Sunday, November 30, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday, Little Arrow!

A bit of blogging housekeeping: I'll resume my Postcards from the Lake District and How I Plan Trips series of posts next week. But as you may know, I like to write posts to the boys on their birthdays, and it is Little Arrow's third birthday. (You can read his 1st and 2nd posts, or Big Arrow's 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th posts.)

Happy 3rd birthday, Little Arrow! There was a time I didn’t think this day would come. Not because I didn’t think you’d live to see 3 (although your flying leaps off furniture and daredevil moves on the playground would suggest otherwise). But because for about a year and a half, you were sort of in a toddler rut.
Let me clarify that. You were lots of fun and filled our family with the same joy you have since you came into our lives. But until about six months ago, you didn’t talk much or show any particular interests (other than destroying anything in your path). In some ways, you were just kind of along for the ride. Much like many second children, I suppose (being one myself!)

But in the past six months, you have really come into your own. If our family was a high school graduating class, you’d be voted our class clown. And perhaps mostly likely to be spending Saturday morning in detention? We are constantly laughing at you. The things you do, the things you say, sometimes even your tantrums are funny. Sometimes.
A couple of weekends ago, we all traveled up to York for a day of fun completely centered around YOU. We spent the morning at the National Railyway Museum so that you could get your choo choo train playtime on, then we went out for an Italian lunch so you could fill your belly with pasta. True to form, you didn’t really care for the plain noodles that came with your kid’s meal, and instead wolfed down my spicy sausage pasta. And then we ended the day with chocolate ice cream cones. A food you have now eagerly consumed in at least 6 countries.

What’s been most interesting to us this year is that we've noticed that you're the one who has best adapted to life here. You drink tea. You eat Heinz baked beans like it’s going out of style. You refer to things you don't like as "rubbish." Your English accent is full on. Other than your hatred for walking around in wellington boots, I’d say the transformation from American toddler to British preschooler is nearly complete.

With Dad and Big Arrow off to work and school most days, you and I spend lots of time together. It’s hard for me to imagine the past 18 months living in England if I hadn’t had you as my constant sidekick. Whenever the days seemed to get a little lonely, I only needed to plop down on the floor with you and a puzzle or some toy cars and remind myself that my life was indeed quite full.
When your brother was this age, I was so busy and distracted by the needs of a newborn (you!), fatigue, and then less than a year later, the demands of orchestrating a move overseas. The past year has been about slowing down and savoring this time being home with you. The calendar pages are quickly turning and this stage of life will be passing both of us by soon. You’ll be off to school, I’ll be off to who knows what. And that’ll be great, too.

But just the other day, you curled up into my lap with your usual stack of books, ready to get down to reading business, and said, “You me best friends, mommy.”

We sure are, kid. We sure are.