicker than they did even a few months ago . Arlo, your hair has grown long enough to fall in your eyes. I’m the only one left who thinks it shouldn’t be cut, but I’m standing my ground on that one. Everly, you’ve reached the age where you will patiently let me braid your hair or put it up in little buns. You love to admire my handiwork in the mirror when I’m done.
Everly, you are so full of reason and inquiry. You make up the best songs. You have a great sense of humor and above all, you continue to make me so proud with the way you have empathy for others. You share beautifully and like to make gifts for your loved ones. You are sometimes bossy, often stubborn and a born leader. I watch as every where you go, others are drawn to your energy and confidence. Your spirited nature will no doubt be a challenge to our parenting at times as you grow, but know that it is also one of the things I most admire in you.
Arlo, you bring pure joy to our world. You are rarely in a hurry but love to speed around the house on your balance bike. You are quiet and content except when you get your heart broken, which is fairly often. You go with the flow, are comfortable to just be, and most happy when you are surrounded by cars and trucks and toy motorcycles. You are not a rough and tumble kid. You are thoughtful and purposeful, affectionate and silly. When I lay down with you at night, you reach out and slowly rub the back of my arms. I can tell, already, that your goodness will make waves in this world.
I’ve stopped counting all the words the two of you say and tracking all of the milestones you’re reaching, because I know you are right where you are supposed to be. We are in no hurry to rush either of you into formal education right now. We are introducing letter, color, and shape identification through lots and lots of book reading. We are being protective of these early childhood years. You will learn all about writing and reading and counting soon enough, but for now, our greatest focus on learning is around the art of adventure and play.
You are both just great kids. We love being your parents. Keep up the good work, you’ve already got this whole childhood thing down pat.